The Beaufort History Museum is pleased to announce that a new exhibit will soon be available for public viewing in its main exhibit hall. The new exhibit has been made possible due in large part to a $15,000 Growth Grant awarded by the South Carolina Humanities with funds provided through the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP). The grant will comprise approximately 30 percent of the total cost of the project, with the remainder provided by the Beaufort History Museum’s funds. The new exhibit is part is part of a larger planned expansion of the Museum’s exhibition hall intended to improve the historic interpretation experience for our visitors. The Museum Exhibit Committee expects installation of Phase IIA exhibit by the end of 2022.
Phase IIA will provide visitors with background information and displays on the geology, geography and historical timeline of Port Royal Sound and the surrounding area. The exhibit’s two, large (height 8’, width 11’, thickness 8”), free standing and walk-around walls will serve as the primary welcoming point for museum visitors. The graphic below shows the planned placement for the new exhibit.
Planned Placement of Exhibit IIA in Exhibit Hall
Upon entry into the main exhibit hall, museum visitors will immediately notice the custom designed, panoramic mural representing the major periods across our 500 years plus of history.
Wall 1, Entrance. Historical Panorama, Mural (pre-production).
Shaping America’s History for 500 Years
Visitors can then step inside the space between the two walls and learn about the significance and role our deep harbor, high tides and mild climate have played in our history as well as providing the habitat and environment for our abundant coastal wildlife.
Wall 1, Interior. Unique Features of Port Royal Sound (pre-production)
Turn around and do a deeper dive into the unique aspects of our South Carolina Lowcountry maritime geography and environment and discover more about the land, the natural resources, and the crops that have had such an influence on our development, culture, and history.
Wall 2, Interior. Beautiful Beaufort County (pre-production)
Then take a short walk around the Beautiful Beaufort County wall shown above to view our historical timeline. The timeline is divided into sections that are labeled with identifying links to the currently installed Phase I panels where you can learn more about that period of our history.
Wall 2, Exterior. Historical Timeline (pre-production)
A new, interactive kiosk is planned to be located close to Exhibit IIA and provide access to an even more comprehensive timeline for those visitors requiring more detailed information about our history. There was only so much room on the new displays, and we did not want to leave anything out.
History Workshop (HW) Exhibits, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, produced the exhibit and displays. They also created and installed graphic exhibits for the extensive renovation of the Museum in 2018 (Phase I).
The preparation of the narrative and texts for the displays is a result of the museum’s Exhibits Committee and expert assistance provided by historians Dr. Lawrence Rowland, Professor Emeritus of USCB and author of the definitive history of Beaufort County, and Dr. Stephen Wise, Director of the MCRD Parris Island Museum and Cultural Resource Manager for the Marine Corps facility and the author of several books about local and South Carolina history. The Exhibits Committee is also grateful to Dr. Chris Marsh, former Director of the Lowcountry Institute (now Director Emeritus of the Lowcountry Institute) for his expertise and contributions regarding our local marine ecology and maritime environment.
The completion of the new exhibit space and displays will provide an opportunity for the Museum to let both area residents and visitors to Beaufort feel assured that not only have we recovered from the COVID pandemic but that we are moving ahead for a better future for our community and our Museum.
Want a closer look? You’ll have to wait a bit longer until the exhibit is installed but, in the meantime, click here to get a little bit closer look (enlarged) of what you can expect.
Make sure your plans include a visit to the Beaufort History Museum where admission is always free for Museum members. Not a member? Click here to see our different membership subscription levels and join online. Membership lapsed? Click here to renew your membership. Just interested in making sure you receive the latest information on our events and lectures? Click here to receive advance e-mail notification of all our activities.
The Beaufort History Museum, which was founded in 1939, has evolved to focus specifically on the deep and rich history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling compelling stories of this area, from the early 16th century until modern times. For information on all the Museum events, click here to visit our website. Click here and follow us on Facebook.
The scale Bateaux model boat, which was constructed by Dennis Cannady, was the overwhelming choice of Beaufort History Museum members and their guests for Museum display at Thursday's (September 15, 2022) Hidden Beaufort Treasures Event. A bateau or batteau is a shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boat which was used extensively across North America, especially in the colonial period and in the fur trade. It was traditionally pointed at both ends but came in a wide variety of sizes. The name derives from the French word, bateau, which is simply the word for boat. "Bateaux" is actually the plural form spelling. In the southern United States, the term was and is still used to refer to flat-bottomed boats in general.
The Bateaux model received 52% of the votes cast with the closest competitor, the Japanese Bowl, receiving 29% of the votes. The remaining artifacts (Seamstress' Fluter and College of Beaufort Plaque) tied for third place.
Beaufort, SC. July 22, 2022. There will be a presentation by Dr. Larry Rowland and City Councilman, Phil Cromer about Stuarts Town in the Arsenal Courtyard on Monday, August 8, 2022, from 12 PM - 1 PM. Topics include the town’s abbreviated history and the current ongoing archaeological digs in downtown Beaufort to try to find out exactly where Stuarts Town was. There will be a "Q" and "A" period following their presentations. The presentation will also be available on the City of Beaufort's Facebook page. The event is open to the public at no charge.
Please click here to view the City of Beaufort's press release about this event.
In November 1684, a group of 51 Scots arrived in Port Royal Sound to establish a permanent settlement to be called Stuarts Town. But where exactly was Stuarts Town located? That's the mystery that Stuarts Town Action Group (STAG) hopes to solve as it launches an exploratory archaeological dig with that as its goal.
Click here to view the City of Beaufort's press release on the start of this project.
Click here to visit the STAG website and learn more about this exciting archaeological search occurring in the heart of Beaufort's Historic District.
Mary Legree, Beaufort History Museum Board Member as well as Museum Greeter, appeared on national TV on February 28, 2022. Mary, along with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Executive Director, Victoria Smalls, were interviewed by Kenneth Moton as part of the feature entitled "Preserving the Gullah Geechee culture in the U.S." on ABC's GMA3 daytime news program. Click here to view this interview.
Click here to view a video of the 79th New York Highlanders Regiment December 4, 2021, encampment event at the Beaufort Arsenal and Beaufort History Museum and tribute to the Civll War fallen at Beaufort National Cemetery.
Seventeen docents enjoyed lunch at Dataw Country Club on November 16th when we held our deferred annual meeting. Bill Skipper gave an update on the planned Phase 2a exhibit, and Tom Kelley reviewed the Museum’s success throughout the recent pandemic-related difficulties and plans for the future.
Interested in becoming a Beaufort History Museum Docent or Greeter? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about what it means to be a docent and how you can become one.
Beaufort, SC: The Beaufort History Museum will host the encampment of the 79th New York Highlander Regiment in a reenactment of events that forever changed Beaufort in 1861.
The reenactors will encamp in The Arsenal Courtyard (713 Craven St.) and present live presentations of Civil War era camp life, educational discussions, drills, marching, bagpiping, and interactive activities for the entire family, Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Beaufort History Museum members will have a special opportunity to have coffee with the reenactors, 9:00-10:00 a.m., Dec. 4, at the Arsenal. Non-members may click here to learn more about different membership subscription levels and join.
Included in the presentations are discussions and live demonstrations of the importance of music and bugle calls during the War, the variety and use of weapons including cannon, how medical support was deployed in the field, the role of women, camp “dining” and cooking, and other relevant topics.
Admission to the event is free (donations will be accepted). Admission to the Beaufort History Museum will be discounted for Adults ($5) and Seniors ($4). Active military and children under 12 are free.
The Beaufort History Museum, which was founded in 1939, has evolved to focus specifically on the deep and rich 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. For information on all the Museum events, visit BeaufortHistoryMuseum.com, or follow the Museum’s Facebook page.
Beaufort History Museum, in cooperation with the Coastal Discovery Museum of Hilton Head Island, is pleased to announce the opening of the Santa Elena Exhibit. Both Museums have worked together over the past few months to coordinate the best displays within Coastal Discovery Museum’s extensive collection that would best convey the Santa Elena story to Beaufort History Museum’s visitors. The Exhibit is planned to be available at Beaufort History Museum long term while Coastal Discovery Museum completes a new exhibition space for the Santa Elena Center at its Hilton Head Island location. Completion is planned for 2022.
When and Where was America first settled by Europeans? Was it Jamestown or Plymouth as many learned in grammar school? Or, was it much earlier, right here in Beaufort County – in Santa Elena? The period from 1492 when Columbus arrived in the New World through the end of the 1500s is a crucial period in the history of North America. What happened over these one hundred-plus years in what would become the United States’ southeast has been lost in many history books. The Exhibit’s maps, diagrams and a video presentations will bring the events and places from several centuries to life.
The story of Santa Elena includes papal court intrigue and interference in the geo-politics of the New World, religious intolerance, monarchy rivalry between England, France, and Spain, naval ship battles, early settlements along the southeast coast of the “New World”, indigenous peoples tribal partnerships, exploitation, slavery, and revolt, courage and the start of a New World order that help define the beginnings of America.
Make your plans to visit the Beaufort History Museum where you will see the Santa Elena Exhibit. The Museum’s regular hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM and 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturdays. Due to continued personnel shortfalls during the ongoing pandemic, we recommend you call beforehand to confirm Museum staff availability (843.525.8500).
The Beaufort History Museum has openings for trained docents, and will hold a three-day docent training session for interested persons, July 28-30, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., in Beaufort, S.C.
Docents greet visitors from all over the country to the Museum, conduct tours, and relate the remarkable 500-plus year history of Beaufort and the Sea Islands during their tour.
Details regarding the docent position may be found at https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/docent-education.
Click here to register for this training.
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