Replica Columbus Ships ‘Nina’ and ‘Pinta’ to Sail Into Downtown Beaufort

April 4, 2017 — In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, leading to the discovery of a “New World” and marking the beginning of America’s earliest history. This earliest chapter of our nation’s history – and the local story of 16th century settlement Santa Elena – is shared with visitors daily at the Santa Elena History Center.

On Friday, April 20, the ‘Pinta’ and the ‘Nina’, replicas of Columbus’ Ships, will sail into Port Royal Sound and be open to the public for tours in downtown Beaufort on April 21-25 until departure on April 26.

The ‘Nina’ was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” In 2005, the ‘Pinta’, also a caravel, was launched in Brazil and is known as the first ship to sight land in the New World. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.

Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’ for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world. Before him, the Old World and the New remained separate and distinct continents and ever since their fates have been bound together for better or for worse. The ships allow visitors to see what it was like aboard the ships that carried Columbus and crew across the ocean.

“What a special activity for us to enjoy here in Beaufort this spring, a year after the Santa Elena History Center’s Grand Opening ,” remarks Megan Meyer, Executive Director of the Santa Elena History Center. “We hope many people will take advantage of this unique “sailing museum” to learn about the Columbus ships, and visit the Santa Elena History Center to learn what occurred during the next 100 years – much of which took place right here in Beaufort County.”

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, and $6.00 for students 5 – 16. Children 4 and under are Free. The ships are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. No reservations necessary.
Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call 1-787-672-2152 or email columfnd1492@gmail.com. Minimum of 15 at $5.00 per student.

For more information about the replica ships and Columbus Foundation Inc., visit www.ninapinta.org.

To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, visit https://santa-elena.org.

Newly Discovered Fort on Santa Elena Site Reconstructed for First Time in 440 Years

March 24 2016 – A special unveiling of a 3D Scaled Model of Fort San Marcos, which was built on the Santa Elena site in 1577, will take place Friday, March 24 at the Santa Elena History Center. This never-before-seen reconstruction follows the major announcement by Archaeologists Dr. Chester DePratter and Dr. Victor Thompson, who recently discovered the long-lost fort.

“The search for this fort lasted for 23 years, and finally, last year, we found it. Fort San Marcos was an important landmark in Spain’s attempt to reclaim and hold on to Santa Elena, its northernmost colonial outpost and former capital in the 16th century,” says Dr. DePratter. “Working on this model brought the past to life for me.”

By cross-referencing analysis from the non-invasive archaeology site work, maps found in Spanish Archives, and a detailed description of the fort by a Spanish Inspector General in 1578, Dr. DePratter worked with local model-maker Alex Coplo to build the structure and its contents. The model will be installed within the main exhibit, “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story,” in the historic, former courthouse on Bay Street.

“The continuous emergence of information about a ‘lost century’ of American history, much of which occurred right here in Beaufort County, creates ongoing excitement and opportunity for our community,” remarks Megan Meyer, Executive Director of the Santa Elena History Center. “Thanks to our colleagues and community supporters who have made this project possible, efforts to create a first-class History Center and claim Beaufort’s chapter in early American History are forging ahead.”

The project launches the History Center’s plans to expand the main exhibit with new aspects of this significant 16th century history, along with models, replicas and artifacts to help bring the story to life, preserve the earliest local history, and create a must-see experience for residents and visitors.

The archaeological discovery of Fort San Marcos took multiple years and non-invasive methods by leading archaeologists. The announcement of its location ran in hundreds of news outlets internationally. In the attached press release from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), the University of Georgia, and the Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, further details of the finding are explained.

Local Quilters Master the “Santa Elena Challenge”

March 3, 2017

Beaufort, SC – The most recent product of the Santa Elena Foundation’s efforts to collaborate with the community may surprise you. This year the local Sea Island Quilters accepted a challenge to make quilts with a “Santa Elena” theme.

Now on display are dozens of handmade quilts – true pieces of art – at the Santa Elena History Center. Quilters used their imaginations to create original wall hangings with portrayals of scenes from our local, 16th century history.

“What a neat way to have our local history interpreted,” says Megan Meyer, Santa Elena History Center Director. “This project exemplifies the ripple effect that the increased awareness of the Santa Elena story is having on our great community.”

The unique display will be available for the public’s free viewing from March 1-March 15 on the first floor of the Santa Elena History Center.

To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center and upcoming events, visit https://santa-elena.org.

Tradition Continues with the Santa Elena Regatta

March 3, 2017

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation and the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club will sponsor the Santa Elena Regatta for PHRF sailboats on March 25 and 26, 2017. This event is the major big boat sailing event in Beaufort each year and commemorates 451 years since the founding of Santa Elena on Parris Island in the spring of 1566.

This regatta is a combination of the Jean Ribault Cup which will be sailed on March 25, and the Perdo Menendez Cup on March 26. The Ribault and Menendez Cups are sailed as separate events and the results from them will be combined to determine the winner of the Santa Elena Regatta and the recipient of the Founder’s Cup.

The Founder’s Cup trophy is unique and quite an honor for the winner. Their name will be etched on the base of a bronze statue of Pedro Menendez, Santa Elena founder, which was donated by Count Alvaro Armada of Spain, the 20th generation descendent of Menendez.

Geography not only plays a major role in the historical references but also in the race logistics. The plan is for the Ribault Cup to be sailed in Port Royal Sound and the Menendez Cup in the Beaufort River starting at the Waterfront Park.

“What a great partnership. The Regatta is a wonderful tradition for the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club and, now, the Santa Elena Foundation,” says Megan Meyer, Santa Elena History Center Director. “Its significance is further realized as we think back 450 years ago… when earliest European settlers too sailed into Port Royal Sound to establish their settlements in the New World.”

The regatta is open to boats with a PHRF rating that are at least 22” LOA. Boats that are 18’ LOA and over will be considered on a case by case basis. Trophies will be awarded for both the Ribault and Menendez Cups as well as to the overall winner of the Santa Elena Regatta.

There will be several social events associated with the regatta including a kickoff Skippers Meeting and cocktail party on Friday night before the racing starts, an Awards Dinner on Saturday night and an Awards Presentation on Sunday after the racing is over. All social events will take place at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club.

For more information about the historic, local significance of Pedro Melendez and Jean Ribault, and to learn more about the Santa Elena Foundation visit www.Santa-Elena.org.

To see the Regatta Information and other upcoming events on the Santa Elena calendar, visit https://santa-elena.org/event/the-santa-elena-sailing-regatta/?instance_id=2206.

Full details of the regatta are in the Notice of Race which can be found on the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club web site at http:www.byscnet.com/about/racing/santaelena.

New Exhibit on 16th Century Navigation Unveiled at Santa Elena History Center

For Immediate Release
August 3, 2016

Beaufort, SC – Following an exciting port of call in Port Royal by El Galeon, the replica 16th Century Spanish Ship, and thanks to a grant from Beaufort 300, the Santa Elena History Center is opening a new exhibit titled “A Spanish Galleon’s Voyage.”

Visitors can learn about the preparation and packing of ships that carried hundreds of hopeful settlers and their supplies to the New World during the time of Santa Elena’s founding in 1566. The exhibit includes interpretive panels, video, and a model ship donated by a local family.

“This is another exciting, new feature at the Santa Elena History Center,” says Executive Director Megan Meyer. “All ages will enjoy learning about the ships and life at sea as a significant aspect of the 16th century history that occurred around Beaufort.”

Long-Lost Fort on Santa Elena Site is Discovered  

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 28, 2016
The Santa Elena History Center is commissioning a 3-D Scaled Model of Fort San Marcos to be prominently displayed in the the main exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story.”

To learn more about this project and make a gift of any amount toward the $15,000 goal, please click here.


Fort San Marcos

Fort San Marcos drawing in Archives of the indies in Seville, Spain

July 28, 2016

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation is excited to announce that Dr. Chester DePratter and Dr. Victor Thompson located the long-lost Fort San Marcos, which was built on the Santa Elena site in 1577.

The Santa Elena Foundation supported the effort, which took multiple years and non-invasive methods to make the discovery. In the attached press release from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), the University of Georgia, and the Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, further details of the finding are explained.

“The volunteers, Board members and staff – this entire community who has helped bring this story to life – could not be more excited for Prof. DePratter and Dr. Thompson,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Chariman and CEO. “Days like today are the reason we established the Foundation with a vision to uncover this significant history.”

With plans underway for Phase Two of the Main Exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story,” this emerging information can be incorporated to share more information. The Re-Elect Pedro Menendez Campaign is leading the marketing and fundraising efforts for this expansion of the story.

To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, visit https://santa-elena.org.

Click here to read the article in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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, a 16th Century Spanish settlement and colonial capital in the present-day United States.

Three Beaufort History Museums Forge Visitation Partnership

Beaufort History Museum logoHistoric Beaufort Foundation logoSanta Elena History Center logo small square
Contact:
Carla Marsh
561-376-7651
cmarshpr@earthlink.net
July 6, 2016

For Immediate Release

 

Three Beaufort History Museums Forge Visitation Partnership
Sticker Identification System Assures Discount

            Beaufort, SC – July 6, 2016 – Three museums located in Beaufort’s downtown historic district will now offer visitors the opportunity to receive a discount on tickets.  The Beaufort History Museum, Historic Beaufort Foundation and Santa Elena History Center have forged a partnership and are launching an innovative plan to encourage museum visitation.    Here is how it works:

  • Purchase a full price ticket at any participating museum and receive a sticker from that museum with your ticket.
  • The museum sticker entitles the wearer to $1.00 off full price admission at the other two museums.

The museums are all within easy walking distance of each other and provide a scenic route through Beaufort’s downtown area.  Each has a different mission, distinctive presentation and unique perspective so that a visit to all of the venues enhances learning and deepens the cultural experience:

The Beaufort History Museum: 713 Craven Street (Arsenal) c.1798 – Housed in the historic 1798 Arsenal, the Museum tells the story of the 500-year history in the Beaufort area through artifacts, photos and tours given by knowledgeable docents.
843-379-3079   www.beauforthistorymuseum.com

Historic Beaufort Foundation: 801 Bay Street (Verdier House) c. 1804 – The only planter’s house in Beaufort open to the public. The mission of Historic Beaufort Foundation is to support the preservation, protection and presentation of sites and artifacts of historic, architectural and cultural interest throughout Beaufort County.      843-379-3331   www.historicbeaufort.org

Santa Elena History Center: 1501 Bay Street (Old Courthouse)– More than 40 years before the English settled at Jamestown, the Spanish established a town in 1566 on the shores of Port Royal Sound in present-day Beaufort County. Come to this newly opened interpretive center to learn “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story.” (843) 379-1550   www.Santa-Elena.org

For more information on the Museum Pass Program please call or visit any of the participating organizations or visit their website.

Santa Elena Foundation Announces 450th Commemoration Schedule, Grand Opening of History Center

For Immediate Release
April 4, 2016

Beaufort, SC – During the upcoming month of April 2016, the Santa Elena Foundation will host a series of events, along with partner organizations throughout Beaufort County, to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Santa Elena, the 16th century Spanish town on present-day Parris Island, in 1566. This date was nearly forty years before the founding of Jamestown and about sixty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

The significance of the 450th Commemoration is coupled with the grand opening of the Santa Elena History Center and the inaugural exhibit, “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story.” The events on April 30 fulfill our mission to promote, preserve and discover a lost century of American history. Efforts bring international attention to the story of Santa Elena that is expanded by ongoing discoveries from historical research and archaeology across the Southeast and at the archives of Spain.

Eminent archaeologists and historians from across the country will gather for a Scholars Conference in Beaufort on April 15 to share with the public their studies of early Spanish colonization in America, 16th century exploration of la Florida, and recent archaeological findings.

“The Santa Elena Scholars Conference will be the first time this group of scholars have come together to collaborate and share their knowledge with the general public under one roof,” said Dr. Chester DePratter, Lead Archaeologist for Santa Elena. “Join us at the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Center for the Arts to enjoy this unique opportunity to hear special presentations by those scholars and scientists who made the discoveries.”

As part of the commemorative celebrations, a replica of the flagship that sailed from St. Augustine to settle Santa Elena 450 ago years will return to Port Royal Sound on April 21. The voyage re-enacts the travel by Pedro Menendez de Aviles and hundreds of Spaniard colonists who established Santa Elena as the major settlement in Spanish North America. The floating museum, run by the Nao Victoria Foundation of Spain, will dock at the 11th Street docks in the Town of Port Royal. Public tours of the 170-foot long, 500-ton vessel will be available from 10am to 7pm, April 23 – May 1.

“Over a span of just a few months, the Santa Elena Foundation transformed the old Federal Courthouse Building into an interpretive museum to tell this important history,” said Dr. Andy Beall, Executive Director of the Santa Elena Foundation. “We hope the 450th Commemoration and Grand Opening will launch the History Center into success as an educational and entertaining destination for visitors and local residents.”

Further, the 450th Commemoration of Santa Elena launched a county-wide effort to promote the vast historic and cultural heritage of Beaufort County. Hosted by FirstShore and the local Chambers of Commerce, the 2016 Beaufort County Spring Tour will take place April 24-May 1. Organizations throughout Beaufort County are celebrating the Santa Elena 450th by hosting events themed around Spanish history, the Port Royal Sound, and life throughout the area in the 1500’s.
To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center’s 450th Commemoration, visit https://santa-elena.org/450th-anniversary/.

For information about the Beaufort County Spring Tour, visit http://firstshore.org/site/beaufort-county-spring-tour/.



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, a 16th Century Spanish settlement and colonial capital in the present-day United States.

Special thanks to Beaufort County, Town of Port Royal, Nao Victoria Foundation, O’Quinn Marine, Accion Cultural de Espana, City of Beaufort, Hargray Communications, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, and many organizations and individuals who have supported the Santa Elena project, especially the April 2016 commemoration events.

Santa Elena Foundation Announces Meaningful New Partnership with Local, Industry-Leading Hargray

March 2, 2016

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation and Hargray Communications announced today a multi-year partnership in which Hargray will provide leadership support of the Santa Elena History Center in downtown Beaufort.

With the fast approaching April 2016 grand opening of the Santa Elena History Center’s new exhibit, Hargray leaders decided now is the right time to help bring America’s Untold Story to the community and help the Foundation fulfill its mission to discover, preserve and promote the “lost century” of American History, much of which occurred in present-day Beaufort County.

“The efforts of the Board, volunteers, and supporters of the Santa Elena Foundation over the past two years have focused on opening the Santa Elena History Center and showcasing the inaugural exhibit,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Executive Director. “To have the support of a leading community organization like Hargray to give us a final push at this critical point, is truly remarkable.”

In addition to the Santa Elena History Center ribbon-cutting and grand opening, April will host the 450th commemoration of Santa Elena’s founding in 1566. The month will begin with a regatta for the Jean Ribault and Pedro Menendez Cups, hosted in Port Royal Sound by Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. Then on April 15, scholars from around the United States will confer on Beaufort to provide a day-long Scholars Conference supported by Beaufort County at The Arts Center of Beaufort. Finally, at the end of the month, on April 30, the ribbon will be cut, the public will enjoy the Inaugural Exhibit, and a BBQ Festival and Celebration will be held at the corner of Bladen and North Streets.

Representatives from Hargray will be present to help cut the ribbon and are working closely with the Santa Elena team to further promote the History Center as a key cultural destination in Beaufort County.

“What an important story and unique opportunity for our community,” says Chris McCorkendale, Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development for Hargray. “Our team is proud to partner with the Santa Elena Foundation and help make the History Center a success so that students, residents, and visitors can enjoy access to such a rich resource.”

To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, visit https://santa-elena.org.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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, a 16th Century Spanish settlement and colonial capital in the present-day United States.

Hargray Communications is a leader in the telecommunications industry, dedicated to meeting the communication needs of our residential, business, large enterprise and resort customers. The mission is to envision and deliver customer delight through a team of more than 350 employees, including 100+ service technicians, who all live, work and contribute in our Lowcountry community. Hargray is committed to excellence, delivering the most advanced technology and the best customer service.

Santa Elena Foundation Announces trip to Washington DC to Promote Local History, Regional Effort

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2016

Beaufort, SC – Leaders of the Santa Elena Foundation will travel to Washington DC this week as guests of both the Spanish Embassy and World Bank to share the 16th century story of Spanish colonization. Joining the Santa Elena team are Dr. Michael Francis from University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Florida and Dr. David Moore from the Exploring Joara Foundation in Morganton, NC.

“What an honor to travel to our nation’s capital and be sponsored by the Spanish Embassy and World Bank. This is a great achievement for our team and helps further the mission to promote and preserve the story of Santa Elena,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Executive Director of the Santa Elena Foundation. “Additionally, sharing this opportunity with colleagues from Florida and North Carolina brightens the spotlight on the significance of this regional story of our heritage.”

At the World Bank on Friday, February 26, the group will present an overview of the Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine stories. Then the focus will transition to the “Heritage Tourism” research that brings further community benefit to an educational and cultural gem. For more information about this event, or to register to view the presentation online, visit: https://collaboration.worldbank.org/events/2502.

On Saturday, February 27 the group will participate in “Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S.,” an exhibition organized by the Fundacion Consejo Espana-Estados Unidos in partnership with the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana (National Library of Spain). This will be an opportunity present the facts from research and archaeology that tell the complex story of Spanish colonization in the 16th century. For more information on this event, visit: http://www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/designing-america/.

“This is a unique opportunity to merge our local efforts together and present a cohesive story,” says Dr. David Moore, Archaeologist for Exploring Joara Foundation. “There are great benefits educationally, culturally, and economically for the general public to have a better understanding of the historical events at Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine.”

All of the organizations are focused on working collaboratively to bring attention to a significant chapter of American History. Many facts continue to emerge through present-day research and archaeology as each organization furthers its mission.

To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, visit https://santa-elena.org, and for the Exploring Joara Foundation, visit www.ExploringJoara.org.


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, a 16th Century Spanish settlement and colonial capital in the present-day United States. Representatives for the Washington DC trip include Executive Director Dr. Andy Beall, Director of Development Megan Meyer, and Board Member Stu Rodman.

The Exploring Joara Foundation is committed to promoting public archaeology in the upper Catawba and Yadkin river valleys of western North Carolina. Our mission is to support research, education, and outreach on preservation of our past. The foundation is dedicated to finding and protecting archaeological resources, while fostering an understanding and appreciation for archaeology in the community. Representing the Explore Joara Foundation in Washington DC is Dr. David Moore, lead Archaeologist.

As the Hough Family Chair of Florida Studies at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Historian Dr. Michael Francis will represent the historical perspectives and research on St. Augustine, Florida.

Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Awards Grant to Santa Elena Foundation

Exhibit2-960For Immediate Release
December 7, 2015

Beaufort, SC –The Board of Directors of the Santa Elena Foundation are excited to announce a partnership with Community Foundation of the Lowcountry – the newest member of the Santa Elena Founders Society – through their $30,000 grant to support the inaugural exhibit at the Santa Elena History Center.

Set to open in April 2016, the initial exhibit will occupy the second floor of the Santa Elena History Center, the former site of a District Federal Courthouse, at 1501 Bay Street in downtown Beaufort. The exhibit was originally developed by a Spanish Government Agency. A local team working with The History Workshop, a renowned museum design firm, will present an expanded exhibit to best tell the story of Santa Elena.

Visitors may learn many perspectives of Santa Elena and the 16th century settlement activity that occurred throughout the Lowcountry. The exhibit will focus on the race by Europeans to claim this territory, the Spanish town of Santa Elena for 21 years, and archaeology rediscovering this important, little-known history.

“Our wonderful
team spent months on the acquisition and planning for this extraordinary exhibit; generous support from Community Foundation of the Lowcountry helps with the final phases of this journey – construction and installation,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Santa Elena Foundation Executive Director. “Our community of supporters make this project possible, and this grant provides a big step toward our goal. We are very grateful to Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, and excited to move forward with our plans.”

Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, founded in 1994, has a mission to strengthen the community by connecting people, resources, and needs. During the current competitive grants cycle, over $157,000 was awarded to five local non-profit organizations.

The mission of the Santa Elena Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, is to discover, promote, and preserve the “Lost Century” of European colonization through the story of Santa Elena. The Foundation is focused on growing its family of volunteers and supporters to help bring this story and History Center to life.

To learn more about the Santa Elena Foundation, see plans for the inaugural exhibit, register for programs, or offer support of this important cause, please visit https://santa-elena.org.

Register today for special programs at the Santa Elena History Center

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For Immediate Release
October 19, 2015

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation is excited to announce unique opportunities for the general public to attend programs at the new Santa Elena History Center in downtown Beaufort.

Through the Programs page of the Santa Elena website (www.santa-elena.org), the public can register for classes including a focus on archaeology, expeditions that stemmed from Santa Elena, the evolution of 16th century maps, Spanish wines and tapas tastings, or the kid-friendly “Camp Dig It,” just to name a few. There are a variety of interesting programs to choose from and the catalog is growing every day. Advance registration is encouraged as space may be limited.

All program presenters are experts in their field; from Beaufort’s very own Dr. Larry Rowland to archaeologists Dr. Chester DePratter and Dr. David Moore, program participants are in for a treat as these knowledgeable and interesting presenters share perspectives and findings related to the early American history that is emerging.

Through a partnership with the Heritage Library on Hilton Head Island, the program series will also include courses on ancestry research and genealogy, and soon a branch of the Heritage Library will be established within the Santa Elena History Center.

“The Santa Elena Program Series will launch the Santa Elena History Center as being open to the public and filled with activities and learning opportunities,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Santa Elena Foundation Executive Director. “We invite everyone to join us and register for programs as we strive to better understand Santa Elena and the ‘lost’16th century. We are grateful for the volunteers, presenters and supporters that have made this program series possible.”

The Santa Elena Program Series is supported by The Humanities CouncilSC. The mission of The Humanities CouncilSC is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. The Humanities CouncilSC receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as corporate, foundation, and individual donors. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.

The mission of the Santa Elena Foundation is to discover, promote, and preserve the “Lost Century” of European colonization through the story of Santa Elena. The Foundation is focused on growing its family of volunteers and supporters to help bring this story and History Center to life.

To learn more about the Santa Elena Foundation, register for programs, or offer support of this important cause, please visit https://santa-elena.org/programs.

Beaufort County Tourism Research to be presented at Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA) Annual Conference

Dr. Andrew J. Beall lo2014  Professor Charlie Calvert lo

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2015

BEAUFORT, S.C. – Dr. Andrew J. Beall, Executive Director of the Santa Elena Foundation, and Dr. Charles L. Calvert, Chair of the University of South Carolina Beaufort Department of Hospitality and Tourism, are invited to present tourism research at the 35th Annual Conference of the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA). The RCRA Board of Directors accepted the two researchers as presenters at the 2015 National Conference to be held at Captiva Island, Florida on November 7 -11.

The Santa Elena Foundation, organized in 2014, is dedicated to research and public education. The Foundation will open an interpretive center this year and plans to open an inaugural exhibit in 2016, the 450th commemorative year of the founding of a Spanish settlement in the Port Royal Sound. Beall and Calvert investigated the likely economic impact of history and cultural tourism on Beaufort County from a new Santa Elena History Center. The success of comparable history centers, parks, and monuments was investigated first, leading to the conclusion that 50,000 or more annual visitors will be attracted to a new feature in Beaufort County.

After completing the initial study conducted in 2014, the researchers recommended visitor demand be tested further. Two questions were added to the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce visitor survey. Respondents recorded overwhelming interest to visit a new history center dedicated to the interpretation of 16th Century European settlement in the area of Port Royal Sound.

Beall and Calvert will present their tourism research at the upcoming RCRA National Conference to explain how cultural and history tourism is an economic driver for the local community. Fully developed, the planned Santa Elena History Center may be the catalyst for a 5-10% increase in hospitality-related jobs in northern Beaufort County.

Casa of the Brave? (article by Island Packet)

Pieces of the Past: Story of Santa Elena emerges in fragments (article by Island Packet)

 

SANTA ELENA HISTORY CENTER One of Beaufort’s Coolest Attractions Awaits

From Dude Magazine:

Santa-Elena-and-Alvaro-ArmaThis is a very exciting time for those who have been involved in the formation of the Santa Elena Foundation. Not only have they secured a solid board of directors of some of the greatest historians of our time, that know tremendous amounts information about the 16th century, they have also secured the old federal courthouse on Bay Street, in beautiful downtown Beaufort. This will be the home of the soon to be opened Santa Elena History Center. DUDE, you are going to love this place! (read more – download article)

Additions Announced for Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors

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For Immediate Release
October 5, 2015

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation announces that Mr. Greg Dyson, Lt. Gen. Jack Klimp and Dr. Martha Moriarty are the three newest members of the Board of Directors, and each brings a skillset, background and passion that will be uniquely beneficial to advancing the mission of the Santa Elena Foundation.

Gregory W. Dyson, Lt. Col U.S.Army (retired), has been a businessman in Beaufort County since 1990. He holds business degrees from The Citadel (BS) and Boston University (MS). Greg and his wife Sarah reside on Lady’s Island. They have been active in many local civic and charitable organizations for the past 25 years to include the Boys and Girls Club of the Lowcountry, United Way, YMCA, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation, Boy Scouts, Friends of the Beaufort County Library, Rotary Club of Beaufort, and The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort.

Lieutenant General Jack W. Klimp served in the United States Marine Corps for thirty-three years. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. degree and also holds M.A. degrees in Public Administration and National Security and Strategic Studies. During his career in the Marine Corps, he held multiple command and staff positions including operational tours in Vietnam, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Somalia where he commanded Task Force Mogadishu. From 1993 to 1995 we was the Commanding General here at Parris Island. Since retirement from the Marine Corps he has led a number of non-profit organizations as President and CEO. These included drug rehabilitation programs at Phoenix House and Second Genesis, two trade associations, the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and a veteran advocacy organization, the National Association for Uniformed Services. General Klimp comes to the Santa Elena Foundation having sat as a board member of numerous non-profit boards of directors.

Dr. Martha A. Moriarty is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Her responsibilities include managing a number of academic initiatives including new academic degree program development and directing institutional effectiveness for the university. She serves on a number of university committees and is the Institutional Accreditation Liaison to the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Prior to her position as Associate Vice Chancellor, she worked for the University of South Carolina Graduate School, serving as the Associate Director of the Extended Graduate Campus and the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching degree program on the Historic Beaufort Campus. Dr. Moriarty has served on numerous accreditation committees for the SACSCOC, has consulted with a number of institutions on accreditation issues, and has presented at regional conferences.
The mission of the Santa Elena Foundation is the discovery, preservation, and promotion of the “Lost Century” of European colonization through the international story of Santa Elena, the 16th Century la Florida settlement that became the colonial Spanish capital in present-day United States. The Foundation is currently focused on establishing the Santa Elena History Center at 1501 Bay Street, planning celebrations for the upcoming 450th anniversary, and continuing research, archaeology and educational outreach.

 

SC Social Studies Teachers Become Students & Learn Santa Elena Story at State Conference

logoFor Immediate Release
September 25, 2015

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation’s mission to “revise history” took another step forward today as South Carolina teachers gathered in Greenville for the annual Council on Social Studies conference.

Dr. Charles Cornett, the Foundation’s Education Director, explained the “lost century” of American history, emphasizing the Spanish-established Santa Elena on Parris Island in 1566, decades before Plymouth and other English settlements, and clarified how Spain’s goals transcended the subsequent commercial focus of the French and English.

When one teacher asked if early American History was being taught incorrectly, Dr. Cornett responded that current curricula is incomplete in this perspective. K-12 and college textbooks used nationwide, including those in South Carolina, do not include details about Santa Elena and related activities during the earliest years of American colonization.

“The victors traditionally have been the major authors of history, and the English won,” Cornett said. “But we now have hard evidence to correct the history.” He then referred to archaeological artifacts unearthed on Parris Island and a treasure trove of the primary sources documents, like letters written by King Philip II of Spain and Santa Elena’s founder Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

Beaufort County teachers like Keith Weaver, from Robert Smalls International Academy, are already teaching the more complete American colonization narrative. During the “Window on the Atlantic” conference session about Santa Elena, Weaver reported on a project with his students in which they studied the facts and prepared interview questions to use at press conference with Spanish Count Alvaro Alvaro Armada Barcaiztegui, direct descendent of Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

“I kept telling them to dig deeper,” Weaver said. “And they did.”

The students Weaver brought to meet the Spanish Count asked whether Spanish students were taught about Santa Elena and questioned his ancestor’s behavior and conquests. The teachers at the Social Studies Conference were amazed.

“I didn’t know any of this,” one teacher responded, pointing to a set of bullet points about Santa Elena’s history.

The session concluded with a review of resources available at the Santa Elena Foundation website, including a short video and a link to materials for educators that includes an in-depth, standards-based lesson plan developed by the National Parks Service, and how to teach Santa Elena history using inquiry and project approaches. Dr. Cornett also shared information about the Santa Elena partnership with Beaufort Middle School which is uniquely integrating Santa Elena into its Classical Studies program.

The website will continue to grow into an exciting resource for students and teachers. Furthermore, students will be able to experience unique learning opportunities with a visit to the Santa Elena History Center, opening next spring in downtown Beaufort, South Carolina.

Meet Spanish Count Alvaro Armada in September

Beaufort, SC – The Santa Elena Foundation is excited to announce the unique opportunity for the general public to meet Spanish Count Alvaro Armada, the current Adelantado of la Florida and direct descendent of 16th century founder of Santa Elena, Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

Upcoming “Meet & Greet” events include:
Wednesday, September 9
-10:00 A.M. short program followed by Q&A
-Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island
Friday, September 11
-1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. drop-in and Q&A
-Beaufort History Museum, Downtown Beaufort Arsenal

The public is welcome to come during these times to meet the Count, learn about him and his lineage, and better understand the efforts to bring Santa Elena, the 16th century settlement on Parris Island, into the spotlight as an important aspect of the founding of America.

“This is only the second time in as many years that the Count has visited Beaufort, and we’d like to share this opportunity with the public,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Santa Elena Foundation Executive Director. “It is a critical time for our Foundation – we are working diligently to open the Santa Elena History Center and prepare for the 450th anniversary in April 2016. We are grateful to our partner organizations for hosting these exciting events.”

The Coastal Discovery Museum, a partner of the Santa Elena Foundation, is located at Honey Horn Plantation on Hilton Head Island and is a community based, educational institution dedicated to fostering greater knowledge and appreciation of the cultural heritage and natural history of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. On site of the museum, visitors can also see a Marsh Tacky horse, a breed that descended from Spanish horses that were brought here in the 16th century.

The Beaufort History Museum, also a partner of the Santa Elena Foundation, is located in downtown Beaufort in the Arsenal on Craven Street. It is chartered by the City of Beaufort to share the deep and rich history of the Beaufort District. Among its many exhibits is an introduction to the story of Santa Elena and the 16th century settlement activity in the Beaufort area.

The mission of the Santa Elena Foundation is to discover, promote, and preserve the “Lost Century” of European colonization through the story of Santa Elena. The Foundation is focused on growing its family of volunteers and supporters to help bring this story and History Center to life.