Past Exhibits


The Melody Makers

Back in the day, when “the real rock and roll” ruled, Beaufort’s Melody Makers was one of the most sought after beach bands in the state.  Local folks wax nostalgic remembering beer-fueled beach parties, teen romance and shagging the night away to high-energy music.  As far as history goes, the band was an important part of growing up in Beaufort.

Now the beat goes on thanks to a special exhibit at Beaufort History Museum featuring photos, instruments, amplifiers and framed albums of the Melody Makers biggest hits. A reception with refreshments will be held Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Museum. “Singing Fred Gauch”, along with other past band members will be there to reminisce with friends and guests. Admission is free and the public is invited.

“Regardless of where you grew up, there was that one special band, that first slow dance, that first beer”, said Mary Lou Brewton, a local native and Vice president of the Museum’s Board of Directors. “ In Beaufort we had many great bands but none have had the longevity of the Melody Makers. From Bailey’s, Oakgrove and the Varnville Pool, the Melody Makers and that sweet Carolina Beach music rocked our youth away.”

Melody Makers exhibit  will be available through August, 2019.

Larry Rodgers, Ted Ledford, Ronnie Nobles, Fred Gauch.   (L-R)

  “When baby boomers go into museums, we are shocked to see our grandparent’s and parent’s artifacts. Now we are them,” Brewton said. She is also Co-chairman of the Museum’s Collection Committee and she is encouraging people to preserve photos, books and artifacts, which tell the story of our past. “If people have artifacts they would like to share, we will help them find a home for them,” she said.

Summer 2018

Camera Man's Journey - Julian Dimock's South

Summer 2016

Reconstruction Beaufort:

Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress

In June 2016, the Museum unveiled a new Special Exhibit focused on the post Civil War Reconstruction Era here in Beaufort, titled Reconstruction Beaufort, Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress

In the South, the Civil War wreaked devastation, and the Reconstruction Era which followed doomed it to more--except in Beaufort. This exhibit explains how and why education, politics, industry and agriculture thrived here while suffering elsewhere.

This exhibit is currently on display across the street from the Arsenal, at the National Park Service's office.

Fall 2015

Doctuh' BUZZard's Hoodoo Awakening

This exhibition invites visitors to explore Doctuh Buzzard's ROOTWORKS, a re-­‐imagined Hoodoo style apothecary of charm-­‐objects, related graphics and sculpture. Hoodoo images of spiritual and supernatural representation convey iconic metaphor associated with regional history and the legendary 'Dr. Buzzard' (1885 -1947), also known as Stephney Robinson of St. Helena Island, South Carolina, arguably the greatest conjurer root worker and healer of all time.

Spring 2015

What they Wore: Fashion & Finery of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras

A Victorian gentleman’s frock coat, a collapsible top hat and an elegant Edwardian tennis outfit. An opulent jet-beaded mantel and fine bespoke jewelry. An exquisite lace wedding gown and veil, a sumptuous multicolored silk dress and a romantic handkerchief linen nightgown. These are just a few of the fascinating items of Victorian and Edwardian era clothing, jewelry and accessories that comprise the interesting finery on display.

Fall 2013

Slaves to Soldiers to Citizens - 1st S.C. Volunteers

The Beaufort History Museum is mounting an exhibit about the first former slaves to be officially recognized as Union soldiers in the Civil War.  These soldiers were mustered in on the same day they were given their freedom, as part of a jubilee at the reading here of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  Robert Smalls helped convince President Abraham Lincoln that they would be able troops, and there is evidence that the proclamation was hurried to accommodate their enlistment. In addition, the museum will help conduct a showing of the movie “Glory,” which closely follows the story of the 54th and 1st S.C. Volunteers.

Our mission is to preserve, portray, and promote 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. Mailing Address: PO Box 172, Beaufort, SC 29901 

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