Beaufort History Museum

...Welcome to an audio tour of the Beaufort History Museum...

Before St. Augustine, Jamestown and Plymouth, Beaufort District's Parris Island was the site of Santa Elena founded by the Spanish -- the first European Colonial capital in what is now the United States.  The Revolutionary War battle of Grays Hill was fought just outside of Beaufort, and a Beaufort District plantation owner Thomas Heyward, Jr. signed the Declaration of Independence.

The seeds of the Civil War were planted here, when prominent residents secretly met to plan secession from the Union in a Craven Street home, now famously known as “Secession House.” In November 1861 during the early days of the Civil War, white residents hastily abandoned their homes and fled town as the Union forces sailed into Port Royal Sound. For the rest of the war Union troops made us their headquarters, transforming many of the antebellum mansions into hospitals for the wounded.

With the Civil War still raging, Reconstruction began here when 10,000 slaves were liberated during the early months of the war. Northern missionaries educated the newly freed men, women and children at schools like Penn School as part of the Port Royal Experiment.

You’ll hear these stories and learn much more about how we changed the course of America’s history, when you step back in time at the Beaufort History Museum!

713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC, USA
Beaufort History Museum
  1. Welcome!
  2. Beaufort County's First People
  3. The Yamasee Indians
  4. Altamaha Town Archaeology
  5. European Superpowers in Carolina
  6. The Greatest and Fairest Haven
  7. Beaufort's Golden Age
  8. Patriots and Loyalists
  9. Antebellum Beaufort – In Town (1782-1861)
  10. Sea Island Cotton
  11. Antebellum Beaufort – Plantations (1782-1861)
  12. Battle of Port Royal (1861)
  13. Beaufort and the Civil War (1861-1865)
  14. The African American Experience (1861-1865)
  15. Model of the New South: Postbellum Beaufort (1865-1893)
  16. Robert Smalls -- The 'King' of Beaufort
  17. The Great Depression – Riches to Rags
  18. The Early 20th Century -- Here Comes the Marines!
  19. The Early 20th Century -- Civil Rights
  20. Rise of the Sunbelt -- Charles Fraser and the Fraser Effect
  21. 21st Century Beaufort -- The 'Chambers' Vision
  22. Preserving Our History
  23. The Greatest and Fairest Haven