Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society and Edisto Island Museum
In 1986, a small group of Edisto Island residents gathered to establish the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society (EIHPS) and Edisto Museum.
The mission of the Society is to preserve and exhibit the history of Edisto Island and to educate the public in these endeavors.
To fulfill this mission, the Society operates the Edisto Island Museum and works in concert with other organizations and homeowners to preserve Edisto’s unique culture and natural and built environment.
From the beginning, creating a museum was the main goal of EIHPS; our first artifact was acquired in January of 1987. In 1988, the anonymous donation of a house on Chisolm Plantation Road gave EIHPS a home, and we have been in the same location ever since. On September 28, 1991, the Edisto Island Museum and gift shop officially opened.
Over the years, EIHPS continued to expand the Museum and our collections as well as working to preserve the island’s history outside of the Museum. The gift shop expanded as well, and we are proud to offer high quality jewelry, art, and crafts from numerous local and regional artisans as well as a wide range of books, toys and other unique island inspired treasures for your home or for gifting.
We created a Cemetery Fund to help repair and restore some of Edisto’s numerous historic cemeteries and graves, bringing in outside professionals when necessary.
The Edisto Island Open Land Trust recently purchased the historic Hutchinson House in order to stabilize and eventually restore this beautiful home, and we are working in partnership with the Land Trust to educate the public about this family’s history that is such an integral and important part of the Edisto community.
We were instrumental in getting the historic structures at Botany Bay Plantation protected in anticipation of the opening of that property to the public as a wildlife management area.
We worked to preserve the last two remaining slave cabins on the island. One we stabilized and then donated to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. The second cabin was dismantled and a portion of it moved to our museum where it helps tell the full story of Edisto Island’s rich history.
Our newest project is a permanent exhibit on the Gullah Geechee culture and history. This culture is unique to the sea islands and deserves to be celebrated.
While we take great pride in our Museum, we also will continue to advocate for historic preservation across Edisto Island.
Edisto has a rich and varied history, and we are committed to preserving and exhibiting that history whenever and wherever possible.
We would love to have you join our organization to be a part of this rewarding and important work.