MYSTERY PHOTO:  Impressive-looking building, but where?

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Here’s an impressive-looking building in a town square somewhere in South Carolina, but where?  Send your best guess to: and make sure to include your name and hometown.  If possible, write “Mystery Photo” in the subject line.

Last week’s Mystery Photo was of what is now the museum at the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island in Beaufort County.  You can learn more about the Penn Center in this week’s entry from the S.C. Encyclopedia.

Hats off to Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling for correctly identifying the building.  Of course, he should know all about the Penn Center since he once was on its governing board!  Congratulations also to George Graf of Palmyra, Va.; and Benjamin Madden of Columbia for the photo ID.

Graf offered a little more detail:  According to, “Penn Center (formerly called Penn School) is located in the Penn School Historic District, near Frogmore, South Carolina on St. Helena Island. It is a beautiful place with a deep history: Penn School was established in 1862, during the American Civil War, as part of the Port Royal Experiment, a program in which freed slaves were taught skills and worked on land abandoned by plantation owners. Penn School played an important role to many freed slaves from the Sea Islands and is the heart of the Gullah culture today.  The York W. Bailey Museum was named for a Penn School graduate and the first African American physician to serve St. Helena and surrounding Sea Islands.

Send us a mystery:  If you have a photo that you believe will stump readers, send it along (but make sure to tell us what it is because it may stump us too!)  Send to: and mark it as a photo submission.  Thanks.


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