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Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Fittingly housed in a historic Sinclair Service Station, the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage stands committed to serving our local community and visitors alike while celebrating the region's rich heritage. 

A full calendar of relevant exhibits, exciting programs and special events reflect the spirit of the area and provide avenues for all ages to discover the charm of the Lowcountry.

Our Mission

Our mission is to cultivate community understanding through education, preservation and celebration of the region's rich history and culture.  

Our center is a facility where a wide diversity of people can gather to explore and learn about the area's distinctive sense of place.


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Founder

In 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.

Trustee


Richard B. Allen is a partner in the law firm of Fraser & Allen, LLC and has been certified by the Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law.  Mr. Allen practices law in the areas of estate planning, probate, non-profit formation and operation, and taxation law.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1979 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1982 from the University of South Carolina and a Masters of Law in Taxation from Emory University in 1985.

Originally from York County, South Carolina, he now makes his home in the South Carolina Lowcountry with his wife and three children. He has served on the Session of Elders at Providence Presbyterian Church and on the Board of Directors of non-profits that include the Atlantic Housing Foundation and the Hilton Head Museum (now Costal Discovery Museum) on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Memory Matters (formerly Alzheimer’s Resource and Respite) in Beaufort County.

He is excited about serving as Trustee of the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage and pursuing the Trust founder, Danny Morris' mission of preserving the history and heritage of the Lowcountry for future generations. The Morris Center has the opportunity to support the unity of the Lowcountry communities and to participate directly in the historical experience by the restoration of the 1930’s Sinclair Gas Station as the home of the Morris Center.


Advisory Board Members


Mary Wallace Berry was born at the old Ridgeland Hospital on Green Street in Jasper County. She graduated from Clemson University, with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then furthered her studies at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Medical Library Science.

In 2015, Mary Wallace retired as the Director of Library Services, after 30 years with Presbyterian Hospital (now Novant Health) located in Charlotte, NC. In 2016, she moved to Sun City-Hilton Head to be closer to her family and to the Lowcountry life that she has so loved. Since her return to the area, Mary Wallace now organizes the local Wreaths Across America organization to honor the veterans buried in Jasper County cemeteries.


Mary Lou Brewton is a native of Beaufort, SC. She served as the Vice President of Beaufort County Historical Society, as well as the Vice President of the Beaufort History Museum. 

Most recently, in 2019, she curated an exhibition about The Melody Makers, which was on view at the Morris Center. Her professional background is in marketing and business education. Currently, she resides near Savannah, GA.


Sheree Darien, Founder of Second Chance Community Outreach Business Empowerment Fund, is a noted author, speaker, financial consultant, and certified purpose development coach. Sheree matriculated at Liberty University earning a degree in Business Management and Psychology.  

Under the umbrella of Second Chance Community Outreach, Inc., a registered 501c3 organization, Sheree birthed Second Chance Community Development Financial Institution (SCCDFI) to help small to mid-sized businesses access funding. Sheree currently leads the Walterboro team of REV Federal Credit Union (formerly Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union) where she will continue developing economic partnerships and opportunities within the lowcountry and beyond.


Lou Haley is the owner of Accurate Lithograhy located  in Bluffton SC. Lou spent 22 years as an executive with US Foods, a national foodservice distributor, headquartered in Rosemont IL until 2007. In 2008, he started The Haley Group that provides consulting and representation to food producers to the national broad line foodservice corporate offices. Lou resides in Bluffton with his wife Beth.


Octavia Lewis is a retired school teacher and administrator.  She regularly volunteers her time and talents at the Morris Center, writing articles for the  quarterly publication. A lover of creativity, she enjoys sewing, making greeting cards, quilting and more. She owns “Peace Kreations by O,” and resides in Hardeeville SC with her husband Michael.


Deborah L Mack, PhD is Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships at the National African American Museum of History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. From 2000 to 2012 her national and international professional practice centered around museum and strategic planning, on interpretive and exhibition development, and cultural and heritage tourism.

Dr. Mack served as Georgia Commissioner for the Gullah Geechee National Heritage Commission, Department of the Interior, and as a Lowcountry project advisor for the planned International African American Museum in Charleston SC, Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC, Historic Mitchelville Preservation Foundation on Hilton Head Island, SC and the Owens-Thomas House and Ossabaw Island Foundation in Savannah, GA.


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 is a newly elected member of the Beaufort County Board of Education.  


Suzanne Natoli is a longtime resident of Beaufort County SC, graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in public relations with an emphasis on marketing. Suzanne works in the tourism industry on Hilton Head Island and is the Business Development Manager for Sunset Rentals Hilton Head.  

Suzanne enjoys spending time with her 8-year-old daughter, Emelia, as well as traveling, going to the beach and spending time with family and friends.


Trey Nelson, a native of St. Helena Island is an ever-present figure in the Lowcountry art, business, and media scene. Taking photos, filming, producing music, and publicizing content is his focus as the owner of  SoutherNothings, LLC – a media company and Shots from the Island, LLC – a Photograph business.

He is a creative connector with the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Art of Community – Rural SC Initiative and also works closely with Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton and Hampton County Arts Councils.


Gillian Rowland has resided in Jasper County for over six years. Shortly after moving to the Lowcountry, she began to volunteer at the Morris Center while completing her Human Services degree at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. 

Gillian is currently a Paralegal for the Beaufort County School District. She is also very active in many local recreational activities including softball and kickball with her husband Joshua. 


Ian J. Welch is an artist, printmaker, educator and community arts advocate living and working in Hampton, SC. Welch received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with specializations in Printmaking and Drawing from Bowling Green State University in 2012 and his Master of Fine Arts degree with specializations in Printmaking and Fibers from Northern Illinois University in 2016. Welch has taught at several higher education institutions in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, and was previously the Gallery Curator/Studio Manager for Gathered Glassblowing Studio in Toledo OH.

Welch relocated to South Carolina in 2021 to work as Assistant Professor of Art and Curator of the Fine Art Building (FAB) Gallery at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg SC, but recently stepped away to become an arts advocate and elementary school art teacher in Hampton, SC. Welch also owns and operates Pegboard Press printmaking studio (formerly of Toledo, OH and currently Hampton SC), a small community-based studio dedicated to the advocacy of traditional print media through workshops and publication of artist editions.

Museum Staff


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


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

Whether you’re looking for a classic venue or a well-appointed, roomy conference space, you'll find what you need to make your event special at the Morris Center. 

Learn More

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