Edisto Beach State Park
8377 State Cabin RD | Edisto Island, SC 29438 | Phone: 843-869-2756 | Fax: 843-869-4428 | edistobeach@scprt.com

History & Interpretation

The Environmental Learning Center

HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION

  • Programs and Guided Tours : Regularly scheduled programs are held at the Environmental Learning Center. Please check our programs and events listings in the left-hand menu for more information.

  • Education Center : With the theme “Choosing to Protect Our Coast,” the Environmental Learning Center helps promote the wise use of coastal resources. It is headquarters for Edisto Beach State Park’s interpretive programs and curriculum-based field studies, and for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ education and research services. An exhibit in the center features interactive displays, which helps visitors understand the fragile resources of the ACE Basin estuarine reserve, the largest such natural reserve on the East Coast.

    The Interpretive Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am- 4pm. To sign up for programs through the center please call 843-869-4430.

  • Native American History : The ancient shell midden located on the park was created by the Edisto Indians. This mound, made up mostly of oyster shells was where the Native Americans deposited of their trash and other unwanted items. The mound dates back to 2,000 B.C.

  • Historical Significance : The US coastline between Maine and the Gulf of Mexico was accurately measured for the first time in the 1840s. The director of the survey was Alexander Bache, great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin. Alexander Bache invented a tool known as the "Bar of Invariable Length" that allowed this survey to take place. The baseline at Edisto was the third of seven lines measured. The baseline markers still exist on Edisto, the oldest intact baseline. Two endpoint markers are still in existence on Edisto Island.

  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) : Yes
  • National Historic Landmark : Yes
  • National Register of Historic Places : Yes
  • Designation : Edisto Beach State Park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal Program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide employment during the Great Depression while addressing national needs in conservation and recreation.

    The CCC was instrumental in the development of many of South Carolina's state parks. A number of buildings built by the CCC in the 1930's are still in use at this park.

  • When & How PRT Acquired : Donated in 1935 by Edisto Company.