“History Harvest” Explores Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movements During Community Celebration at Mosquito Beach

The Mosquito Beach community and Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) will host a “History Harvest” at the Seashore Farmers Lodge, 1745 Sol Legare Rd., from 12 noon-5pm on Saturday, October 27, 2018. The event is free and open to the public. Those who experienced Mosquito Beach from the 1950s through today are invited to bring photographs, souvenirs, memorabilia and their recollections to help organizers better understand and ultimately share the history of this important place through a National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant.

The History Harvest will include demonstrations and activities including: the 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment of African-American troops, net making demonstrations, sweetgrass basket making, food vendors and tours of the historic Seashore Farmers Lodge. Most importantly, historians will collect stories and materials shared by interested attendees. An oral history interview booth, hosted by HCF, will be available for those eager to share memories of times spent at Mosquito Beach.

HCF’s application for “Documenting and Sharing the History of Mosquito Beach and its Role in the Civil Rights Movement” was awarded a prestigious grant by the National Park Service. The project will highlight how a small Gullah Geechee community successfully navigated the Jim Crow south and provided African Americans with a safe sanctuary community in which to live, play and enjoy themselves even within the confines of a segregated society. A strip of marshland on Sol Legare Island/James Island, now in the heart of the federally recognized Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, became a welcoming destination for African Americans who were not permitted to visit other local recreational areas.

An esteemed consultant team including Michael Allen and Brittany Lavelle Tulla will craft a National Register Historic District nomination for the site through research, documentation, photographs, surveys and by conducting oral histories. Following the research phase, plans include the installation of educational panels and a South Carolina state historical marker at the site and the development of a website where research findings and oral histories can be publicly accessed.

This project is partially funded by the African American Civil Rights program of the Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

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