Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Penn Center

Marker ID: SCHM 7-15
Location: Lands End Road (Road 45) in front of Cope Administration Office Building at Penn Center
County: Beaufort
Coordinates: N 32° 23.266    W 080° 34.588
  32.387767    -80.576467
Style: Free Standing **


After Union occupation of the sea islands in 1861, two northerners, Laura Towne and Ellen Murray, came to help the freed blacks of this 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.

One of the first schools for blacks in the South, Penn School opened in 1862 and was reorganized as Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School in 1901. As a result of this change, which incorporated principles 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.

Erected by Penn Club and SC Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism - 1981


Two sided marker