SC History Trail

Charleston Museum

The oldest museum in the United States, the Charleston Museum was established in 1773. Its numerous exhibits, displays and artifacts survey South Carolina's rich history and culture.


Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Map: View Map and Directions
Web Site:
Phone: Phone 843-722-2996
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Site Description
The Charleston Museum, founded on the eve of the American Revolution in 1773, is the oldest museum in the United States. Established while South Carolina was a British Colony, the museum was inspired by creation of London's British Museum in 1759. The Charleston Library Society founded the museum, which lost its first collections by fire in 1778, and was forced to closed during the Revolutionary War.

Opened to the general public in 1824, the Museum's collections now represent centuries of acquisitions. Displays, exhibits and artifacts deal with South Carolina's prehistoric natural history, Native American culture, early explorations, the Colonial Era, the state's historic slave culture, agriculture, industry, maritime activities, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, women's history, education, fashion, the arts and others aspects of South Carolina history and culture.
Access and Admission
Site Access: Public
Access Description: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm - Sun 1pm-5pm - Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve afternoon and Christmas Day
Admission: Museum or Home: Ages 13 and up $10 - Ages 3-12 $5 - Ages 2 and under are Free. See Discounted Rates for Combination Tours
Ownership: Private
Tours and Events
Guided Tours: Various Tours Available - Call for reservations and rates.
Group Tours Various Tours Available - Call for reservations and rates.
Maximum Group Size: Varies Based on Type of Tour