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How much do you know about the meaning and significance of Juneteenth? The Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863 but it only freed the slaves in the Confederate states that had seceded. And even then, it had little to no effect in parts of the Confederacy that weren’t under control by Union troops.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas. 

The 13th Amendment, abolishing all slavery in the United States wasn’t ratified and implemented until December 6, 1865. This information is from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. To read the entire article CLICK HERE.

You may also want to check out Juneteenth National Independence Day by the National Park Service and Juneteenth: The History, by the New York Times.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021.


Into the Woods….

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The June 13th edition of the Daniel Island News has an article on efforts to rediscover, restore and preserve a once lost African American cemetery on the Cainhoy peninsula.

“Archaeologist Luke Pecoraro took a step into the heavily wooded forest behind Philip Simmons High School.

His right hand gripped a suitcase.

His left hand clutched a machete.

With the blade in hand, Pecoraro and his archaeology team walked through a half mile of thick, unfamiliar brush, taking turns lugging the suitcase.

They dodged and ducked between limbs and branches.

The machete not raised once.

The team reached its destination amid a pocket of trees just between the school’s baseball stadium and a cluster of homes in Nelliefield Plantation.

They found it. 

A once-lost African American cemetery discovered more than a decade ago during the early stages of development in the Clements Ferry corridor.

A burial place for an unknown number of deceased. ”  

To read the rest of the DI NEWS article by Patrick Villegas CLICK HERE.

DIHS members have been very involved in the Nelliefield Cemetery project. CLICK HERE for more!

Looking for a Father’s Day Gift?

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Look no further!

Still trying to find a Father’s Day gift for that special guy? Why not adopt one of Daniel Island’s magnificent live oaks in his honor. It’s easy and there’s still time! Go to…/. Make your selection from the tree catalogue and then click adopt a tree (lower right of the page).

Have you seen our latest newsletter?

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Check it out at

Historic Site Helps Clements Ferry to the Future

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The Keith School Museum commemorates an invaluable school for black children in the depths of the Jim Crow era. And now it’s also serving as an important asset to share computer and wifi resources with the surrounding Cainhoy Peninsula.

“The Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated the opening of its first community resource hub in the county, located at the Keith School Museum off Clements Ferry Road.

The initiative aims to bridge the digital divide by providing residents with access to computer workspaces, free Wi-Fi, and online services. The hub is equipped with webcam computers, printers, eight Chromebooks, and desks for visitors to use.

“To be able to bring these facilities to these communities, it’s life-changing,” said Todd Buddin, president of the Berkeley Chamber.

The hub offers access to telehealth services, online education, substance abuse resources, and training on how to use the devices for those with less technical proficiency.” To read the entire Daniel Island News article CLICK HERE.

And for more background on the Keith School CLICK HERE.

Painting of the original Keith School by local artist John W. Jones. Courtesy of John W. Jones 

We Finish Our Program Year Strong!

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We’ve had a very strong string of p;rograms since September…..and we finished our program year in the same fashion with author Patrick Harwood walking us through his latest book, STORIES FROM THE UNDERGROUNDS….THE CHURCHYARDS OF CHARLESTON.

We kicked off, per usual, with a trivia question. Appropriately enough, Lee Ann Bain asked the audience if they knew what the oldest cemetery on Daniel Island is? Do you know? CLICK HERE for the answer! Want to know more about all the cemeteries on the Island? CLICK HERE.

We also took the opportunity to recognize community members who have adopted one or more of the Island’s magnificent live oaks. Kevin and Joy Kelly handed out certificates acknowledging recent adoptions.

Several recent adopters weren’t able to attend the program. Joy and Kevin will make sure they get their official certificates.

In addition to the recognition from DIHS, each adopter gets a certificate from the Louisiana Garden Club Federation which registers adopted trees nationally. DIHS is currently placing markers at adopted trees. Each adoption is also recognized on our website tree catalogue.

Are you interested in adopting one of the Island’s live oaks? Memorial Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner if you’re looking for a special gift. But it doesn’t take a special occasion to participate in honoring our living history. Find out how you can adopt a tree!

We then moved from honoring our living history to exploring what we learn from Charleston’s underground history.

Patrick Harwood took us on a tour of 14 churches and a synagogue plus their graveyards. He talked about some free standing cemeteries…the largest of which is Magnolia. And he touched on the area’s black burial grounds….many of which have disappeared although some are being reclaimed.

We’ll be adding more to this post including video of Patrick Harwood’s presentation. Check back for more.

Do You Know the History of Briggs vs. Elliott?

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I’m guessing most folks aren’t aware of the South Carolina desegregation case. Although unsuccessful, Briggs became a key element in the eventual Brown vs. Board of Education landmark Supreme court decision.

The Post & Courier recently had an excellent article leading up to the 70th anniversary of Brown. It focuses on the role played by eventual Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. To read the P&C article CLICK HERE. Non-subscribers will encounter a pay wall.

For a comprehensive background piece by the National Park Service CLICK HERE.

And for another good synopsis from the online South Carolina Encyclopedia CLICK HERE.

Our article in the May STROLL Daniel Island

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This month’s article has a ton of info. To learn more about our meeting Tuesday, May 21 CLICK HERE. Since that meeting is about the stories that graveyards can tell us, it was appropriate to remind folks about our cemetery cleanup and preservation projects. And, of course, with Mothers Day and Fathers Day coming up a prompt about adopting one of the Island’s magnificent live oaks. Interested? CLICK HERE

PSE Art Show a Big Success!

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Sometimes the cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. That was certainly the case at last week’s Phillip Simmons Elementary Art show featuring students’ renditions of the iconic gates and other works of the famed iron smith the school is named after. The pottery on display is by fourth graders in the spirit of David Drake, aka Dave the Potter. Congrats to arts teacher Jessica Moss, faculty and staff at PSE as well as the student artists and proud parents.

Support for the history teachers, art teachers and history and art programs at local schools is a ongoing and important focus of DIHS’ community outreach programs. We work with Daniel Island School, Cainhoy Elementary in Huger, Philip Simmons Elementary, Middle and High Schools and Bishop England High School.

That support includes providing resources to teachers ranging from books including, obviously, DIHS co-founder Mike Dahlman’s history of Daniel Island and all sorts of support material. One of the more unsusual efforts are history trunks.. .

It’s hard to live on Daniel Island….or anywhere around here…without encountering the works of Philip Simmons. If you want a refresher see Philip Simmons: Forging a Legacy!

You probably know less about David Drake…aka Dave the Potter. Thanks to DIHS and the efforts of Community Outreach chair Lee Ann Bain, he’s a regular now in local curricula. CLICK HERE for an account of his visit to Daniel Island School five years ago. And CLICK HERE for an extensive article about him and his work appearing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

All these programs and more are supported primarily by membership dues. Check out DIHS membership at