About Us

about us

In 1986, a small group of Edisto Island residents gathered to found the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society (EIHPS). The mission of the Society is to preserve and exhibit the history of Edisto, and to educate the public in these endeavors. To fulfill this mission, the Society operates the Edisto Island Museum and works in [...]



Join us in supporting the Museum with a membership. Benefits for all memberships include: Free Entry to Museum Discounts on Museum shop purchases & annual tour tickets No sales tax on shop purchases Subscriptions to our newsletter, “Edisto Echoes” Members’ meetings Invitations to educations events, lectures and receptions   Please select one membership level: Museum [...]

Special Events & Exhibits

special events

   Bidding for History – An Evening at Seabrook Plantation - Saturday, April 5, 2014 – SAVE THE DATE.  This will be our fourth gala/auction and promises to be an elegant and fun evening.  We will be taking reservations on-line beginning on February 14th.  Reservations are limited and cost $75/person.  Click HERE to make reservations.  Louise Britton [...]

Explore our History

Edisto Island is treasured for its natural beauty, its beaches and creeks, its wildlife and its laid-back, easy way of life. But, it is also treasured for its rich history that includes Native Americans, Spanish pirates, English settlers, wealthy cotton planters, enslaved African-Americans and many who made their living off of the bounty of the ocean and creeks. To truly experience all that makes Edisto so special, be sure to include a visit to the Edisto Island Museum to learn more about our fascinating history.

The Museum is filled with artifacts and furnishings of many of the island’s most magnificent plantations as well as a wonderful collection of vintage photographs that reflect the glory days of Edisto Island when cotton was king. You’ll also find a Civil War Room that is filled with artifacts from this war as well as one of the first printings of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession.

Equally inviting is the Agriculture Room that has an impressive display of farm implements from the early days of Edisto. You’ll learn about the importance of cotton to the island’s economy and way of life and how that lifestyle was drastically altered after the Civil War. Our exhibits continue on through the period of the early 20th Century, featuring displays from Edisto’s oldest Freedman’s house, the art of creating shrimp nets, artifacts from the island’s school for African-Americans and a wonderful collection of vintage children’s toys.

Not to be missed is the Nature Room which enchants children and adults alike. You’ll see a wealth of fossils and shells that were found on Edisto’s beaches, including the jaw of a mastodon, and learn about the animals that are native to our island.

For a more detailed look at the history of Edisto’s plantations, click here for a map of the Plantations of Edisto Island.

We also have special exhibits that change every few months, so be sure to visit more than once. There’s always something new to learn here at the Edisto Island Museum.

People of Edisto

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    The Spanish

    A Spanish Catholic mission was established to convert the Edisto Indians in 1569, but was abandoned in defeat in 1570.

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    English Settlers of Edisto

    Paul Grimball was the first English settler, arriving on Edisto in 1683. The tabby ruins of the Grimball House are still in existence.

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    The first Africans came to Edisto Island in about 1684 and were a key element in establishing the island’s planter class, many of whom amassed huge fortunes. Once freed, many former slaves remained on the island and continued to Edisto’s rich cultural heritage.

Bidding for History…An Evening at Seabrook Plantation – Donations

Many thanks to the following for financial contributions donated to help defray the costs of the event: Prudential Kapp/Lyons Realty Bi-Lo Barr, Unger and McIntosh Edistonian Gift Shop and Gallery Anderson Insurance Associates Edisto Real Estate Company Bank of Walterboro Andy Cook, CPA Atwood Agency, Inc. Jack and Cathy McWhorter Griffin, Beach & Company, CPA Edisto Sales & Rentals Realty Jim Kempson Enterprise Bank of South Carolina DeeDee and Paul Simmons This list will be added to regularly: 1) Original painting by Mary Bentz Gilkerson 2) 1-year membership to Wyndham amenities (tennis, pool, etc.) 3) Kids' turtle walk and supper - Libba Johnson 4) Guided Botany Bay tour for four people - Bess Kellett 5) All-day fishing trip for two people in the Edisto creeks - Tom Daley 6) Week's stay in cottage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Nantucket Island - Mary and Rignal Baldwin (one bedroom/bath) 7) 2-week use of boat slip at the Edisto Marina - Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hood 8) Gift certificate to Whaley's Restaurant - Van Maxwell 9) Hand-painted silk scarf - Duke Hagerty 10) Aerial trip from Edisto to Charleston for 3 people - Bob Cauthen 11) Three passes for Doubletree Hotels and Resorts Worldwide - Rett Stegall 12) Use of The Barn at Sunny Side Plantation for an evening event for 100 people - Carroll Belser and Sid Gauthreaux 13) 1-week rentals for 4 bikes - Edisto Essentials 14) 1-year family pass for the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry - Denis Chirles 15) 4 golf passes with cart at The Links at Stono Ferry - Erica Dickinson 16) Bird watch and gourmet lunch for 12 people - Gretchen Smith, Sid Gauthreaux and Carroll Belser 17) Gift certificate to The Square Onion - Mary Zapatka 18) Gift bag of gourmet foods from Trader Joe's - Chris Spina 19) $200 shopping spree at Beba Luxe - Anita Lucas 20) Jeweled bracelet from Gudmundson & Buyck Jewelers 21) Gift basket from Whole Foods 22) All-day creek fishing trip - John Snow 23) 1-week stay in a 2 bedroom private home inn Asheville, NC, within walking distance to the Blue Ridge Parkway - Catherine and Johnny Douglas 24) Gift certificate to Hyams Nursery 25) Luxury 4-night get-away to Santa Fe for 4 people 25) 3-night trip to the Napa Valley for 2 people 26) A summer evening creekside cocktails and dinner for 8 people, prepared by Bobo Lee with provisions from King's Market and Flowers Seafood 27) 3 pairs of Eyebobs from Kennedy & Perkins Opticians 28) Original water color painting by Bonnie Doty 29) Pearl cuff bracelet by Shirley Mason (Tranquil Landing Studio) 30) Hand-made large pottery pitcher adorned with sea turtles by Turtle Tracks Pottery 31) 3 heirloom camellias - Susan Walker 32) Set of 4 wine glasses - Cathy McWhorter 33) 3 x 5' seagrass rug - GDC Home 34) Assorted azalea and camellias - Fairview Nursery 35) Set of 3 Lee Brothers cookbooks, signed by the authors - Matt and Ted Lee 36) Wooden swing - Cathy and Coker Price 37) Dinner for 2 at the Waterfront Restaurant 38) 2 gift certificates at the Sea Cow Eatery 39) Hand-made pottery dog doorstop - Nancy Fishback 40) Gift certificate at McConkey's Jungle Shack 41) 4 Edisto flags - Shelby Morris 42 Double kayak rental - Island Bikes & Outfitters 43) Gift certificate - Pressley's at the Marina 44) Photograph by Susan Roberts 45) Family Amenities Pass for one year at Wyndham 46) Carew Rice print 47) Photograph by Nature Focus Photography 48) Gift certificate at the Old Firehouse Restaurant 49) Original framed oil painting by Susan Gaillard 50) Gold, diamond and peridot earrings from Croghan's Jewel Box 51) Hand-crafted replica of the Point of Pines Slave Cabin by Tom Boozer 52) Seagrass rug from GDC 53) Wooden turtle table from Hamilton Furniture 54) Wine/food pairing at private home - David Blauch, Patrick Meyer and Jim and Robin Tennyson 55) Handcrafted pinestraw basket by Pat Holtzinger 56) Power washing of one home by Thomas Cribb (Edisto Power Washing) 57) Golfing trip to Monterey for 2, including airfare 58) Creekside cocktails and dinner for 8 59) Original oil painting by Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn 60) Hand-made wooden oyster table by Pinkney Mikell 61) Set of pewter earrings, pendant and cuff bracelet by Sweet Charleston Designs 62) Discover Chicago Dining trip, including airfare 63) Sunday lunch on the grounds at Seabrook Plantation for 12 people, by Hunter and Kitty McEaddy, Gretchen Smith and Cathy McWhorter 64) Civil War era bonnet by Showbelles Couture 65) Sweetgrass basket by Annette King 66) 1/2 day relic hunt with Addam Coe 67) Hand-made porch table by Billy Edwards 68) Assorted azaleas and camellias by Fairview Nursery 69) Wine tasting for 20 at Total Wine 70) Wooden turtle table by Hamilton's Fine Furniture 71) Matching sterling silver Southern Gates pendant and earrings by The Cargo Hold 72) $300 gift certificate for Rue de Jean Restaurant 73) 1-week stay in a 2 BR/2B condo at Wyndham Ocean Ridge Resort (Edisto Island) 74) 22" Weber charcoal grill - Catherine Arnot 75) Labradorite and pearl necklace by Marc and Kris Dubick 76) Set of Oriental dishes, service for 12 with serving pieces - Catherine Arnot 77) Gift basket of Maverick Culinary Treats by Maverick Southern Kitchens 78) Gift certificate to the Old Post Office Restaurant 79) 25 bales of pine straw by Del's Landscaping 80) Starfish pottery serving platter by Palmetto Gallery and Gifts 81) Pest treatment supplies by Apex of Edisto 82) Matching set of earrings and pendant made of abalone with pearl and crystal accents by Isabella Jewelry Design 83) 1-year membership in the SC Historical Society and 3 history books donated by Bill Davies and Jim Arnett 84) Gift certificate for the Plantation Golf Course at Edisto 85) Gift certificate for Deloris' Dog House (grooming) 86) Lady's orange envelope clutch purse by East Main Boutique 87) Hand-turned wooden bowl by the SC Artisans Center 88) Metal bird print by Colleton County Museum & Farmers Market 89) Enamel and sterling silver earrings by Griffin Jewelers 90) 3 limited edition Christmas ornaments by Old Bank Christmas and Gift Shop 91) Matted print by Fran Geisler 92 2 nights at Harbour View Inn (Charleston) for 2 people by Batson and D.D. Hewitt 93) Bottle of 2004 Meeker Merlot wine by Johanna Allston and Ted Swinnerton These items have been selected to be in the live auction portion of the evening: 1) An original oil painting by Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn 2) A Creekside Summer Evening with cocktails and dinner for 8 3) 24-carat gold earrings with peridot and diamonds 4) A replica of a Point of Pines Plantation slave cabin, made by master craftsman, Tom Boozer, using wood from the original cabin that dates back to the 1840s 5) Club Car golf cart 6) 2 Civil War shells 7) Hand-crafted wooden oyster table 8) Use of the historic barn at Sunny Side Plantation for an event for 100 people 9) hand-painted silk scarf by Duke Hagerty 10) A collection of Johnny Walker's heirloom camellias

Visit the Gift Shop

Before you leave, spend some time in our gift shop. We have a special section of books, games and toys for children as well as adults. We also feature a wide selection of one-of-a-kind, hand-made crafts from local artisans, including jewelry, pottery, wood carvings and paintings. And, because we're a non-profit organization, there's no sales tax so you save money while supporting a worthy cause. We hope to see you soon!

Contact Us

Address: 8123 Chisolm Plantation Road
Edisto Island, SC 29438

Phone: 843.869.1954
Fax: 843.869.2754
email: shop@edistomuseum.org