Summerville Dorchester Museum, Summerville

#8 of 12 in Things to do in Summerville
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Summerville-Dorchester Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of our region and heritage through guided tours of the museum, lectures, demonstrations, exhibits and research.

Our visitors increasingly include new residents who want to learn about local geography, natural and cultural history, as well as those from distant states, both of whom are amazed to learn that Summerville was once underneath the ocean, and that a wooly mammoth and camels roamed nearby.

Museum volunteers work closely with all populations, from school district and home-schooled children to senior bus tours. Speakers are reaching beyond the historical community to the Rotary Clubs, libraries, churches and even restaurants. The exhibits range from the story of the pine trees, to the story of the tea farm, to the garden house of Saul Alexander, a local legend.

A sign of our success is that foot traffic just in the museum has far more than doubled in the past year. Local people have stepped up to create an active volunteer cadre (greeters, gardeners, builders and speakers). Increased publicity efforts are bringing the public to a museum they didn’t know existed five years ago. The museum is bustling these days!

We house a small research collection of county-related books, maps and documents that could be enhanced. People who just bought a house in Old Summerville come to us hoping to find old plots, deeds and photos; sometimes they are thrilled to find what they sought.

The board is also coordinating with the Dorchester County Archives and History Center in St. George to create a comprehensive local history educational plan. A vision of a county history center that would include an archival records collection and a library of books and materials of local interest is being enthusiastically pursued.

Like all small museums, our dreams and plans are only limited by funding. Local black and Indian artwork, train lore, and military artifacts are among the treasures we hope to increase. We hope the Junior Service League will partner with us in this valuable community effort!
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Summerville Dorchester Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
31 reviews
  • Lots of history of Summerville and Dorchester County. Great pictures and memorabilia. Good start to tour the town and surrounding area. Right downtown with great shopping and walking.  more »
  • This is a small, low-tech but beloved chunk of Summerville and its storied past. Come here when you have a little time so you can enjoy being walked around by one of the dedicated and knowledgeable...  more »
  • I've always enjoyed History in its many forms possible. So being able to know the history of the town Í live in is awesome, and it's even better when you can learn all about it in such a likeable place and with the help of wonderful people.
  • Small local museum with friendly employees. We went for a fossil program that was fun for my son.
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