The State Museum, located in the old duck mill building at 301 Gervais Street, has 4 floors and by its own admission is “South Carolina under one roof.” Divided into art, natural history, science and technology, and cultural history, there is something for everyone.Click here for admission details.
There is also a well-stocked gift shop, the Cotton Mill Exchange. The Museum is an excellent place to learn about our state and has plenty to offer kids during spring break.
The Museum is currently undergoing some renovations. Accordingly, the front entrance is closed and visitors enter from the covered parking deck on the western, or river, side of the building.
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The Berry School
The Berry School comes to the Museum from Spartanburg County. It was a one-room school that operated at the turn of the twentieth century. While the roof and exterior are new, the interior is entirely original.
Civil War Flags
THese Civil War Flags are part of an upgrade of the Museum's Civil War galleries during the Civil Wae Sesquicentennial. There is also a short video on the Battle of Fort Sumter.
This replica of Fort Moultrie is on the fourth floor as well. It shows the original fort which was made from palmetto logs. It was the resilience of the palmetto wood that made British cannonballs bounce off. The patriots retrieved the cannonballs and fired them back at the British;recycling before it was ever invented!
The CSS Hunley
The CSS Hunley is one of the more popular exhibits. However, it does not look at all like the real sub. The real Hunley is longer and narrower than this model which was based on a painting from 1864. The real Hunley was found in 1995 on the bottom of Charleston Harbor. The model was made by Clemson engineering students for the Civil War Centennial in the 1960s.
The Best Friend of Charleston
The Best Friend of Charleston was one of the first railroad trains to run in South Carolina. It ran from Hamburg, now North Augusta, to Charleston.
King Tut exhibit
While at the Museum, don't forget to take in the King Tut exhibit featuring 124 replicas of artifacts found in King Tut's tomb. There is an extra charge for this exhibit.