The Charleston Museum


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The Charleston Museum


The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773, making it "America’s First Museum." The museum marks the official start to Charleston’s Museum Mile, which stretches along Meeting Street.

Visitors enjoy hundreds of artifacts that give personal insight into Charleston’s Colonial, agricultural and wartime past. Examine cultivation tools and sweetgrass baskets that slaves used to harvest and cull rice in the fields, and view “slave badges,” haunting relics of a troubled past. Tribal pottery and quilts showcase the decorative arts and traditions, from early natives to English colonists, while uniforms, armaments and even a prosthetic arm belonging to a famous Confederate general bring to life Charleston’s role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

The museum also owns 2 historic houses, both open to the public. The Heyward-Washington House showcases a rich collection of Charleston-made furniture. And the Joseph Manigault House offers a look into the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family.

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