Santa Elena Exhibit: The Story of America’s Lost Century

Saturday, July 31, 2021 8:05 AM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

Beaufort History Museum, in cooperation with the Coastal Discovery Museum of Hilton Head Island, is pleased to announce the opening of the Santa Elena Exhibit.  Both Museums have worked together over the past few months to coordinate the best displays within Coastal Discovery Museum’s extensive collection that would best convey the Santa Elena story to Beaufort History Museum’s visitors.  The Exhibit is planned to be available at Beaufort History Museum long term while Coastal Discovery Museum completes a new exhibition space for the Santa Elena Center at its Hilton Head Island location.  Completion is planned for 2022.

Installation team participants pictured (left to right): Bill Skipper, Beaufort History Museum Board (BHM) Board Secretary; Rex Garniewicz, Coastal Discovery Museum President & CEO; Elizabeth Greenberg, Coastal Discovery, Director of Exhibitions. Participants not pictured Kathryn Mixon, BHM Board VP and Fred Channels, BHM Board member.

When and Where was America first settled by Europeans?  Was it Jamestown or Plymouth as many learned in grammar school?  Or, was it much earlier, right here in Beaufort County – in Santa Elena?   The period from 1492 when Columbus arrived in the New World through the end of the 1500s is a crucial period in the history of North America.  What happened over these one hundred-plus years in what would become the United States’ southeast has been lost in many history books.  The Exhibit’s maps, diagrams and a video presentations will bring the events and places from several centuries to life.

One of the Exhibit's many displays

The story of Santa Elena includes papal court intrigue and interference in the geo-politics of the New World, religious intolerance, monarchy rivalry between England, France, and Spain, naval ship battles, early settlements along the southeast coast of the “New World”, indigenous peoples tribal partnerships, exploitation, slavery, and revolt, courage and the start of a New World order that help define the beginnings of America. 

One of the Exhibit's many displays

Make your plans to visit the Beaufort History Museum where you will see the Santa Elena Exhibit.  The Museum’s regular hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM and 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturdays.   Due to continued personnel shortfalls during the ongoing pandemic, we recommend you call beforehand to confirm Museum staff availability (843.525.8500).

Our mission is to preserve, portray, and promote the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future.

The Beaufort History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC 29902. Mailing Address: PO Box 172, Beaufort, SC 29901 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software