Morris Center For Lowcountry Heritage
Backstory and Context
Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is a non-profit organization funded by the Morris Foundation Trust. Our mission is to cultivate community understanding through education, preservation and celebration of the region’s rich history and culture. It is a facility where a wide diversity of people can gather to explore and learn about the area’s distinctive sense of place.
In 1952, Daniel Ollin “Danny” Morris was born into the quaint Tillman community near Ridgeland, South Carolina. Even from a young age he was a visionary, seeing economic potential in downtown Ridgeland as well as business opportunities along the burgeoning I-95 corridor. When Morris was in his twenties he bought the Tillman School and established an antique refinishing business. Seven years later, he purchased the Floyd Brothers General Store next to the post office and converted it into the first Handy Dan’s convenience store and gas station. Over the years, his varied enterprises revitalized the area and impacted it economically, aesthetically and culturally. He enjoyed bringing new life to old things, even funding a new set of chimes to ring out in the Tillman church.
As much as Danny cared for the future of his community, preserving its past—especially the history and culture of the Lowcountry—was even closer to his heart. He was an active member of the Jasper County Historical Society and led the restoration of many of the county’s historical markers.
Morris died in 2005 at the age of 53. As part of his legacy he provided the funds for a foundation to capture the spirit of his community and nourish its soul. Today, the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage is dedicated to carrying out his dream of creating a place where history and culture, the past and the future, meet to inspire and uplift future generations.