2011-12-07 / Front Page

Pin Point Heritage Museum Hosts Open House, Showcasing Exhibits and Renovated Oyster Factory


Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (l-r) attended the soft opening of the Pin Point Heritage Museum. Photo credit: Adam Kuehl. Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (l-r) attended the soft opening of the Pin Point Heritage Museum. Photo credit: Adam Kuehl. The Pin Point Heritage Museum, a historic landmark housed in the iconic A.S. Varn & Son Factory near Savannah, hosted an Open House on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

This new heritage museum, which will officially open in 2012, serves as a tribute to the rich history of this African- American community overlooking the Moon River.

Special guests U.S Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Dr. Lamar Haynes attended the soft opening at the Pin Point Heritage Museum, which also featured a live performance by the McIntosh County Shouters. Prior to the event, the Georgia Historical Society held a historical maker dedication at the Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church in Pin Point.

Guests toured what was once the center of life for the Gullah-Geechee enclave founded by firstgeneration freedmen who for nearly 100 years have been part of an isolated and self-sustaining community. Throughout the afternoon, attendees enjoyed educational exhibits, live demonstrations, a documentary film and interactive displays featuring interviews with residents who have lived in Pin Point for generations.


Special guests included a number of former worker at the A.S. Varn & Son Factory in Pin Point, who enjoyed seeing the informative exhibits as well as the historic photos on display. Photo credit: Adam Kuehl. Special guests included a number of former worker at the A.S. Varn & Son Factory in Pin Point, who enjoyed seeing the informative exhibits as well as the historic photos on display. Photo credit: Adam Kuehl. Originally established in 1926, the A.S. Varn & Son Factory once served as the economic heart of the Pin Point community. The oyster and crab factories employed a number of Pin Point residents and offered an important source of income and employment for the community. Area residents harvested, processed and shipped fresh seafood to local and regional markets for nearly 60 years, until the factory finally closed its doors in 1985.

Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Justice Clarence Thomas, Pin Point was founded in 1890 by freed slaves from the surrounding sea islands of Ossabaw Island, Skidaway Island, Pigeon Island and Green Island.

With more than 3,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Pin Point Heritage Museum translates the rich history, traditions, language, spiritual life and culture of the community through artifacts, exhibits and interactive displays. The Pin Point Heritage Museum also includes a covered demonstration pavilion, which provides an outdoor area for live demonstrations of crabbing, canning, shucking and shrimp net making.

Restoration and construction on the Pin Point Heritage Museum officially begin in late November 2010 and included the stabilization of the A.S. Varn & Son Factory.

Located at 9924 Pin Point Avenue, the Pin Point Heritage Museum is currently open by appointment only. To make an appointment, please visit www pinpointheritagemuseum.com, or email info@pinpointheritagemuseum.com. Groups are welcome to make reservations in advance. The museum will officially open to the public, with expanded hours, in 2012. The Pin Point Heritage Museum tells the story of the historic Pin Point community through educational exhibits, live demonstrations, a documentary film, interactive displays and the words of the people, primarily of African descent, who have lived there for generations.

The innovative complex overlooking the Moon River and located southeast of Savannah, will open to the public in 2012. Located on the site of the former A.S. Varn & Son Factory at 9924 Pin Point Avenue, the Pin Point Heritage Museum features more than 3,000 square feet of exhibition space, with artifacts and interactive displays devoted to the history and culture of this historic community.

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