CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Hundreds attended the Charleston Museum’s 250th-anniversary celebration to commemorate its historic milestone.

The Arthur Wilcox Auditorium at The Charleston Museum was filled Thursday evening as the institution celebrated 250 years of collection, preservation, and education.

“We have over 2.4 million objects in our collection,” Carl Borick, director of The Charleston Museum, said. “It’s the largest collection of South Carolina materials known, even larger than the State Museum in Columbia.”

Borick says it’s incredible to commemorate this milestone, especially with everything the museum has endured over the last two and a half centuries.

“The museum went through the Revolutionary War,” he said. “We went through the Civil War, a major earthquake, tropical storms, hurricanes.”

The keynote speaker for the event was the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History Anthea Hartig.

“To commemorate any anniversary gets us thinking,” Hartig said. “It gets us thinking about our institution’s history, about our nation’s history and that The Charleston Museum is celebrating its semiquincentennial, which is a big word to say 250, is so thrilling for the museum community, and for all of us who care so deeply about history.”

During her address, Hartig touched on a range of topics including revolutionary questions with the aim of continuing crucial dialogue about freedoms in America.

“Who is created equal?” Hartig said. “How are our rights taken away? How are they extended? How have we fought for them over time?”

Many audience members were blown away by Hartig’s presentation.

“She was quite impressive,” Fred Taccolini said. “I mean, she’s been around doing this now for 33 years, and she has some ties to Charleston, which I wasn’t aware of and she’s quite familiar with us.”

The Charleston Museum says it will continue to uphold the mission that its founders laid out more than two hundred years ago.

“They set in motion two and a half centuries of collecting,” Borick said, “preserving and educating. And our expectation is that will continue for the next 250 years.”

A craft beer named “1773 Anniversary Ale” was specially made by Holy City Brewery for this occasion.