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.
Preserving local history initiative is strengthened
The Beaufort History Museum Board of Directors elected five new members at its April 9, 2021, meeting.
“Our ability to achieve the Museum’s mission of preserving local history has been strengthened by these additions to our existing strong Board”, said Steve Guida, the Museum’s President. “These highly accomplished individuals of varied backgrounds, bring a common love of Beaufort’s history and a desire to preserve it for the education and enjoyment of local residents and visitors,” said Guida.
The new members are (l. to r.):
Ginnie Kozak has been many things: historian, regional and transportation planner, management consultant, business professor, home renovator, writer, publisher, and swimmer. She has lived in Beaufort for almost 30 years.
James Kemper Millard is a retired senior corporate communications director and family farm manager, who also served as president of the Lexington (Ky.) History Museum and Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation.
John Warley is a local writer with six published books and the author of the Beaufort History Museum's Reconstruction narrative currently on display at the Old Firehouse, 706 Craven Street, as part of the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park.
Ryan Copeland is a Beaufort native and the author of three nonfiction books about the area and its inhabitants. He currently serves as the media specialist at Battery Creek High School.
Also elected as an ex-officio member was Robb Wells (not pictured), president & CEO, Greater Beaufort-Port Royal Convention and Visitors Bureau. Wells is a 16-year veteran of destination marketing.
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 www.BeaufortHistoryMuseum.com, or follow the Museum’s Facebook page.
BEAUFORT, S.C. – The Beaufort History Museum is ready to emerge from its pandemic-imposed cocoon, with new features at the refurbished Arsenal to greet visitors who want to learn more about Beaufort’s singular history.
“This is a special museum,” said Steve Guida, president of the museum’s board. “We are a hidden gem -- more people should know about our local museum and our local history.”
The museum recently mounted “wayfinding” signs (also referred to as "wayside" signs) in the courtyard of The Arsenal that tell the story of the Beaufort Arsenal and its militia units over the past 223 years. (If you are not familiar with the term wayfinding, it refers to signs that provide information and context.)
Click here to view signage project details.
Museum board member Bill Skipper and the Exhibit Committee, along with local history consultants Dr. Steve Wise and Dr. Larry Rowland, provided much of the research behind each of the signs, which describe aspects of Beaufort’s militia history as well as historic pictures of The Arsenal.
History Workshop of Charleston produced the signage, which was supported by a grant from the City of Beaufort and museum funds.
The museum itself, on the second floor of this historic building, relates Beaufort’s history starting with the Yamassee Indians, who moved into the Lowcountry in the latter part of the 17th century. It traces various European conquests, through the Colonial period, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“Our differentiation comes from the fact that we are the only museum that covers the 500+ year history of the Beaufort District,” Guida said. “Other organizations tend to focus on one specific area or time frame while we provide the broad history of people, places and events of the region.”
Beaufort’s history is a rich one, and the museum board wants to share it not only with out-of-town visitors, but also those who have made their home in the area. Families looking to spend a couple of hours with their kids on an educational, but fun, excursion (check out the cannons!) will really enjoy visiting, Guida says.
Not many history museums can actually claim to have a home in a building with its own impressive past, but that is what the Beaufort History Museum has at The Arsenal. The Arsenal was built in 1798 to
house the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery after it fought with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. It was a military post until 1963.
“Beaufort’s arsenal represents the anchor of our community since it became a fledgling community,” said board Vice President Kathryn Mixon. “Both military installation and as well as an important social venue, it was the heart of the community. Over the next 80 years, The Arsenal gradually became less and less significant as a military installation and social outlet and finally was pretty much abandoned.
“Because this facility was so dear to the hearts of the local community, its use was repurposed to that of a museum housing artifacts from her long and illustrious history,” Mixon added. “We hope to make The Arsenal once again the belle of our town.”
Toward that end, last year the City of Beaufort completed a partial refurbishing of The Arsenal, replacing old windows, installing new bathrooms, and repairing the upper and lower roof.
The museum is in the midst of a series of exhibit upgrades, Guida said. Next, the board hopes to display more artifacts from Beaufort’s past. The museum also has a room devoted to changing exhibits. The current one showcases movies made in and around Beaufort.
“Our location in the historic Arsenal provides a nice starting point for anyone wishing to learn the history of our area,” Guida said. “We are an all-volunteer organization responsible for the safekeeping of the City’s collection of important and historic artifacts.”
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 is located at 713 Craven St., and the museum is accessed through the Visitors Center on the first floor. A small admission fee is charged, but donations are appreciated. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Normal hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday. Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Docent classes are conducted on an ongoing basis. Docents are on duty to provide information and conduct tours. Please visit www.beauforthistorymuseum.com or the BHM Facebook page for updates and news from the Museum. For information on becoming a Docent or Volunteer Greeter contact the Museum at email@example.com or call 843-379-3079.
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