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Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Located in the heart of downtown Ridgeland in a historic Sinclair Service Station, the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a learning and exhibition center dedicated to preserving and nurturing the history, culture, and spirit of Jasper County and its surrounding counties.

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a non-profit organization funded by the Morris Foundation Trust. Our mission is to cultivate community understanding through education, preservation, and celebration of the region’s rich history and culture. It is a facility where a wide diversity of people can gather to explore and learn about the area’s distinctive sense of place.

Our Mission

Our mission is to cultivate community experiences through education, preservation, and celebration of the region's rich history and culture.  Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a non-profit organization with a goal of community engagement through educational programming and changing exhibits connected to the Lowcountry heritage.

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Founder

Daniel Ollin MorrisIn 1952, Daniel Ollin “Danny” Morris was born into the quaint Tillman community near Ridgeland, South Carolina. Even from a young age, he was a visionary, seeing economic potential in downtown Ridgeland as well as business opportunities along the burgeoning I-95 corridor. When Morris was in his twenties he bought the Tillman School and established an antique refinishing business. Seven years later, he purchased the Floyd Brothers General Store next to the post office and converted it into the first Handy Dan’s convenience store and gas station. Over the years, his varied enterprises revitalized the area and impacted it economically, aesthetically and culturally. He enjoyed bringing new life to old things, even funding a new set of chimes to ring out in the Tillman church.

As much as Danny cared for the future of his community, preserving its past—especially the history and culture of the Lowcountry—was even closer to his heart. He was an active member of the Jasper County Historical Society and led the restoration of many of the county’s historical markers.

Morris died in 2005 at the age of 53. As part of his legacy, he provided the funds for a foundation to capture the spirit of his community and nourish its soul. Today, the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is dedicated to carrying out his dream of creating a place where history and culture, the past and the future, meet to inspire and uplift future generations.


Advisory Board Members

Richard B. Allen

Richard B. Allen is a partner in the law firm of Fraser & Allen LLC.  He practices law in the areas of estate planning, probate, and nonprofit formation, operation and taxation.  He is excited about servicng as Trustee of the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage and pursuing trust founder Danny Morris’ mission of preserving the history and heritage of the Lowcountry.

Leslie Natoli

Leslie Natoli is a retired educator and literacy coach.  Leslie is a volunteer and writes feature articles for this quarterly publication.  She has taught various workshops and classes on plants, monarch buterflies, pollinators, and wreath-making.  She enjoys gardening, walking, painting, and creating numerous crafts.  Leslie’s paintings and artwork are available for purchase at the Morris Center.

Ronald C. Roth

Ronald C. Roth is the former director and CEO of the Reading Public Museum in Reading, PA, and the Nebraska Museum of Art of the University of Nebraska.  He has curated numerous exhibitions in Beaufort, SC, and central PAS.  He was a seasonal historian for the Gettysburg National Military Park and a licensed battlefield guide.  His book on the Civil War in SC Lowcountry was published in 2020.  

Luvenia Witter Youmans

Luvenia Witter Youmans is a native of Jasper County, SC, and a 1978 graduate of Ridgeland High School.  Her love for working with children and families has been fulfilled by working for the Beaufort Jasper EOC Head Start/Early Head Start where she has been employed for 24 years.  She enjoys traveling, listening to music, dancing, sewing, decorating and giving time in her community.

Angela D. Middleton

Angela D. Middleton is a native of Charleston, SC, who has lived in Beaufort County, SC since 2012.  Angela is the wife of Kendrick Middleton and the mother and stepmother of four adult children.  She is engaged in the community through her community outreach program “Teach one reach a million! Educating the community to end human trafficking” and as a newly elected member of the Beaufort County Board of Education.  

Cynthia Brown Robino

Cynthia Brown Robino is a native of Jasper County.  She is a career specialist and work-based learning coordinator with the Jasper County School District where she assists students with a variety of work-based learning opportunities.  In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys reading, travel, music and playing golf.

Octavia R. Wood-Lewis

Octavia R. Wood-Lewis is a retired school teacher and administrator.  She is a volunteer at the Morris Center and writes articles for this quarterly publication.  A lover of creativity, she enjoys sewing, making greeting cards, quilting and more. She owns “Peace Kreations by O,” and her handmade items are available for purchase at the Morris Center.

Emeriti Board Members

Dr. Earl Bostick

Dr. Earl Bostick is a native of Jasper County.  He served in the Vietnam Conflict as a medical lab technician and medical corpsman.  Dr. Bostick practiced dentistry for over 40 years in Ridgeland, where he is a member of various professional and civic organizations and boards.  He also serves as a deacon of the Antioch Baptist Church.

Dianne Morris Echols

Dianne Morris Echols was born and raised in Jasper County.  She began working for Handy Dan’s in 1982, when her brother, Danny Morris, opened the Tillman convenience store.  She retired in 2019 after more than 35 years of service.  Dianne is the proud mom of Marianne and Matthew, and doting grandmother to Harper.  

Museum Staff

Tamara Herring

Tamara Herring
Executive Director
843-284-9227 ext. 104

Kayleigh Vaughn

Kayleigh Vaughn
Director of Exhibitions and Programs
843-284-9227 ext. 103

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

CONTACT

843-284-9227
info@morrisheritagecenter.org

PO Box 1116
Ridgeland, SC 29936


HOURS

Tuesday - Saturday
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday - Monday
Closed

Venue

Discover a Venue Where New Meets Old.  Our new event space offers modern conveniences and vintage elegance.  Celebrate with Style and Ease

Learn More

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