Heritage Days Marching Band, November 1999 Photo courtesy Penn Center, Inc.
Penn Center Heritage Days
This three-day event has celebrated the culture and
heritage of Penn Center on St. Helena Island in South Carolina's
low country since 1981. The celebration was a successor to "Harvest
Days," held yearly from the early 1900s until 1948, when Penn
Designated in 1974 as a National Historic Landmark by
the U.S. Department of Interior, Penn Center has been a community
of history and achievement since 1862. Located on St. Helena
Island, Penn Center was known as Penn School for its first 86
years. It was the first school for enslaved people in the South. In
1953, it became Penn Community Services, Inc.
Penn Center's current mission is to preserve the Sea
Island history, culture and environment though serving as a local,
national, and international educational resource center, and by
acting as a catalyst for the development of programs for
Penn's York W. Bailey Cultural Museum houses
photographs, artifacts depicting lifestyles of the Sea Islands from
the 1800s, and an extensive library of oral histories, videotapes
and books by and about African-Americans which are used for
Project documentation includes seventeen 8 x 10 color
photographs, brochures, and various program booklets dating from
Originally submitted by: James E. Clyburn, Representative (6th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.