News


  • Wednesday, January 04, 2017 9:38 AM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    Make a New Year’s Resolution to Spend Time Volunteering

    Beaufort History Museum Offers Greeter Program

                            Beaufort, SC – January 4, 2017 – This is the time when people make New Year’s promises and many resolve to give more of their time in service to the community. Those who are interested in history, enjoy interacting with visitors and have a few hours each week to spare volunteering for a worthy organization in a dynamic setting may want to investigate the new Volunteer Greeter Program at the Beaufort History Museum.

                The BHM Volunteer Greeter’s role is to make initial contact with patrons, aid the Docents by directing visitors to exhibits or existing tours, answer general, non-history related questions about the museum, collect visitor information and take tickets.

                The requirements for becoming a Volunteer Greeter include joining the museum, attending a two-hour training session, being available for duty at the Museum approximately six hours per month and volunteering for duties at occasional special events.

                As part of the training greeters will “shadow” a seasoned Docent/Greeter for a minimum of 3 hours prior to working a scheduled shift.  They will not be able to educate the Museum’s patrons or tell the stories of our local history unless they also attended the more extensive Docent Training courses.   The first Greeter Orientation Class is January 18 from Noon – 2 pm at the Museum.

                “Those who participate in the Volunteer Greeter program will be key members of our team. They will also be part of the larger Museum family and will be invited to special events, exclusive exhibit openings and social gatherings,” said Lorrie Burleyknoles, Docent/Greeter Educator and a member of the BHM Board. “We look forward to welcoming the new volunteers to our organization.”

    She also announced the Winter 2017 Docent Training Schedule:

    ·      January 18 - Class 1 - 8:30 -11:30 am - Docent Informational Orientation to be followed immediately by the class.

    ·      January 25 – Class 2 - 9:30-11:30 am

    ·      February 1 – Class 3 - 9:30 - Noon

    ·      February 8 – Class 4 - 9:30  - 11:30 am

    ·      February 15 – Class 5  - 9:30 - 11:30 am

                It is strongly suggested that those interested in becoming a Docent reserve their space in advance. For more information please call 559-362-3237 or email lburleyknowles@beauforthistorymuseum.com

                Beaufort History Museum, located in the Arsenal in Beaufort’s historic downtown, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.        

                The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Docents are on duty to provide information and conduct tours. A donation of $7.00 per visitor ($6.00 for Seniors) is required.  Children and active military are admitted free of charge.  Please visit the website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com or BHM’s Facebook page for updates and news from the Museum.

  • Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:51 AM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    The Reconstruction Exhibit at the Beaufort History Museum has taken on a special relevance in light of the growing interest in historic tourism and the importance of Reconstruction in Beaufort County. Congressman Jim Clyburn and members of the National Park Service toured various local sites in Beaufort County recently to evaluate the possibility of designating the County as a national monument to the Reconstruction Era.

    Those who would like to learn more about Reconstruction in Beaufort County might begin by visiting the Beaufort History Museum, which is currently showcasing an exhibit that illuminates this fascinating era in the history of South Carolina and the nation. Titled “Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress,” the Exhibit tells the stories of Reconstruction in the Beaufort District through original photos, text, documents and artifacts

    During Reconstruction, the period immediately following the Civil War, most of the South was suffering from devastation and upheaval.  But due to the enterprising spirit of newly freed slaves and an overlapping series of propitious events, Beaufort County and the Sea Islands were propelled into a period of recovery, resurgence and prosperity.

    Reconstruction in Beaufort began earlier than in other areas in the south.   Following the Battle of Port Royal Sound in 1861, Union troops occupied Beaufort and established headquarters, supply centers and medical facilities. Local white planters fled.

    With the Civil War still raging, 10,000 slaves were liberated in the Beaufort District. Schools were for whites only and it was illegal to teach slaves to read. Northern missionaries established the Penn School and Mather School to educate the newly freed men, women and children as part of the Port Royal Experiment.

    Robert Smalls, who was born a slave here, helped lead Beaufort through Reconstruction. Business boomed.  The sources of prosperity were timber, phosphates and shipping, all spurred on by the completion of the Port Royal Railroad in1873, which provided the means to more efficiently transport products into and out of the area. Former slaves came to own land as freedmen and agriculture flourished.

    With these stories as the backdrop, the Exhibit concentrates on four main areas: Education, Politics, Commerce and Agriculture, presenting photos and artifacts to support the narrative.

    Beaufort History Museum has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times. 

    The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Docents are on duty to provide information and conduct tours. A donation of $7.00 per visitor ($6.00 for Seniors) is required.  Children and active military are admitted free of charge.  Please visit the website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com or BHM’s Facebook page for updates and news from the Museum.

  • Thursday, December 01, 2016 10:58 AM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    Beaufort, SC – November 29, 2016 – Travel back in time and learn about the fascinating history of The Anchorage, one of Beaufort’s most acclaimed historic homes, and “Walk in Santa’s Boots” at lectures presented by The Beaufort History Museum and the Beaufort Public Library:

    Title:                Historic Homes of Beaufort: The Anchorage

    Presenter:        Beverly Eggert

    Date:                Thursday, December 8, 2016 

    Time:              2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

    Location:         Beaufort Branch Library

    Hear the stories of one of Beaufort’s oldest and most famous houses, the Anchorage, and five generations of Elliotts associated with it prior to and following the Civil War. Travel the Road to Secession and learn about the fall of Beaufort to the Union, the Cuban connection to The Anchorage and South Carolina’s Trial of the Century. If walls could talk, this house would tell an incredible story!

    Beverly Eggert is a retired Beaufort County English teacher, who now focuses on her four passions: reading, writing, researching, and teaching. A skilled historic storyteller, she also is the coordinator of the Lecture Series presented in partnership by the Beaufort History Museum and the Beaufort County Library. In addition to being a featured presenter for the Lecture Series, Beverly also has been a presenter for the Santa Elena History Center and the South Carolina Humanities Festival 2016. 

    This lecture is part of an ongoing history lecture series and each prior session was filled to capacity. While the lectures are free to the public space is limited. Please register at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com to ensure admission. (Those who do not pre-register will not be guaranteed a seat.)

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    Title:               “I Walked In Santa’s Boots”

    Presenter:        Jack Gannon

    Date:                Wednesday, December 14

    Time:                5:00 PM   Seating begins at 4:40 PM

    Location:           Beaufort Branch Library

    Local author Jack Gannon served as Beaufort’s premiere Santa Claus at “Night on the Town” and the Christmas parade from 1993-2015. His recently released book I Walked In Santa’s Boots showcases his memories and includes more than 250 color photos from his appearances as Santa’s surrogate over those 22 years. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and autographing at the end of the program. Come early to visit the Model Trains exhibit. Pre-registration for this special lecture is NOT required as seating will be first come, first seated. The lecture will be held at the Beaufort District Collection, second floor, 311 Scott Street.

    Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

    The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible marketplace of ideas, information, and culture that fosters learning, community, and information literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs to inform, inspire, and empower all its patrons in their pursuit of lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and cultural understanding. The library system operates five branch libraries throughout Beaufort County and library cards are available free of charge to all county residents and property owners. It offers free access to millions of items through a combined online catalog and digital library.

    The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) is the Library’s special local history and archives unit. BDC staff and docents are stewards who collect, protect and share a research collection of permanent value about local history, Gullah culture, the natural southeastern coastal environment, family history and archaeology. For the BDC’s hours of operation, please visit its website at beaufortcountylibrary.org


  • Monday, November 14, 2016 2:42 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    BHM's Board of Directors urges NPS to designate Beaufort as the site for their new National Reconstruction Memorial.  Click here to read the resolution.

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016 9:53 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    Beaufort History Museum Announces November History Lecture Dates

    Series Created in Partnership with Beaufort County Library

                Beaufort, SC – October 26, 2016 – The Beaufort History Museum, in partnership with the Beaufort County Library, will present two lectures in November:

    • Monday, November 7 - 5:15 - 6:45 PM:  The Battle of Port Royal SoundThe Battle of Port Royal Sound was one of the earliest naval operations of the Civil War.  On November 7, 1861, a massive U. S. Naval fleet and U. S. Army expeditionary force sailed into Port Royal Sound and captured Fort Walker on Hilton Head and Fort Beauregard on Bay Point/St. Helena Island, SC.  Beaufort became the first southern town to fall into Union hands.  Experience the drama of  this event through the writings and pictures of the people who actually lived  through it, including Union forces and Beaufortonians.
    • Wednesday, November 30 - 2:00 - 3:30 PM: Native American Myths, Poetry & Trickster TalesNovember is Native American Heritage Month.  Join for this interesting and entertaining talk, which will transport you to a magical past through the poetry, myths, and trickster tales of Native Americans. 
    • Both lectures are taking place at the Beaufort Branch Library at 311 Scott Street.  The lectures are free to the public but donations will be accepted. Registration and updates on future history lectures in the series may be found on the Museum website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.

    The presenter for the lectures is Beverly Eggert, a retired Beaufort County English teacher, who now focuses on her four passions: reading, writing, researching, and teaching. A skilled historic storyteller, she also is the coordinator of the Lecture Series presented in partnership by the Beaufort History Museum and the Beaufort County Library. In addition to being a featured presenter for the Lecture Series, Beverly also has been a presenter for the Santa Elena History Center and the South Carolina Humanities Festival 2016. 

    Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

    The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible marketplace of ideas, information, and culture that fosters learning, community, and information literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs to inform, inspire, and empower all its patrons in their pursuit of lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and cultural understanding. The library system operates five branch libraries throughout Beaufort County and library cards are available free of charge to all county residents and property owners. It offers free access to millions of items through a combined online catalog and digital library.

    The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) is the Library’s special local history and archives unit. BDC staff and docents are stewards who collect, protect and share a research collection of permanent value about local history, Gullah culture, the natural southeastern coastal environment, family history and archaeology. For the BDC’s hours of operation, please visit its website at beaufortcountylibrary.org


  • Tuesday, October 04, 2016 11:07 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

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  • Tuesday, October 04, 2016 9:17 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)
    The Beaufort History Museum, in partnership with the Beaufort County Library, will present two lectures in October:
    • Thursday, October 13, 2016 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM - Historic Homes oBeaufort:  The Anchorage - Learn the history of one of Beaufort’s oldest and most famous houses, the Anchorage, and about five generations of Elliotts prior to and following the Civil War. Travel the Road to Secession and learn about the fall of Beaufort to the Union, the Cuban connection to the house, and South Carolina’s Trial of the Century. If walls could talk, this house would tell an incredible story.

    •   Monday, October 24, 2016 – 5:15- 6:45 PM – Songs of the Civil War - Looking for a different type of history program? Then, this one is for you! Rock in your seat and sing along with the music as you enjoy a lively and entertaining multi-media presentation featuring excerpts from the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ 11-hour television series, The Civil War, broadcast by PBS in the fall of 1990. The music not only tells the story of homesick soldiers, forlorn wives and grieving widows, but also of the unity, hope and national pride of the time.  
    •   Both lectures are taking place at the Beaufort Branch Library at 311 Scott Street.  The lectures are free to the public but donations will be accepted. Registration and updates on future history lectures in the series may be found on the Museum website at beauforthistorymuseum.com.

    The presenter for the lectures is Beverly Eggert, a retired Beaufort County English teacher, who now focuses on her four passions: reading, writing, researching, and teaching. A skilled historic storyteller, she also is the coordinator of the Lecture Series presented in partnership by the Beaufort History Museum and the Beaufort County Library. In addition to being a featured presenter for the Lecture Series, Beverly also has been a presenter for the Santa Elena History Center and the South Carolina Humanities Festival 2016. 

    Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

    The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible marketplace of ideas, information, and culture that fosters learning, community, and information literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs to inform, inspire, and empower all its patrons in their pursuit of lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and cultural understanding. The library system operates five branch libraries throughout Beaufort County and library cards are available free of charge to all county residents and property owners. It offers free access to millions of items through a combined online catalog and digital library.

    The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) is the Library’s special local history and archives unit. BDC staff and docents are stewards who collect, protect and share a research collection of permanent value about local history, Gullah culture, the natural southeastern coastal environment, family history and archaeology. For the BDC’s hours of operation, please visit its website at beaufortcountylibrary.org

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2016 9:27 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    Beaufort History Museum Partners with Beaufort County Library - History Lecture Series Planned

    The Beaufort History Museum (BHM) is partnering with the Beaufort County Library to create and present a lecture series that will focus on the fascinating history of the Beaufort District.   The series, which is free to the public, runs from September 2016 through May 2017 and features two lectures each month.        The September lectures are:

    • Tuesday, September 13, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at the Museum: "Beaufort—500 Years in a Capsule" - Docent presenters in the Museum Exhibit Hall will give overviews of four periods: 1.) Early European settlement and the Colonial period 2.) The Revolutionary War – the Antebellum period 3.) The Civil War and the Reconstruction era and 4.) The Great Hurricane of 1893 – World War II.
    • Thursday, September 29, 2 pm - 3:30 pm  - at the Main Library (311 Scott Street) in the Meeting Room: "Ribaut’s Road". Educator and skilled historic storyteller Beverly Eggert will reprise the adventures of Jean Ribaut, Rene Laudonniere, and Jacques LeMoyne as they make their journey from France to the New World in 1562 and again in 1564. The saga is complete with tales of Indian raids, mutiny, murder, starvation, kidnapping and political intrigue.

                 Carol Lauvray, BHM Board President, made the announcement of the lecture series.  “ We are very pleased to be working along with the Beaufort County Library to create this interesting and entertaining lecture series.  Our Education Committee has been developing the idea for the series for a while and it seemed that teaming up with the Library and utilizing their many resources would be a perfect partnership,” she said.               

                “Most of the lectures will take place at the Beaufort Branch Library’s Meeting Room.  We have worked closely through the planning stages with Library representatives Grace Cordial and Jan O’Rourke. Their input and generous support are essential to the success of the program.”  Cordial is the Beaufort District Collection Manager and O’Rourke is Assistant Director/Planning and Community Engagement.

                The BHM Education Committee members are Andrea Allen, Lorrie Burleyknoles, Beverly Eggert (Lecture Series Coordinator), Ingrid Owens and Stuart Heath.  They, along with Lauvray, who is also a Docent at the Museum, have initiated, planned and implemented the Lecture Series in partnership with the Library. Some of the future topics include “Historic Homes of Beaufort - The Anchorage and the Elliotts”, “ Music of the Civil War”, “The Battle of Port Royal Sound” and “Native American Myths”.  A complete Lecture Series schedule will be posted on the BHM website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com A monthly preview of upcoming lectures will also be provided.

                Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.  The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. BHM’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

                The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible marketplace of ideas, information, and culture that fosters learning, community, and information literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs to inform, inspire, and empower all its patrons in their pursuit of lifelong learning, personal enrichment, and cultural understanding. The library system operates five branch libraries throughout Beaufort County and library cards are available free of charge to all county residents and property owners. It offers free access to millions of items through a combined online catalog and digital library.

                The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) is the Library’s special local history and archives unit. BDC staff and docents are stewards who collect, protect and share a research collection of permanent value about local history, Gullah culture, the natural southeastern coastal environment, family history and archaeology. For the BDC’s hours of operation, please visit its website at beaufortcountylibrary.org


  • Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:29 PM | Webmaster BHM (Administrator)

    Pass program to be available year-round (from Beaufort Today, 7/20/16).

    A lot can be said about a community through the artifacts from its past on display in local museums. To encourage more people in Beaufort to learn the history of the area, three museums are partnering to provide a discount on visits and tours.  Board Member Stuart Heath describes the program on WHHI TV.

    That rich past is depicted at the Beaufort History Museum, Historic Beaufort Foundation and Santa Elena History Center. Located with 10-15 minute walks of each other, the three museums are providing a $1 savings on admission.

    Anyone who purchases a full-price ticket at any of the museums will receive a sticker that entitles the wearer to $1 off admission at the other two.

    “The hope is that people who are interested in the rich history of the Beaufort district will be able to take full advantage of three interesting museums which are in walking distance of each other,” said Carla Marsh, a Beaufort History Museum board member. “Each museum offers a unique perspective and a visit to all three will deepen the cultural and educational experience.”

    By walking to each museum, guests are provided a scenic route through downtown. Each historical center has a different mission, distinct presentation and unique perspective so that a visit to each one enhances learning and deepens the cultural experience.

    The Beaufort History Museum, located 713 Craven Street, is housed in the historic 1798 Arsenal. It tells the story of the area’s 500-year history through artifacts, photos and tours given by knowledgeable docents.

    The Historic Beaufort Foundation is located at 801 Bay Street in the Verdier House. It is the only planter’s house in Beaufort open to the public.

    The museum’s goal is to protect and preserve historical sites and artifacts of historic, architectural and cultural interest across the county.

    The Santa Elena History Center, located at 1501 Bay Street, presents the history of the Spanish who established a town in 1566 on the shores of Port Royal Sound. The old courthouse provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about “America’s Untold Story” of Santa Elena.

    “Museums are important to our community because they tell the authentic story of who we were and how we evolved to become who we are now,” Marsh said. “They enable us to participate in the burgeoning cultural and historic tourism throughout our area and are essential in making Beaufort a prime destination as part of that trend.”

    Visitors eager to discover the Lowcountry can start the journey with Beaufort’s museums, where they can learn about Beaufort’s past and the place where American history began.

    “Before St. Augustine, Jamestown and Plymouth, in 1562 the French, led by Jean Ribault, established Charlesfort near what is now Parris Island. The Beaufort district was also the site of Santa Elena, a thriving settlement founded by Spanish explorers in 1566,” Marsh said.

    The museum pass program will be available year-round, not just during peak tourism season.

    For more information about the Beaufort History Museum, call 843-379-3079 or go to www.beauforthistorymuseum.com. To learn more about the Historic Beaufort Foundation, call 843-379-3331 or go to www.historicbeaufort.org. For the Santa Elena History Center, contact 843-379-1550 or go to www.Santa-Elena.org.


Our mission is to preserve, promote and interpret the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future.

The Beaufort History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

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