Beaufort Local Custom Tips by grandmaR Top 5 Page for this destination
Beaufort Local Customs: 24 reviews and 42 photos
Built originally as a family home, it became the Bellamy Inn, and then served as a funeral parlor, antique shop and real estate office. It was purchased and restored by the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Congress for use as a visitor's center in 1997.
There are exhibits inside on Beaufort history and architecture, and businesses which are members of the Chamber of Congress have their own exhibits, or in the case of restaurants, there is a book of menus. You can also book tours of the city here.
If coming from the South, take I-95 North to Exit 8, turn and go about 5 or 6 miles staying in the left lane. There will be a small sign for left turn to Beaufort. Follow to Hwy 170. Turn left on Hwy 170 and follow to Beaufort. The Visitor's Center is at 1106 Carteret Street. It is open 9 am - 5 pm Mon. - Fri.
Other Contact: (843) 986-5400
Phone: 1 (800) 638-3525
This house at 604 Pinckney St. has a portico entry on the East side. The interior is noted for the fine woodwork including a floating spiral staircase.
It was built around 1853 and saved during the Civil War by federal forces in need of quarters.
Lawyer's Office on Bay Street
I could not figure out what house this was until I looked at the tiny sign on the railing, which for an office of an attorney. Then I found that it was the George Elliott house of 1001 Bay Street.
Before the Civil War, Dr. W. A. Jenkins a rich planter and slave owner from St. Helena Island bought the house from George Elliott. After the war it was sold by the Federal Government (probably for taxes) to George Holmes. His wife, Julia Hazel Holmes lived in the house until her death in the 1930s. Originally, the house had no second story verandah - that was added in the late nineteenth century.
After that, the Historic Beaufort Foundation used it as a museum until 1995. It is currently used as offices subject to a conservation easement. "Among the many excellent features of the house are a fine fan lit doorway [which you can't see in my picture], attractive iron railings, and good interior details including marble mantels, gilded cornices and moldings." I don't see any iron railings, and I don't know whether the interior details are still extant or if they could be seen by a visitor.
As recently as January, 1973, the William Wigg Barnwell house was slated for demolition. It was saved by the Historic Beaufort Foundation, and in September, 1973, it was moved from its original location at the southwest corner of Prince and Scott Streets to its present site at 501 King Street.
The twelve room town house is said to have been built by the Gibbes brothers on behalf of their sister, Sarah Reeve Gibbes, who married William Wigg Barnwell, grandson of the Revolutionary War hero, Major William Hazzard Wigg. During the Civil War, the house served as Union Hospital #4. The house remained in the Barnwell family until 1895, when the Barnwells son Bower Williamson Barnwell died.
The house later served as a school and as an apartment house. For the better part of this century it sustained much abuse and neglect. Despite this, much of the original paneling and a magnificent stairhall remained fairly intact. The house was purchased and restored by antiques dealer Jim Williams of Savannah, Georgia.
Looking in the gates
The James Robert Verdier House is also known as Marshlands. It is at 501 Pinckney Street, and it does look out over the marshes along the river (second picture)
When we went by this house, a lot of the tour groups were going inside. I guess the inside of the house is on the tour.
The house is set off the ground supported by arches, and blends Barbadian plantation architecture with the more formal Adam features. One outstanding feature is the porch which runs across the front and down each side to connect back rooms. Second floor right and left wings are not original.
The house was built around 1814 by James Robert Verdier, son of John Mark Verdier (#2 on the tour), and used during the Civil War as headquarters of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. It is the imaginary home of Emily Fenwick, the heroine of Francis Griswold’s Civil War novel, "Sea Island Lady".
The 1211 Bay Street house which was built in 1786 by Thomas Fuller and is noted for its tabby walls. The exterior of the two foot thick tabby walls is covered with scored plaster to resemble stone. The house has 12 inch thick hand-hewn structural timbers that span the entire 45 foot depth of the house. It is one of the finest early houses in Beaufort.
The Milton Maxey house was built on an original tabby foundation which dated from 1743. Tabby is a cement made from lime, sand and oyster shells.
According to Janet H. Gritzner, "the vast majority of tabby structures were located on the southern Atlantic coast. This distribution reflects diffusion from two primary centers or hearths: one at Saint Augustine, Florida, and the other at Beaufort, South Carolina. These centers represented the core areas for two separate traditions in tabby building. ... British-built tabby arising out of Beaufort, South Carolina, had a quite different history and distribution from that of Spanish origin."
The Maxey house is at 1113 Craven Street and is known as the "Secession House" after the first meeting in favor of secession was held here. According to writings on the basement walls: “In this house the first meeting in favor of secession was held in 1851.”
The Ordinance of Secession breaking South Carolina’s ties with the United States was signed here.
It was also used as a headquarters by Union Army Gen. Rufus Saxon during the Civil War.
Sams House from Laurens St.
This house at 201 Laurens Street sports massive Doric pillars which support the flat roof and second floor veranda. The front walls are Flemish bond brick; all other walls are Common bond brick. The buildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, a cook house, laundry and rooms for the household servants. Dr. Berners Barnwell Sams first built a house on New Street. This house was used as a Civil War hospital.
Porch of Rhett House Inn
This building at 1009 Craven Street was built in 1820. The structure is now the site of the Rhett House Inn. It has two story wrap around piazzas and transom lights over the doorways. The portico and the wings are not original
This three-story tabby house at 1103 Bay Street was built before the Revolutionary War by William Elliot I and occupied before the Civil War by William Elliott III, who was very much opposed to secession. He resigned his seat in the Senate rather than vote for nullification. But when the war broke out he, like Robert E. Lee, went with his state. The house was saved from demolition by the Historic Beaufort Foundation. Today it is known as the Anchorage House.
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