The South Carolina State Museum

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By Steven Jorgensenn

Simply no stop by at Columbia is complete without having a visit the South Carolina State Museum. The museum shows the storyline of the state by way of its art, heritage, and culture. It has displays which will inform and captivate children and adults, and its Stringer Discovery Center comprises lots of hands-on activities.

The museum is situated in a expansive building around the Congaree River that once housed a textile mill. The historic 1894 structure was the first 100 % electric textile mill around the world. Presently the building houses four floors of exhibits. The permanent collections are broken into 4 groups: Art, Natural History, Cultural History, and Science and Technology.

The art inside the museum's Lipscomb Gallery connotes the work of Twentieth century South Carolina artists. Displays in the gallery are adjusted twice a year. The Natural History Collection is popular with youngsters simply because it comprises many dinosaur fossils in addition to the model of an enormous white shark. There are also exhibits showing South Carolina's natural habitats. The Cultural History Collection contains Indian artifacts, remains of colonial settlements, and Civil War exhibits including a replica of a Confederate submarine. There are exhibits on African-American heritage which include slavery and the efforts of African-Americans in the areas of business, education, and the arts. The Science and Technology Collection contains involved exhibits in the areas of aviation, communications, and industrial improvement. The museum also hosts several different special exhibits each and every year.

The South Carolina State Museum supports quite a few special attractions each and every month. Guided tours, movies, children's art camps, and summer mad science camps are a handful of the specific activities offered. Some of these special activities will need an extra fee.

The museum is now creating a Windows to New Worlds development project. Highlights on the development would include a planetarium, an observatory with viewing platform, including a 4-D Theater. The additions to the facility will be a superb educative and social resource for South Carolina's thriving population. The new facilities are slated to open up in 2013.

The South Carolina State Museum is located at 301 Gervais Street. It is open on Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sundays from 1pm-5pm. The museum is open on Mondays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $5 for ages 3-12. Entry is only $1 on the first Sunday of every calendar month. Visitors may acquire lunch in the museum's Crescent Caf, which serves from 10am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday and on $1 Sundays. The museum's gift shop, the Cotton Mill Exchange offers a great variety of decorative items, jewelry, and foodstuffs associated with South Carolina.

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