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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

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a non-profit organization with a mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the history and culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry by providing learning opportunities to its citizens and visitors. 

The Center carries out this mission by cultivating community understanding through the education, preservation, and celebration of region’s rich cultural heritage and by ensuring the Center welcomes a wide diversity of people who can gather to explore and learn about the area’s distinctive sense of place.

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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.


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 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.

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.

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. 

Dr. Mary Stratos leads curriculum and development for the Beaufort County School District and guides and supports our teacher to effectively facilitate learning and provide all students an access to high quality education that leads to post-secondary and career development. Her goal, and the goal of all Beaufort County School District teachers is to instill educational experiences that transcend student's future, and instill learning that is aligned with innovation in the context of global enterprise and mindedness.

Responsible for the assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum, and coordinating special programs, the Instructional Services Team supports administrators, teachers, and other instructional personnel as they engage our students in quality learning experiences. Instructional Services works collaboratively and interactively with district staff members to implement academic standards, monitor and assess student programs and progress, and facilitate effective teaching practices that will lead to higher achievement and academic success for our students.

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




PO Box 1116
Ridgeland, SC 29936


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


10782 S. Jacob Smart Blvd.
Ridgeland, SC 29936

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