Santa Elena Foundation launches new digs on Bay Street

Santa Elena Foundation Board
Santa Elena Foundation Board

By Lanier Laney

The Santa Elena Foundation, known for uncovering the earliest settlement in North America that predates both Jamestown and Plymouth Rock when excavating at a dig site on Parris Island, launched their new museum last week.

“Celebrate the Space” was the inaugural event for the Santa Elena Foundation in its new home – the old federal courthouse at 1501 Bay Street – which will be transformed into the Santa Elena History Center. The event included supporters, volunteers, committee members, and Board and Advisory Board members who all came together to receive a grand tour of the building and learn about its upcoming transformation. A crowd of about 200 enjoyed Spanish Tapas from Saltus, Spanish wines from El Tac-ar-on, and music with a Spanish flair by The Cluster Shucks.

During the event, Dr. Daryl Ferguson was honored as Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the St. Elena Foundation.

Executive Director of the Museum, Dr. Andy Beall, announced the kick-off for the next major chapter in establishing the Santa Elena History Center. “Phase one will occur in November 2015 with a program series, initial exhibit, and archaeology station on the first floor in conjunction with the 450th anniversary of the Santa Elena settlement. The second phase will show the full exhibit on the second floor in April 2016.”

Kudos to event sponsors Saltus River Grill, Lowcountry Real Estate, Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort, El Tac-ar-on Trading, and Murr Printing. For more information or learn about volunteer opportunities, go to santa-elena.org

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