Learn about the History of the Penn School on St. Helena

Evelene Stevenson, a re-enactor and owner of The Spirit of Old Beaufort historic touring company, will present a first-person, living history program at the Coastal Discovery Museum today at 3:00. Donned in period costume, Stevenson will portray the real-life character of Laura Towne, a dedicated abolitionist and educator from Pennsylvania. Towne arrived on the Sea Islands in April 1862, one of the first Northern women to go south to work during the Civil War. She participated in the Port Royal Experiment, the first large-scale government effort to help former slaves. She and her life-long friend Ellen Murray founded a school for former slaves on St. Helena Island in June 1862. This school was eventually named the Penn School, and was the first school for freedmen, while the Civil War was raging. Reservations are required by calling 843-689-6767

Start Planning your Hilton Head Island Vacation Today!

Penn Center Outbuildings

Penn Center Outbuildings

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Penn Center Home

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Penn Center Home

Penn School Historical Marker

Penn School Historical Marker

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