“America's Very First Museum”
Welcome to The Charleston Museum, America's First Museum, founded in 1773. Its mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. We invite you to explore this rich, varied history at the Museum and its two National Historic Landmark houses. All are located downtown, in America's Most Historic City. Located in the downtown Historic District, within the area of the original walled city, this brick double house was built in 1772 by rice planter Daniel Heyward as a town-house for his son, Thomas Heyward, Jr.The City rented it for George Washington's use during the President's week-long Charleston stay, in May 1791, and it has traditionally been called the "Heyward-Washington House."Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809) was a patriot leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and artillery officer with the South Carolina militia during the American Revolution. Captured when the British took Charleston in 1780, he was exiled to St. Augustine, Florida, but was exchanged in 1781. Heyward sold the house in 1794. It was acquired by the Museum in 1929, opened the following year as Charleston's first historic house museum, and was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
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The Heyward-Washington House
- Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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