Hours and Admission

Admission: Free

Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm Daily
Closed New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

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PhoneMuseum: 843-228-2951

PhoneGift Shop: 843-228-2166

Historical & Museum Society


The Historical & Museum Society supports the Parris Island Museum by providing for the preservation, perpetuation, publication and display of manuscripts, books, relics, pictures and other objects of historical significance.

Donations, Membership and Gift Shop purchases allow the Historical & Museum Society to support the Museum.  Visit our site to learn more: PIHMS


Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Early Explorations

Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, but it was at least 20 years before Europeans began seriously exploring the coast in our region. Several Spanish explorers sailed to the area after 1514.

In 1525 Pedro de Quexos named a point of land jutting out from what is now Port Royal Sound "La Punta de Santa Elena." In 1526, Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón attempted to found a colony of about 600 people somewhere along the coast bwteen Georgia and South Carolina, named "San Miguel de Guadalpe."

After Ayllon's deathlater that year, and facing a lack of supplies, diseases, and conflict with local Indians, about 150 survivors returned to Hispaniola

The colonial towns on the map at the right were founded several dacades later, with Charlesfort, here on Parris Island, being the earliest of them, founded in 1562.

Charlesfort-Santa Elena

While at the Parris Island Museum visitors are welcome to explore the French and Spanish colonial sites of Charlesfort (1562-1563) and Santa Elena (1566-1587).

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