Discovery Lecture Series | Coastal Discovery Museum

Discovery Lecture Series

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The Coastal Discovery Museum’s popular Discovery Lecture Series is held most Wednesday at 2:30 (Sept-May). Guest presenters share educational and fascinating stories about our unique Lowcountry environment, history, and culture that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. Whether your interest is learning, preserving, or exploring ways to make an impact, the Lecture Series gives you access to the experts throughout the year.

This year’s speakers will include authors, university professors, artists, environmental educators, historians, museum directors, archivists, librarians, not-for-profit directors, archaeologists, and more as guest speakers enriching our community’s engagement with its culture, history, and ecology. Join us to connect with all the Lowcountry has to offer!

$7 per person.

Reservations are required and may be made by calling 843-689-6767 ext. 223 or by clicking Register Now (above).

February 22nd, 2:30-3:30 - Women in Reconstruction: The Lives of Susie King Taylor, Charlotte Forten, and Laura Towne
Susie King Taylor escapes bondage at the age of fourteen; Charlotte Forten, an educated teacher from Philadelphia, boards a steamship, as does Laura Towne, a Boston medical school graduate. All three end up in Beaufort and the South Carolina Sea Islands in 1862. Three women of different backgrounds, ages, and race. Where did they come from, what did they want, and why did they stay? Each was forever changed by their time in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Their journeys, their writings, their fortitude and passion are inspirational. This program will remind listeners of the power of education and the resourcefulness of women who worked during the era of Reconstruction.
This program is sponsored by South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

March 1st, 2:30-3:30 - Wish You Were Here: Postcards & Local History
The Beaufort County Library’s special collections and archives unit cares for thousands of postcards. Librarian and Archivist Grace Cordial will share tidbits of local history through the lens of postcards produced for sale and distribution by area merchants beginning at the turn of the last century.

March 22nd, 2:30-3:30 – Hilton Head Island Land Trust and the History of Fort Howell
The Hilton Head Island Land Trust, founded in 1987, is a not-for-profit organization that preserves and protects over 300 acres of unique habitat and historical properties on Hilton Head. One of these properties contains Civil War era Fort Howell, the best preserved earthen Civil War fort in South Carolina. Built near the end of the war in 1864, its primary purpose was to protect the Freedman's village of Mitchelville from suspected Confederate raids to recapture former enslaved people who had sought refuge by escaping o the Union Army base on the island.

April 5th, 2:30-3:30 Horseshoe Crabs: A Living Fossil With its tough, helmet-like body and long, pointed tail, the horseshoe crab is one of the most intriguing and misunderstood marine invertebrates found in our marine waters. Join the museum’s Director of Education, Dawn Brut, and dive in with us as we explore the horseshoe crab and investigate the life cycle, adaptations, and current challenges facing this living fossil.

May 10th, 2:30-3:30 – We Wanted to Build Us a House During and after the Civil War, thousands of newly freed African Americans and their allies were subjected to violence at the hands of their former enslavers throughout the South. Places like Memphis, New Orleans, Colfax, Hamburg, Camilla, and Wilmington became scenes of unspeakable horror during Reconstruction – places where African Americans asserted their civil and political rights in the face of adversity. Many of those who were targeted had once donned the US Army uniform to secure their freedom and citizenship in a war that was waged to end slavery, but continued the fight as they sought equality.

Rich Condon is a historian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a BA in public history from Shepherd University. For ten years Rich has worked with a multitude of sites and organizations including The Battle of Franklin Trust, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Flight 93 National Memorial, and, since the Spring of 2020, at Reconstruction Era National Historical Park. He has written for Civil War Times Magazine, The American Battlefield Trust, as well as Emerging Civil War, and operates the Civil War Pittsburgh blog, which focuses on the interpretation of Western Pennsylvania’s role in the American Civil War.

Join us to learn more about this piece of our island history. Our speaker, George Banino, spent his career as a consulting geologist working. He has also had a long interest in history and, since moving to Hilton Head in 2002, particularly in the Civil War. Mr. Banino is the current president of the HHI Land Trust and is leading the way to improve the experience of visitors to Fort Howell. The Land Trust is working to educate people about the Fort, its history and role in protecting Mitchelville and, more broadly, protecting the formerly enslaved as the war ended and the Reconstruction Era was developing.

Check back for more programs - we update the schedule frequently.