Garvin-Garvey House Exhibits
BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Town of Bluffton
The Garvin-Garvey House was built in c. 1870 by Cyrus Garvey. Cyrus was born into slavery in Beaufort County and worked on Garvey Hall Plantation until the end of the Civil War. After the war, Garvey purchased land and built this home in Bluffton, SC. Generations of the Garvey family lived in the house for almost 100 years until it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. The Town of Bluffton acquired the property in 2004 and began their efforts to stabilize the home. Today this important architectural landmark helps to tell the story of the African American community in Bluffton.
In 2018 HW Exhibits worked with the town, volunteers, and the Garvin-Garvey Advisory Council to develop an exhibit plan for the newly renovated home. HWE hosted a planning workshop to establish the goals and objectives for the project, create a content outline, and develop an overarching approach to the interpretive products. Our design team recognized the importance of preserving and honoring the mostly intact historic fabric of the house. The main exhibit components, which include interpretive panels and a video presentation, are presented in a rebuilt enclosed porch. Three outdoor wayside panels describe the property and its use in Garvey’s time. In the original portion of the house, we designed freestanding casework to support audio experiences and interpretive panels to be completed in late 2020.