Beaufort County Leases Historic Federal Courthouse to The Santa Elena Foundation

BEAUFORT, S.C., March 9, 2015 – Beaufort County Council voted unanimously today to lease its historic Federal Courthouse to the Santa Elena Foundation, whose mission is the discovery, preservation, and promotion of the “lost 100 years of European colonization” through the international story of Santa Elena, the 16th Century settlement and colonial capital on present-day Parris Island in the United States. (Read More – Download Press Release)

 

Beaufort County tendering lease with Santa Elena Foundation for historic courthouse

From the Beaufort Gazette:

“Beaufort County leaders are putting the finishing touches on a proposed lease to turn the old federal courthouse in Beaufort into a history museum and the main offices for the Santa Elena Foundation.

The plan would give the foundation its first real headquarters and jump-start its efforts to preserve the history of Santa Elena, a 16th-century Spanish settlement in Port Royal, foundation director Andy Beall said.”

Spanish Count Of Guemes To Visit Beaufort

For Immediate Release

Alvaro Armada Barcaiztegui

SPANISH COUNT OF GÜEMES TO VISIT BEAUFORT

The Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors will welcome board member Álvaro Armada Barcaiztegui on his first visit to Beaufort later this month. Sr. Armada is a direct descendent of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the 16th century Adelantado Mayor of La Florida (governor general) and founder of Santa Elena. Sr. Armada is the Count of Güemes and is to be named the IX Count of Revilla-Gigedo and XX Adelantado Mayor of La Florida by His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain.

Álvaro Armada will spend several days in Beaufort County and will meet with members of the news media Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. in the first floor conference room of the Beaufort College Building on the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Historic Beaufort Campus. The Beaufort College Building is located at 801 Carteret St.

Sr. Armada dedicates his time to the promotion of 500 years of distinguished family history and public service. The count is curator of a private archive of original documents, one of the most important private collections in Spain. He shares with the Santa Elena Foundation considerable international leadership experience and a personal connection to the history of Spanish colonization in North America.

Organized by local business leaders, civic leaders and scholars, the Santa Elena Foundation promotes the history of the arrival of Europeans on the North American coast. Spanish settlers established the community of Santa Elena in 1569 as the first colonial capital in America. The story of European rivals struggling for dominance in North America involved French, Spanish and English explorers and their interactions with nations of Native American people. The Santa Elena Foundation is dedicated to sharing the little known history of this “lost century” through archaeological research, a cultural interpretive center and a living history museum.

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The Santa Elena Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The mission of the foundation is to expand the story of European colonization of North America through discovery, preservation and promotion of Santa Elena, the first colonial capital in the present-day United States.

Dr. Charles Cornett joins Santa Elena Foundation to help educators expand colonial curriculum

Dr Charles Cornett  2014August 8, 2014, Beaufort, South Carolina – The Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors welcomes Dr. Charles Cornett as Director of Historical Education. Cornett, a retired school superintendent, will serve on the Foundation’s advisory board and coordinate education outreach.

“Our goal is to align American understanding of our colonial past with historical evidence, particularly archaeological evidence that confirms the Spanish established the Santa Elena settlement on Parris Island circa 1566,” explained Cornett. “Santa Elena predates Jamestown and Plymouth by decades. Unfortunately, while school history texts describe the Pilgrims’ arrival and First Thanksgiving—with their cast of English characters—they say little about life at the earlier Santa Elena, a Spanish town that existed for twenty years. Of course in the past, only the victors wrote the history.” Cornett is facilitating the implementation of the National Park Services (NPS) Santa Elena curriculum by encouraging educators to use and enhance what he calls “inquiry-based” lesson plans that engage students in discussion, analysis of maps, use of the Internet and much more. In particular, he points to how the NPS plans seek to have students synthesize conclusions and apply new learning. For example, students are challenged to find ways to educate their own communities.

“The Santa Elena story should be a point of pride for South Carolinians and all Hispanic students,” Cornett said. “Santa Elena’s 450-year anniversary comes up in 2016 and we hope to have made real progress by then. The National Park Services will soon release a resource for teachers, including web-based lessons plans that challenge students to delve into the fascinating history of Santa Elena.

Spanish Count of Güemes joins Santa Elena Foundation Board

Alvaro Armada BarcaizteguiJuly 29, 2014, Beaufort, South Carolina – The Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors welcomed Álvaro Armada Barcaiztegui to the foundation board. Sr. Armada is a direct descendent of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the 16th Century Adelantado Mayor of La Florida (governor general) and founder of Santa Elena. Sr. Armada is the Count of Güemes and is to be named the IX Count of Revilla-Gigedo and XX Adelantado Mayor of La Florida by His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain.

Organized by local business leaders, civic leaders, and scholars, the Santa Elena Foundation promotes the history of European arrival on the North American coast. French construction of Charlesfort on Parris Island by Jean Ribault in 1562 drew a Spanish response. Spanish settlers established the community of Santa Elena in 1569, the first colonial capital in America. The story of European rivals struggling for dominance in North America involved French, Spanish, and English explorers and their interactions with nations of Native American peoples. The Santa Elena Foundation is dedicated to sharing the little known history of this “lost century” through archaeological research, a cultural interpretive center, and a living history museum.

Sr. Armada dedicates his time to the promotion of 500 years of distinguished family history and public service. The Count is curator of a private archive of original documents, one of the most important private collections in Spain. The archive he believes should be the basis for a new museum in the Asturias region of northern Spain dedicated to historic research. Sr. Armada serves a board member for MAPFRE PRAICO Corporation and CEO of Tourist and Cultural Project Development in Madrid. He brings to the Santa Elena Foundation considerable international leadership experience.