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Experience Gullah-Geechee culture firsthand at Pin Point

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Groups visiting the Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia, can travel back in time and learn about the history behind the A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory. 

Hanif Haynes, a historic interpreter at Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia

Photo: Coastal Heritage Society Hanif Haynes, historic interpreter at Pin Point Heritage Museum, Savannah, Ga.

“Visitors can learn about the journey from Africa to Pin Point, the struggle to own land after emancipation and the Gullah-Geechee culture that developed from first-generation freedmen settling in Pin Point,” said Holly Elliott, PR & marketing director for the Coastal Heritage Society, an organization that operates five historic museums, including Pin Point.

Pin Point is a small community in Savannah, tucked along the banks of the Moon River, sharing nearly 100 years of Gullah-Geechee history. Following the Civil War, the vibrant settlement was founded by a community of freed slaves originally from West Africa, and many worked at the A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory until it closed in 1985.

The slaves brought their native languages, customs and culinary traditions with them, and being so isolated from other communities and people, they created their own Gullah-Geeche culture. 

Picking & Cooling House at Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia

Photo: Coastal Heritage Society Picking & Cooling House, Pin Point Heritage Museum, Savannah, Ga.

Today, the museum tells the story of the unique culture and oyster canning, and groups can explore Pin Point’s history through multimedia presentations, exhibits and unparalleled views of the marsh.

Guided tours are hosted by descendants of the original residents, offering an authentic and engaging look into the tight-knit Gullah-Geechee community.

“We hope guests gain a new appreciation for a unique culture and coastal location,” Elliott said. “Guests can experience the importance of the surrounding marshes and rivers to the livelihood of the community; the life cycle of the blue crab and oyster, along with how they were harvested.”

Elliott suggests making group reservations at least two weeks in advance.

For more information, call 912-651-6840 or visit chsgeorgia.org/PHM.

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About Author

Kelsey Smith, Associate Editor

The more wine columnist Kelsey Smith travels, the more tales she can’t wait to tell. She especially likes to discover how destinations and attractions can accommodate groups. To earn a star on her travel checklist, there better be parking for a motorcoach and dining, at least nearby. Watch for the debut of her blog, “Wine Wednesday.”

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