Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Explore Lowcountry “Heritage” at Honey Horn

Posted 4/10/2012 1:46:00 PM

If you’re in Hilton Head this week for the RBC Heritage, consider taking a break at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, where you’ll find 68 acres of salt marches, live oak trees and a look into a different sort of heritage.

Now through the end of April, the museum is hosting Civil War in the Lowcountry, which looks at the impact of the war on the region. Historic records, artifacts, photographs, letters and documents tell the story of the Battle of Port Royal Sound and the construction of the Union encampment at Hilton Head. The exhibit also examines the lives of former slaves in the area and the establishment of Mitchelville, a town built during the war for escaped slaves located on what is now Hilton Head Island.

Permanent exhibits at the museum are dedicated to the ecology and history of the Hilton Head area. Especially interesting is the display on the Loggerhead sea turtles that nest on the area’s beaches between May and August. The Coastal Discovery Museum manages the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project, which monitors and aims to protect turtle nesting and hatching on the island.

Outside of the museum building you’ll find more regional history on display on the beautiful grounds. The property dates back to 1805 when it was a plantation owned by the Hanahan family. Traces of the plantation’s history can be found in the cemetery, early 20th century buildings and in the interpretive panels lining the oyster shell trail. Follow the trail along salt marshes dotted with ospreys to the Heritage Garden. The garden contains Lowcountry bushes, herbs and crops like indigo, cotton and sweetgrass along with information about the historical significance of each plant.

The Coastal Discovery Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.