FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beaufort, SC – June 13, 2020 - South Carolina’s cultural institutions, like other public spaces and businesses, closed temporarily during the past few months while coping with Covid-19 restrictions. This has resulted in critical revenue losses while operating expenses continue. Beaufort History Museum will be receiving assistance to bridge the gap in lost funds and help it emerge from closure in a healthier financial position.
The Museum received a Bridge Grant from South Carolina Humanities www.schumanities.org. Funding for the Bridge Grants has been provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. The Museum, located in the historic Arsenal on Craven Street, was awarded $2,500 that will be allocated to offset lost revenue and pay for ongoing operating expenses.
“We closed our doors in mid-March in keeping with the Governor’s directives and according to CDC recommendations so that we could keep our staff, visitors and the collection safe,” said BHM Board President, Steve Guida. “We also had to cancel our largest fund-raising event, so we are facing a significant loss of income. The grant from South Carolina Humanities is timely assistance for which we are very thankful.” The Museum recently announced that it will be re-opening on Tuesday, June 16 and it is offering free admission through June 30.
Since its inception in 1939, Beaufort History Museum’s mission has been to educate the community and visitors about the district’s extraordinary 500-year history, which has shaped the evolution of America from it’s beginning. The organization offers docent–led and self guided tours of its valuable collection and exhibits.
The Museum’s Board of Directors is currently managing a multi-year initiative to expand and update exhibits, to display additional artifacts and provide a more interactive, engaging experience. Coming soon are a series of signs in the Arsenal Courtyard displaying the history of Beaufort Arsenal (1798) and Beaufort Volunteer Artillery (BVA), its first occupants. An in-depth exhibit describing how Port Royal Sound’s unique geography, climate and ecology have shaped Beaufort’s history since the 1500’s is slated to open this fall.
The Museum is an all-volunteer organization that depends on support from various local businesses, members and donors. It does not receive direct financial support from the city. Those wishing to donate may visit the website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.
The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. Normal BHM hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Tuesday – Saturday. 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 visit the website or call 843-379-3079.
Beaufort, SC – June 4, 2020 - Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal on Craven St., will re-open to the public on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Admission will be free for a two-week period following the opening. Docent-led and self-guided tours of the Exhibit Halls will be available.
In a preemptive measure to protect visitors, staff, volunteers and the collection from then evolving exposure to COVID-19, the Museum closed in mid-March and suspended all public programming. To date the Museum has not had any reported cases of infection on its premises.
Board of Directors President, Steve Guida, made the announcement of the opening. “We are looking forward to welcoming people back to the Museum and are pleased to offer free admission for a period of two weeks, from Tuesday, June 16 to Tuesday, June 30, “ he said. “This is a chance for our patrons to return and for those who have not yet experienced all we have to offer to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Visitors will be asked to observe the commonly accepted CDC protocols for social distancing while touring the Museum. The use of facemasks is required while visiting the Museum gallery.
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. Docent classes are conducted on an ongoing basis.
The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. Normal BHM hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Tuesday – Saturday. 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.
View WTOC-TV's feature about the Beaufort History Museum's Civil War Encampment Event.
If you missed this year's annual meeting (or even if you were there), click here to view Dr. Larry Rowland's keynote address on the Yemassee Indian Wars.
Our thanks to Jeff Kidd to shooting and preparing this video.
Beaufort, SC – February 24, 2020 - Beaufort History Museum will present its fifth annual Living History Encampment on Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 9 AM – 5 PM in the Arsenal courtyard. Re-enactors coming to Beaufort from several states will portray Union troops from the Department of the South who were garrisoned in the Lowcountry and occupied the Beaufort Arsenal during the Civil War.
The re-enactors will set up camp in the walled Arsenal courtyard and provide a unique educational opportunity for visitors of all ages, who will be able to interact with the soldiers to learn firsthand how life was lived in Beaufort during the Civil War years. A Civil War era cannon will be on display in the Arsenal courtyard the day of the event.
The Museum is again partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) and its Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Visitors Center, located in the old Firehouse building on Craven Street across from the Arsenal, and with Beaufort County Library. The Museum’s highly acclaimed exhibit, Reconstruction Beaufort, is on display at NPS’ visitors center, which will be open the day of the Encampment.
Beaufort is the place where Reconstruction first began during the early years of the Civil War. The National Park Service plans special activities the day of the Encampment event for kids who want to earn their Junior Ranger badges and will have docents on hand at its visitors venter.
The Library, located at 311 Scott Street, will host two talks on Saturday, March 14 about Beaufort during the Civil War era. At 10 AM, NPS Ranger Christopher Barr will talk about the Reconstruction Era in Beaufort, and at 2 PM, storyteller Cora Newcomb, in period dress, will talk about “Women of Civil War Beaufort”. Both talks are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.
“Our annual Living History Encampment is one of the Museum’s most popular events and attracted more than 600 visitors in a single day last year”, said Carol Lauvray, BHM Board of Directors Member and Co-chair of the Encampment event committee. “We are very grateful to all of our partners, whose efforts and collaboration contribute to the Encampment’s success: encampment organizer Lou Evans and the other re-enactors; Scott Teodorski, Superintendent of the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, and Park Ranger Christopher Barr; and Grace Cordial of Beaufort County Library’s Beaufort District Collection.”
Admission is free to the Encampment in the Arsenal courtyard (donations to support the Museum are much appreciated). On the day of the Encampment event, admission to the Museum’s Exhibition Hall on the second floor of the Arsenal will be specially priced at $6.00 per visitor ($5.00 for seniors). Museum members, children, and active military and their families are admitted to the Museum free of charge at all times. Admission is free to the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Visitors Center.
The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. Normal BHM hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday – Saturday. 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.
March 13, 2020. The Beaufort History Museum plans to conduct its annual Civil War Encampment on Saturday, March 14. However, in light of ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 and for the safety of our visitors, precautions are in order.
We ask those planning to attend Saturday's event to refrain from coming if any of the following conditions apply:
♦ You are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, or fever).
♦ You have visited China, Italy, Iran, South Korea or any other U.S. city that has experienced an outbreak in the past 14 to 30 days.
♦ You have had contact with anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19.
While at the event, please practice common-sense preventative measures, such as covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, avoiding shaking hands, and maintaining social distance from other visitors. This will not only prevent the spread of disease but give other visitors peace of mind. Also note that the virus poses a greater risk to the elderly; and those with respiratory disease, diabetes and other illnesses than to the general population. These people, or those in frequent contact with those who have these conditions should consider the risk before attending this or any other event where many people might gather.
Those who want to learn more about the virus and its risks to travelers to visit this Centers for Disease Control website page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavi…/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Beaufort History Museum Announces Lecture January 7, 2020
Beaufort International Film Festival Featured
Beaufort, SC – December 20, 2019 - Beaufort History Museum, in partnership with the Beaufort Branch Library, will present a lecture by Ron and Rebecca Tucker, featuring the Beaufort International Film Festival. Titled “Beaufort Hugs and Southern Hospitality”, the talk is scheduled for 2 PM on Tuesday, January 7 at the Presbyterian Fellowship Hall located on North Street in downtown Beaufort.
A donation of $5 is suggested and reservations are required. To sign up visit the BHM website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com. Please print out the ticket and bring to the event. Registration opens December 24, 2019. (Lectures sell out. Those with tickets will be admitted first.) Funds collected will be used to support ongoing Museum programs and the renovation of the Exhibit Hall, which is currently underway.
Ron and Rebecca Tucker are the founders Beaufort Film Society (BFS) and the Beaufort International Film Festival. Prior to the launching BFS they were producing partners with Sandbar Productions and Good-to-Go Video. Specializing in documentaries about the Marine Corps, they produced and distributed these programs around the world
The 14th-annual Beaufort International Film Festival will be held Feb. 18-23, 2020. The purpose of the festival is to recognize aspiring filmmakers of almost every genre to include independent film, music, animation, short and long features, documentaries, and screenwriting.
It is also an opportunity to showcase the beautiful "film-friendly" region of Beaufort and the Carolina Sea Islands. Beaufort has served as the backdrop for more than 20 major motion pictures, including Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, and many more.
Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal on Craven Street, 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 Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday.
Beaufort History Museum, in partnership with the Beaufort County Library, announces the second talk in its fall history lecture series, “The Big Gun Shoot”, presented by Dave Smoot. The event is planned for Thursday, November 7, at 2:00 pm at the Beaufort Branch Library, which is located at 211 Scott Street.
Admission to the lecture is free. A donation of $5 is suggested and reservations are required. To sign up visit www.beauforthistorymuseum.com Please print out the ticket and bring to the event. (Lectures sell out. Those with tickets will be admitted first.) Funds collected will be used to support ongoing Museum programs and the Phase II renovation of the Exhibit Hall currently underway. Phase I of the renovation opened last year.
The Battle of Port Royal Sound was one of the earliest and most important naval operations of the Civil War. On November 7, 1861 a large Union Army and Navy expedition sailed into Port Royal Sound to do battle with two Confederate forts, Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and Fort Beauregard on Bay Point. This battle of land-based artillery against ship-born artillery was known as “the Big Gun Shoot. The program will discuss the guns, munitions and fortifications involved in “The Big Gun Shoot”.
Dave Smoot earned his degree on history in 1979. He recently retired from a 10-year position as the Museum Technician at Parris Island Museum where he collaborated with noted historian Dr. Stephen Wise to curate the story of the Marines. He was an historic interpreter and curator at a Virginia Living History Museum before relocating to Beaufort.
An skilled re-enactor, he has portrayed Civil War surgeon Dr. Tooms and Civil War doctor, Dr. Meade along with providing other informative and illuminating programs on "The Well Dressed Marine of 1915" and "The South Carolina Constitution of 1865."
The Beaufort County Library System is a free and accessible center of ideas, information, and resources that foster learning, community, and literacy. The Library provides open and guided access to a wide variety of media and programs enrichment, and cultural understanding.
Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal at 713 Craven Street, has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times. The Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Information on other events, Docent Training classes, volunteer opportunities and membership may be found on the website and by visiting the Museum’s Facebook page.
Beaufort History Museum Announces Fall Docent Training
Classes begin November 5, 2019
Beaufort, SC – October 14, 2019 – Beaufort History Museum (BHM) is offering Docent classes to train volunteers who lead Museum tours and serve as community liaisons. In the classes, directed by Docent Educator Lorrie Burleyknoles, participants learn how Beaufort shaped America from the early European settlements to current times.
Docent training classes are scheduled:
To earn Docent certification all classes must be completed. Box lunches will be included at all sessions. Continuing education will be available with advanced Docent Training quarterly with special speakers and interesting field trips.
To become a BHM Docent candidates must:
Classes will be held at BHM located in the historic Arsenal at 713 Craven Street. Space in the class is limited and those interested in attending the session are encouraged to register early. For more information on the Docent program, or other volunteer opportunities with the Museum, contact Lorrie Burleyknoles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tom Kelley at email@example.com, or call 559-362-3237.
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 to the modern era.
The Museum’s hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Docents are on duty to provide information and conduct tours. Admission is $7.00 per visitor ($6.00 for Seniors). Children and active military are admitted free of charge. Please visit www.beauforthistorymuseum.com or BHM’s Facebook page for updates and news from the Museum.
Historic Beaufort is heart of the Lowcountry - Atlanta Journal Constitution Travel, 10/14/2019, by Cele and Lynn Seldon, for the AJC
BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA —
South Carolina’s Lowcountry conjures up images of lush marshlands blanketed with spartina grasses, the sounds of oysters and crabs making their homes as the tide rises and falls, and the scent of pluff mud mixed with the briny breeze. There’s also the antebellum architecture, Spanish moss-draped avenues shadowed by massive oaks and magnolias and the clippity-clop of horse hooves along the pavement as the carriage tours share the history of the area. Charleston may be the better known historic city on the South Carolina coast, but no place captures the heart of the Lowcountry quite like Beaufort.
Located on Port Royal Island in the heart of the Sea Islands that stretch from Jacksonville to Charleston, Beaufort is about 20 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, bordered by the Beaufort River and Battery Creek. It is a quintessential small Southern town, home to 13,000 people who were either born here and married to her sultry charms or found their way here for one reason or another and succumbed to her allure.
Established by the British in 1711, Beaufort (pronounced “Bew-fert,” versus the other Beaufort in the other Carolina, which is pronounced “Bow-fort”) is the second oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. But about 200 years earlier, it was the site of the second European landing in North America and a settlement called Santa Elena, established by the Spanish in 1566, four decades before the English settled Jamestown.
Almost 150 years later, the British established Beaufort, which played key roles in the Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction era. After Union Army forces occupied the area following the 1861 Battle of Port Royal, slave-holding plantation owners fled and the area became one of the earliest supporters of slave emancipation, including the founding in 1862 of the Penn Center for the education of newly freed Gullah slaves on nearby St. Helena Island. The city continued to flourish after the war and into the early 20th century through phosphate mining, naval operations and the founding of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on nearby Parris Island. The latter half of the 20th century saw the birth of tourism, as visitors came to explore Beaufort’s rich historic legacy, antebellum architecture and waterfront activities.
With this historic pedigree, there are plenty of things to do and see in and around this charming city. It’s best to start at the beginning with an exploration of the Santa Elena History Center and relive America’s first — and mostly lost — century.
Newly established in 2017 by President Barack Obama, Reconstruction Era National Historic Park is currently being developed and is a work in progress. However, there are several ways to explore the history of this era now, starting at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island. Here you can visit the original Penn School at Darrah Hall and the Brick Baptist Church, built in 1855 by enslaved people. Deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1974, the campus not only continues to fulfill its educational mission, but it also features a museum and gift shop, a cultural center and the site where Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Beaufort History Museum gives a glimpse into the role Beaufort played in American history. Located in the historic 1852 arsenal, the building was home to African-American militia units during Reconstruction and was used as the first post-Civil War voting station. Other Reconstruction era sites in the works include the Old Beaufort Firehouse, which will be converted into a National Park Visitor Center.
Beaufort’s charming downtown historic district is filled with a variety of sites, including the Mark Verdier House, circa 1804, a Federal-style mansion that belonged to the wealthy merchant and planter Mark Verdier. On site are a number of exhibits, including a scale model diorama of Bay Street in 1863, Civil War photos and an exhibit devoted to Robert Smalls, who was born into slavery in Beaufort and went on to become a Union naval hero during the Civil War and a South Carolina congressman during the Reconstruction era.
Many of the historic buildings along Bay Street contain shops and restaurants, and one block south lies Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, along the Beaufort River. Featuring an oyster tabby river walk, a bustling marina, swing benches, green space for picnicking and a playground for children, Waterfront Park is a popular gathering place for viewing sunrises and sunsets across the harbor.
The area is also home to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, which showcases the life and writings of the beloved Lowcountry author and hosts a variety of literary events year-round.
Because of Beaufort’s unparalleled beauty, its spectacular houses and waterfront locations have been featured in several major movies, including “The Big Chill,” “The Prince of Tides” and “Forrest Gump.” See them all on one of Beaufort Tours’ walking or van tours. Departing from the downtown marina, tours last from one to three hours, depending on the theme. Options include Civil War and Reconstruction, Pat Conroy’s Beaufort, and Sea Island Plantation and Gullah culture.
Beaufort doesn’t have a beach, but 15 miles south is beautiful Hunting Island State Park. With five miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches, thousands of acres of marshland and maritime forest, plenty of wildlife and the state’s only accessible lighthouse, Hunting Island makes for a great outing. That is, if you can pull yourself away from the charms of Beaufort, heart of the Lowcountry.
IF YOU GO
Beaufort, South Carolina, is 260 miles southeast of Atlanta.
WHAT TO DO
Santa Elena History Center. Explore the first European colonial capital in the New World. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 1501 Bay St. $5-$10. 843-379-1550, www.santa-elena.org
Penn Center. Established as a school for freed slaves in 1862, it continues to serve as a source of education and history. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. $5-$7. 38 Penn Center Circle West, St. Helena Island. 843-838-2474, www.penncenter.com.
Beaufort History Museum. A museum displaying the history of Beaufort in an 1852 arsenal. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. $7. 713 Craven St. 843-379-3079, www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.
Mark Verdier House. An architectural example of Beaufort’s moneyed class, along with several exhibits reflecting Beaufort’s history. 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Guided tours every hour on the half hour. Free. 801 Bay St. 843-379-6335, www.historicbeaufort.org/verdier-house.
Pat Conroy Literary Center. A cultural center dedicated to the life and works of author Pat Conroy. Noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Free. 905 Port Republic St. 843-379-7025, www.patconroyliterarycenter.org.
Beaufort Tours. Walking and van tours of many of Beaufort’s attractions. $10-$60. 1006 Bay St. 843-838-2746, www.beauforttoursllc.com.
Hunting Island State Park. $3-$5. 2555 Sea Island Parkway, Hunting Island. 843-838-2011, www.southcarolinaparks.com/hunting-island
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