Cultural Institutions

South Carolina State Park Service

SC State Park Service logo

The South Carolina State Park Service offers many opportunities to teach the broad themes of American History, and it does so with non-traditional methods in non-traditional settings. Through the new educational initiative Discover Carolina, state historic sites become outdoor classrooms with programs that supplement and reinforce traditional learning. Discover Carolina's " Discover History" track provides: 1) Access to nearby sites where American History was made and where broad themes in our country’s past can be readily discovered; 2) Hands-on learning that provokes interest and stimulates active participation by students; and 3) Curriculum-based lesson plans with pre-visit and post-visit activities, all linked to state educational objectives.

State Park Service presentations focused in particular on historic sites with programs that have been developed specifically for 4th grade and on several other selected sites with resources that are uniquely suited for tracing the broad paths of American History.

The following is a general description of the State Historic Sites that TAH has worked with:

Andrew Jackson State Park (Lancaster County)

Tel: (803) 285–3344

Click to view larger image of Statue of Andrew Jackson

As students visit the boyhood home of Andrew Jackson they discover the nature of life in South Carolina's colonial backcountry and its influence on a president's development. Basically students learn what life was like when Andrew Jackson was a youth, his experiences and how their own lives compare with those of the early frontier settlers.

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site (Charleston County)

Tel: (843) 852-4200

Click to view larger image of Charles Towne Landing Park Ranger with visitor

Through tours, living history demonstrations, hands-on activities and audiovisual programs, students visiting Charles Towne Landing investigate the experience of settlers and Native Americans at the first English settlement in South Carolina. In the process, they gain an understanding of early settlers' lifestyles and the natural history of the region circa 1670.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site (Dorchester County)

Tel: (843) 873–1740 or (843) 873–1745 (Archaeology lab)

Click to view larger image of student on a dig at Colonial Dorchester

Education at Colonial Dorchester encourages the process of discovery through archaeology. By investigating the social, economic and material history of the site, students gain an understanding of a colonial town and the interaction of its citizens as a community. Our goal is to foster a greater commitment to protecting the archeological and historical resources of the state.

For more about Colonial Dorchester as a Cultural Institution, click here.

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site (Charleston County)

Tel: (843) 546–9361

Click to view larger image of Park Ranger with students at Hampton Plantation

Hampton Plantation was once a prosperous rice plantation, bustling with life and activity. The plantation was inhabited over the years by some of South Carolina's most prominent families as well as an extensive labor force of enslaved Africans. Discover Carolina at Hampton will allow students to explore such topics as slavery, the complex web of plantation relationships, architecture and rice culture.

Oconee Station State Historic Site (Oconee County)

Tel: (864) 638–0079

Educational programs at Oconee Station focus on the history of South Carolina's western frontier during the years immediately following the American Revolution. Students explore the historical interactions between European settlers and Native Americans and learn how human occupation of the frontier changed the land. Programs involve examination of the site's natural and cultural resources, which include scenic landscapes, an 18th century frontier outpost and an early 19th century trading post.

Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site (Aiken County)

Tel: (803) 827–1473

By exploring the architecture, furnishings and grounds of Redcliffe, students gain an understanding of the contributions and changing lifestyles of James Henry Hammond, the Hammond Family, slaves and other residents of Redcliffe and the importance of their contributions to the history of South Carolina. Programs relating to James Henry Hammond and his role as governor and U.S. senator during the sectional crisis will be highlighted.

Rivers Bridge State Historic Site (Bamberg County)

Tel: (803) 267-3675

Click to view larger image of a student group at Rivers Bridge

This site preserves the battlefield where Confederate troops put up one of the last meaningful defenses against Sherman's army in the closing days of the Civil War. Interpretation focuses on the lives of typical soldiers of the period and how they fought, fed themselves and attempted to survive the perils of combat and disease. A program entitled "A Day in the Life of a Soldier" will reveal how soldiers of the time met their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, and battlefield survival, and how these soldiers became veterans in the process. Lesson activities include: "Writing a Soldier’s Letter;" "Forming Military Companies;" "Enlistment and Training;" and "Civil War Camp Life."

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site (Union County)

Tel: (864) 427–5966

The property and mansion of South Carolina Governor William Henry Gist serve as ideal settings for students to explore the impact of the history of wealthy planters, plantation labor and the land. More generally, Rose Hill reveals the ways in which piedmont South Carolinians used the soil, forests and people to make a living between 1830 and 1930.

The following State Recreation Area is another TAH partner with wonderful history resources.

Lake Greenwood State Recreation Area (Greenwood County)

The beautiful Lake Greenwood lends its name to this park in South Carolina's western Piedmont region. This 914-acre park covers five peninsulas that provide 212 miles of shoreline for lakeside camping, fishing and picnicking. Boating and hiking are other popular activities at the park.

Built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the park still boasts evidence of the CCC craftsmanship in two picnic shelters, the retaining wall at the lake, a boathouse and a water fountain. The park also features a museum dedicated to sharing the story of the CCC in South Carolina.

Discover Carolina Logo

Terry Hurley
Chief of Education and Interpretation

(803) 734-0517

South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201