Completed by 1713, The Powder Magazine is the oldest governmental building in South Carolina. This facility was used as an arsenal from 1713 - 1748 to defend the colony from the Spanish, French, pirates, slave rebellion and native attacks. It was then temporarily reinstated by the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
After 1780, The Powder Magazine was retired; however, private owners discovered a variety of other functions for this historic structure. Throughout the 19th century, The Powder Magazine was converted to a stable, print shop, blacksmith shop, wine cellar, and horse carriage house. In 1902, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of South Carolina purchased the building, saving it from being destroyed. It was then restored and opened as a museum.