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Dorchester Heritage Center receives 2020 Preservation Service Award

County History Center compiling veteran database, war artifacts

Museum volunteer David Dement explains the history behind one of the exhibit's uniforms. A local history buff, Dement has been instrumental in creating the displays and developing the database.

Preservation South Carolina Honors Dorchester Heritage Center with 2020 Preservation Service Award

On January 15, 2021, Michael Bedenbaugh, President, Preservation SC, notified Phyllis Hughes, Chairperson, that the Dorchester Heritage Center, located in St George SC, was the winner of the 2020 Historic Preservation Service Award.

2020 will be forever remembered for the extreme impact of the global pandemic virus COVID-19. In South Carolina, the first thoughts are to those that have lost family members to this dreadful disease. In addition to the human carnage, the State has also suffered a severe impact on our economy and business continuity.

Despite having to close the museum and archives to appointments only and limiting the number of daily guests they can receive; the Dorchester Heritage Center continues to strive forward with its mission. Through these difficult times the efforts of the staff remained focused to preserve today for tomorrow the artifacts, documents and photos of our rich local history and culture. President Bedenbaugh stated “The South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Preservation South Carolina and the office of the Governor applaud your exceptional accomplishments in preservation, rehabilitation, and interpretation of South Carolina's architectural and cultural heritage.”

The award recognizes the Center had accessioned 192,000 documents and objects and prepared exhibits for the museum.

The museum opened to the public in January 2017 with a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution called “The Way We Worked.”

This was the debut for the exhibit in South Carolina and stands as a testament to the professionalism with which the Center has approached their mission.

The Dorchester Heritage Center represents a tireless commitment to historic preservation service.

Their vision to have “every man, woman, and child mentally and emotionally engaged in the effort of preservation” through innovative leadership, education, and programs has had significant, long-term impacts on the county and the state.

Unfortunately, the award committee was not able to hold the annual award ceremony with the Governor and reception due to COVID-19, and the center received its award certificate by mail.

If you would like to learn more about the Dorchester Heritage Center and discover the rich history of the Inland Lowcountry, visit our website: or call 843-931-1021 to schedule a visit.