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Charleston Museum facts for kids

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The Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum.jpg
Established 1773
Location 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston Museum is a museum located in the Wraggborough neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. It is one of the oldest museums in the United States. Its highly regarded collection includes historic artifacts, natural history, decorative arts and two historic Charleston houses.


The Charleston Museum is among the oldest museums in the United States, other museums in this category include the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773 and opened to the public in 1824.

In 1920, when the museum hired Laura Bragg as its director, she became the first woman to direct a publicly funded art museum in America.

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 possibly the largest flying bird ever discovered. The museum also owns and operates two historic house museums:

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."

Collection strengths

  • 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
  • Invertebrate and Vertebrate Paleontology Collections
  • Skeletal Reconstructions of various Vertebrate Groups
  • Rocks and Minerals from around the World
  • Numerous Plant and Animal species collected by local Naturalists.
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