Charleston Museum

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The Charleston Museum
Established 1773
Location Charleston, South Carolina
Website Museum's Homepage

The Charleston Museum is the oldest museum in the United States; it was founded in 1773 and opened to the public in 1824.[1] The museum's present building was completed in 1980 at 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

The museum's exhibits include natural history and local history displays and decorative arts, including silver. The museum is also home to the only known fossil of the extinct Pelagornis sandersi, which is the largest flying bird ever discovered.

The museum also owns and operates two historic house museums:

  • Joseph Manigault House - Federal-style home decorated with American, English and French furnishing of the early 19th century

In addition to the two houses, the museum also maintains The Dill Sanctuary. From the site:

... located on James Island contains assorted habitats for wildlife and numerous cultural features including three earthen Confederate batteries and prehistoric, colonial, antebellum, and postbellum archaeological sites. The Dill Sanctuary has been protected for purposes of preservation, wildlife enhancement, research and education, and is used only for Museum-sponsored programs. Habitat has been enhanced by creation of a six-acre wildlife pond, with three nesting islands, which provides a reliable source of fresh water for animals and nesting sites for both migratory and resident birds. 2001 saw the construction of the Dill Education Center and bathroom facilities which hosts Museum education programs.[2]

Collection strengths[edit]

  • Charleston furniture
  • Charleston silver
  • Lowcountry textiles, including costumes, quilts, and needlework
  • South Carolina ceramics
  • Egyptian artifacts
  • Archives - documentary and photographic resources
  • South Carolina ornithology
  • Nineteenth-century firearms


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°47′23″N 79°56′09″W / 32.7898°N 79.9359°W / 32.7898; -79.9359