Beaufort’s Anchorage 1770

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

The Anchorage was built around 1770 by Ralph Emms Elliott. Upon his death, the house passed to William Elliott. The tabby construction house is thought by many to be the most elegant house on the bay. William Elliot was a politician, planter, sportsman and author. He entertained the Marquis de Lafayette at this home in 1825.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo from the South Caroliniana Library archives.

The house has seen many transformations over the last 250 years. It was designated Union Hospital No. 11 during the Civil War and called the mission house. Next, it saw life as a Club House for the Sea Island Hotel. General Wade Hampton gave a speech from the piazza while running for governor. By 1891 the house was repurposed as the Ribaut Social Club, complete with bar and roulette wheel.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo from the 1940s collection of Mrs. John F. Maag.

In March of 1891, the home was purchased by a Naval officer, Rear Admiral Lester Beardslee for $4,000. He quickly began returning the building to its former glory. The April 3, 1902 issue of the Beaufort Gazette reported, “The renovation of the old tabby Clubhouse on the opposite corner from the Sea Island Hotel…for a handsome mansion is progressing, and soon it will be made an imposing residence. Only a shell of the old building is being preserved, and entire new house walls are being built inside. The mansion will be the finest and most elegant in town.”

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

The tabby exterior was preserved by covering it in stucco during a 1902 renovation. During the same time an elevator was added along with the third level porch. Several secret compartments were also added to hide liquor from the owner’s wife. Upon completion of the $80,000 renovation, the Admiral christened the home “the Anchorage”.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

Between 1931 & 1966, the Anchorage was used as a tourist home. Hurricane Gracie blew into Beaufort in 1959, causing extensive damage. In 1969 the house was converted into the Anchorage House Restaurant. Sadly, by 1971 the building was facing demolition. The Historic Beaufort Foundation stepped in and saved it from devastation. It was bought, restored, and turned into an elegant and distinguished restaurant. The Anchorage even spent a brief period as corporate offices in 1999. Then in 2007, it became a restaurant again.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

New life was breathed back into the Anchorage in 2014, when Amy and Frank Lesesne purchased the property. They worked diligently to maintain, preserve, and enhance the property while reopening it as an inn.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

Visitors can choose from waterfront, water view or garden view rooms. Guests looking for a romantic getaway can book a suite in the cottage. Relax by the fire, or sip wine on the balcony or patio. Every room at the Anchorage 1770 offers a unique experience. Tastefully decorated rooms have four-poster beds, high ceilings and detailed plasterwork from the 1880s.

Certain rooms at the Anchorage are also dog friendly. Just let the staff know you plan to bring your furry friend, and you will be booked accordingly.
Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

Conde Nast Traveler wrote, “Owners Amy and Frank Lesesne were careful to update its 15 rooms without shedding centuries of history: the boutique inn was once a private home, a Union Army hospital and a clubhouse for the literary elite.”

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

Looking to pamper yourself? After breakfast in bed, indulge in yoga classes on the verandah as well as a spa or beauty treatment in the privacy of your room.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

After a day exploring Beaufort, come back to the Anchorage 1770 to dine at the Ribaut Social Club. Enjoy cocktails on the porch followed by regional cuisine in the dining room. Reservations are strongly recommended. Sunday brunch is also available.

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

According to Coastal Living Magazine, the Anchorage is “Elegantly perched overlooking Beaufort’s Harbor River, Anchorage 1770 is housed in the so-called “Queen of the Bay,” a Federalist manor that has served myriad purposes over its almost 250-year history… everyone can gather on Anchorage 1770’s upstairs porches for small plates and drinks in the evenings. Happy hour has never been happier.”

Beaufort Anchorage 1770
Photo by Amy Lesesne.

To book your getaway at Beaufort’s Anchorage 1770 visit https://anchorage1770.com/.

For more information on attractions in Beaufort visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/beaufort-port-royal-area/.

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