Located in the Old Market Building behind the iconic Clock Tower and in the adjacent Kaminski Hardware Building, the Rice Museum exhibits a permanent collection of dioramas, maps, paintings, artifacts and other displays that tell the history of rice cultivation in Georgetown County. The Kaminski Hardware Building houses the Rice Museum’s Maritime Museum Gallery, the Rice Museum Gift Shop and the Prevost Art Gallery.
Of particular significance are the remains of the “Brown’s Ferry Vessel,” built in the early 1700s and sunk in approximately 1730, which are on permanent display in the Kaminski Building’s third-floor gallery. The oldest vessel (it predates, by 50 years, all vessels previously found) of colonial manufacture on exhibit in America, it is nearly 50 feet long and was a general-purpose freighter used on the rivers and coastal waterways during the 1700s. Discovered in 1974 at the bottom of the Black River near the Brown’s Ferry crossing, the vessel was reconstructed and treated by the University of South Carolina until it was brought to the museum in 1992.