HISTORY & CULTURE
With a 300-year history, The Hammock Coast proudly wears her antebellum history in her graceful antebellum character and live oak lined streets of Georgetown, South Carolina’s 3rd oldest city. Tour historic homes and attractions, grand old churches and museums. If history is at the heart of your Hammock Coast vacation you won’t want to miss these trips back in time. Also visit Pawleys Island, the real oldest summer resort on the East Coast and Murrells Inlet, the quaint fishing village and inlet where pirates used to shelter!
1. Kaminski House Museum – Housed in a 242-year old townhouse overlooking the Sampit River, the museum features artwork and antiques from the Lowcountry, Europe, the Middle East, China, and more. Guided tours start on the hour and for a fee, include a visit to the neighboring Georgian-style Stewart-Parker House, constructed in 1740.
2. The Rice Museum – Georgetown’s museum of Art & History. Exhibits include dioramas of the rice culture, The Browns Ferry Vessel(a 1730’s river vessel) and a film “The Garden of Gold” telling the story of the rice culture in Georgetown County.
3. SC Maritime Museum – Much of the history of South Carolina can be defined by its attachment to and love of the sea. There are endless stories connecting the sea to agriculture, commerce, military, recreation, education, and how ships and their crews and builders played a role. Newly opened in 2012, The South Carolina Maritime Museum tells these stories through interactive exhibits, rare artifacts from the maritime industry, model ships and artwork, educated volunteers and staff, special programs for young and old.
4. Hopsewee Plantation -A National Historic Landmark, Hopsewee is the birthplace of Thomas Lynch Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Built in 1740, the house is a typical Lowcountry rice plantation dwelling. Hopsewee is a preservation rather than restoration and has never been allowed to fall into decay. Only four families have owned it and it is very much the same as when first built. The privately owned home is open from attic to cellar and is furnished with 18th and 19th century furniture.
5. Georgetown County Museum– preserving and displaying more than 300 years of history and culture in the third oldest city in South Carolina. One of the interesting artifacts in the museum is a letter written by General Francis Marion to a Georgetown family. In August of 2015 they are hosting a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “Hometown Teams, How Sports Shaped America.”
6. Hobcaw Barony – Hobcaw Barony, a natural preserve and wildlife refuge, is also the winter residence of presidential adviser and Wall Street millionaire Bernard M. Baruch. Open to the public through guided tours, you see the 13,500 sq. ft. mansion he called home and where he hosted such visitors as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill. Other stops in the 17,500-acre refuge include the grounds and stables of Bellefield Plantation, a ride through the only existing slave street left on the Waccamaw Neck, and a stroll along a salt marsh boardwalk. the Visitors Center features a small nature/history museum with two alligators, a saltwater touch tank, a touch table, videos and many other exhibits to entertain adults and children. Please call for more information.
7. The Gullah Museum – This small museum and shop features the best of the low country’s crafts: Gullah collectibles, story quilts, lectures & seminars on Gullah history and culture, sweet grass baskets, dolls, wood carvings, black collectibles & memorabilia, art, antiques, African artifacts, books. historical papers & documents, tours, genealogical research. Owners Bunny and Andrew Rodrigues are respected for their knowledge of the history, culture, literature and handcrafts of the Gullah people and conduct discussions, lectures and seminars on the contribution of the Gullah people to the development and success of the Carolina rice culture and other local Gullah historical and cultural issues for adults and young people.
8. Ghosts of Georgetown – Lantern Tours – With storyteller Elizabeth Robertson Huntsinger Wolf, Author of Ghosts of Georgetown and More Ghosts of Georgetown. Lantern led walking tour.
9. Swamp Fox Tours – Enjoy Southern hospitality at its best as you drive by early homes, public buildings and many other points of interest in Historic Georgetown. Visit inside one of the city’s historic churches. You may even hear a ghost story or two.
10. Pawleys Island – Even if you aren’t staying in a vacation rental on Pawleys Island, take a drive over and you will see many historic markers that give you the history of the antebellum summer homes there. Many of these homes are still available for rentals.
11. Georgetown has number of historical churches including Prince George Winyah Church, the oldest religious body in Georgetown. Bethel AME Church, built in 1882, is the home of the first separate African-American congregation in Georgetown County. In addition, the Beth Elohim Cemetery, also in Georgetown, was established in 1772 and is the second oldest Jewish burial site in the state dating back to the 1760s.