Last updated: 7/24/2015
Charleston, South Carolina
Street Address
79 Cumberland St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Mailing Address
79 Cumberland St
Charleston, SC 29401
phone: 843-722-9350
Monday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 4 PM
Adults: $5
Children (): $2
Group Rate (up to 5) $10
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Group Tours
Alan Stello, Director
John Young, Assistant Director
Chelsy Proper, Historical Intepreter
Mike Coker, Media Manager

The Powder Magazine museum is South Carolina's oldest public building. It has been a property of the non-profit the NSCDA-SC since 1902. Exhibits are focused on South Carolina's colonial military history, and available to the public daily.


Completed by 1713, The Powder Magazine is the oldest governmental building in South Carolina. This facility was used as an arsenal from 1713 - 1748 to defend the colony from the Spanish, French, pirates, slave rebellion and native attacks. It was then temporarily reinstated by the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

After 1780, The Powder Magazine was retired; however, private owners discovered a variety of other functions for this historic structure. Throughout the 19th century, The Powder Magazine was converted to a stable, print shop, blacksmith shop, wine cellar, and horse carriage house. In 1902, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of South Carolina purchased the building, saving it from being destroyed. It was then restored and opened as a museum.

The Powder Magazine is the only standing component of the original fortification that once surrounded Charleston. It is also considered to be the city's first preservation project.

Educational Programs

Scavenger Hunt

Your students explore both the museum and the historic streets of the colonial capital, Charles Town. A period-dressed educator guides students through South Carolina’s military history from the Proprietary era through the American Revolution. Self-guided scavenger hunt can emphasize a choice of either Colonial/Revolutionary or Colonial/Pirate history.

Revolutionary Charles Town!

Engage period-dressed characters as you explore The Powder Magazine, Old Exchange, and Heyward-Washington House.

  • - Meet a member of Declaration signer Thomas Heyward Jr’s household
  • - Dance in the Great Hall
  • - Muster for cannon and musket drills
  • - Endure a (brief) sentence in the Dungeon!
  • Approximately 3 hours
  • and more ... please see our website!!!

A monthly newsletter called The Dispatch is emailed.

  • The Dispatch
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible



    You can tour The Powder Magazine on your own or make reservations with one of the following tour companies. Most of these guided tours visit The Powder Magazine during their presentation…

    Best Rental in Town

    The Powder Magazine and its surrounding property are available for private events. In addition to The Powder Magazine, clients may choose to utilize exterior portions of The NSCDA-SC Headquarters home and garden located directly behind the museum. This Charleston single-style home provides a wonderful setting for small garden receptions and gatherings. Using The Powder Magazine, garden and piazza, this property can host up to 60 guests standing and 30 guests for seated events. The Powder Magazine and its surrounding property provide a wonderful setting. Please see our website!

    Gift Shop

    Online Gift Shop

    Group Tours

    This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
    Richmond, Virginia

    Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

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