St. Helena in Beaufort County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
One of the first schools for blacks in the South, Penn School, was reorganized as Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School in 1901. As a result of this change, incorporating principals of education found at both Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes, Penn became an international model. Its program was removed to the Beaufort County school system in 1948.
After Union occupation of the sea islands in 1861, two northerners, Laura Towne and Ellen Murray, came to assist the freed blacks of the area establishing Penn School here in 1862. The earliest known black teacher was Charlotte Forten, who traveled all the way from Massachusetts to help her people.
Erected 1981 by Penn Club and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreaction and Tourism. (Marker Number 7-15.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Martin Luther King, Jr., and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 32° 23.266′ N, 80° 34.588′ W. Marker is in St. Helena, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (State Highway S-7-45), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at Penn School site at the Penn Center.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Great Sea Island Storm (within shouting distance of this marker); In Honor Of Edith M. Dabbs and James McBride Dabbs (within shouting distance of this marker); Chapel of Ease (approx. 0.8 miles away); Emancipation Day • Camp Saxton Site (approx. 6.1 miles away); Brigadier General Stephen Elliott CSA (approx. 6.2 miles away); Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge (approx. 6.2 miles away); Beaufort South Carolina Tricentennial (approx. 6.2 miles away); First Fort (approx. 6.2 miles away).
Regarding Penn School. National Register Of Historic Places :
Penn Center Historic District *** (added 1974 - District - #74001824)
Also known as Penn School
S of Frogmore on SC 37, Frogmore
♦ Historic Significance: Event
♦ Area of Significance: Social History, Engineering, Black, Politics/Government
♦ Period of Significance: 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924
♦ Owner: Private
♦ Historic Function: Education
♦ Historic Sub-function: School
♦ Current Function: Education, Recreation And Culture, Social
♦ Current Sub-function: Civic, Museum, School
Also see . . .
1. Penn Center. Penn School, Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974 (Submitted on March 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. Penn Center - Organizational History. ... During the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference chose Penn as a training site for retreat and strategic planning. The Peace Corps and the Conscientious Objector Programs used the site for training, lodging, planning and community service. By the early 80s, it became Penn Center, an agency linked to the past and connected to the future. Today, it fosters a vision of shared culture, preserved history and attainable world harmony. Its mission is to preserve the unique history, culture and environment of the Sea Islands through serving as a local, national and international resource center, and by acting as a catalyst for the development of programs for self-sufficiency. (Submitted on June 27, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Charlotte Forten:
Categories. • African Americans • Education • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,327 times since then and 44 times this year. Last updated on June 27, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5. submitted on May 3, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.