SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Many of our museums and historical sites are starting to re-open in some fashion following the COVID-19 shutdown. Some tell the stories of buildings and art, others tell the stories of people and their strong heritage.
The Pin Point Heritage Museum is back open, and the staff feels confident in opening its doors to welcome in visitors.
“I feel good about opening back up because we’re taking the proper safety precautions so that everyone is fully immersed in what we have to offer but at a safe practice,” said David Jones, Historical Interpreter.
Jones says the heritage of Pin Point is of the Gullah-Geechee people in Savannah, whose lineage here dates back to the 1890’s. He says he keeps that past in mind when talking to visitors at Pin Point.
“I hope they have a deeper understanding of the Gullah-Geechee West African roots, and how this unique culture has developed over centuries time,” Jones said.
“It’s very important to preserve the heritage of the Gullah-Geechee people because we are a part of a dying history of American history that most people don’t know about,” said Gail Smith, Pin Point Native/Interpreter. “We have local people in Savannah like school groups that come down here who have never seen the marsh, and to see a child’s face and to see them looking and feeling a fiddler crab, it’s just a total new experience.”
Smith is passionate about Pin Point, after all, she did grow up in Savannah. She says she started working in the Oyster and Crab Factory when she was six, saying there were no child labor laws in Savannah back then. The work was difficult, and most people have no idea how tough it was.
“But on the flip side of that, let me add that our ancestors, even though the work was hard, the work was dangerous, they took pride in what they did,” Smith said.
Now, the historical site tells us the story of that pride, with interactive displays, tours, various workhouses, and bateau boats, all telling the story of this community just off of Moon River.
“The most important thing that happened in Pin Point, not only in the past but even to this day, is self-respect for each other and I feel that, in American culture, we have just disregarded the respect for other people, so we need to learn to get back to having respect for each other and looking out for one another, instead of having self-gain,” said Smith.
The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Right now, they are limiting groups to ten people and allowing only 20 visitors on-site at one time. Employees are also making sure everything gets cleaned throughout the day, and wearing face masks at all times.
For more information about the Pin Point Heritage Museum, click here.