Architectural Treasures of Historic Beaufort’s Bay Street

Cuthbert House Bay Street Historic Beaufort SC
This older photo by Charles N Bayless shows repairs being made to the Cuthbert House.

The Beaufort Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. A city with this much architectural history is one you surely want to visit.

Bay Street Historic Beaufort sc

Beaufort, SC is a city rich in history and culture. Most of the homes located in the historic district pre-date the Civil War, thanks in part to the fact that its citizens fled the city before Union troops made their way into town. The city fell early during the war, surrendering on November 7, 1861. Beaufort became the headquarters of the US Army, Department of the South. Most homes were converted into hospitals, offices and officer’s quarters. One home was even re-purposed as a bakery.

verdier house Bay Street Historic Beaufort sc
This image on the Verdier House is from the Library of Congress.

The district is a mix of Federal, Neoclassical, Greek Revival and Victorian architectural wonders. The city is also known for its widespread use of tabby construction, using oyster shells, sand, lime and ash to make an early form of concrete. The raised basements of many Beaufort homes are made from tabby.

tabby manse Bay Street Historic Beaufort
This Tabby Manse image was captured by Charles Bayless.

Some of the most iconic homes in Beaufort can be found along the waterfront of Bay Street. These homes, found in the areas known as the Bluff and the Point, sit just across the street from the scenic Beaufort River.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1411 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

1411 Bay Street is home to the E. A. Scheper House. This house is believed to have been built in 1896. Originally it had intricate gingerbread trim, which was popular in the Victorian period. The house was bought in 1938 and almost completely rebuilt. The exterior was transformed into a more neo-Colonial style that we see today.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1405 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Edward Barnwell-Geddes Dowling House is located next door at 1405 Bay Street. This house has had a very interesting past. The house has been dated at no older than 1815. Union soldiers used the roof as a signal station to communicate with soldiers through the passageway of Port Royal Sound to the Atlantic Ocean. Edward Barnwell was the grandson of Colonel John Barnwell, also known as Tuscarora Jack. He was an Indian fighter and founder of Beaufort. Two brothers once lived in the house. Because of their hatred for each other, they divided the house right down the middle. The nail holes can still be seen today along the floor. The house was owned by Broadway actress Maude Odell Doremus in the 1920s. The house was next purchased by the McTeer family in 1937. James McTeer was known as the high sheriff of the lowcountry. He was a big fan of Gullah culture and was called the white witch doctor.

Bay Street beaufort sc
400 Wilmington Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Continuing down Bay Street, the John Joyner Smith House sits next. The actual address is 400 Wilmington Street, but the house faces Bay Street. This Federal-style home was built in 1813. A Greek Revival remodel was subsequently done to the house. During the Civil War a Federal military commander occupied the house along with his staff.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1307 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

This 1883 Victorian sits proudly among its statelier neighbors at 1307 Bay Street. The William Ritchie House was built by a foot soldier from Connecticut who came to Beaufort during the Civil War. While stationed in Beaufort, Ritchie fell in love with the town and decided to make it his home.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1305 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The General Stephen Bull House is located next, at 1305 Bay Street. This 1910 house sits high on the bluff overlooking the Beaufort River. The cast iron fence that surrounds the house is said to have been cast from Swedish ore.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1301 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Charles Edward Leverette House sits next door at 1301 Bay Street.  This home was built in the early 1800s. The home is named after Reverend Leverette, who was the last rector of Old Sheldon Church, which now lies in beautiful ruins between Beaufort and Yemassee. The home was confiscated during the Civil War, but Reverend Leverette was lucky enough to petition to have his property returned. He regained ownership and it remained in his family until 1920

Bay Street beaufort sc
1211 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Thomas Fuller House is more commonly known as the Tabby Manse. It sits at 1211 Bay Street. This house is one of the finest early homes in Beaufort. Built in 1786, this home resembles the Miles Brewton House of Charleston. This home is a great example of tabby construction. This early building material composed of oyster shells and lime mortar was used to cover the home. Tabby Manse was built by Thomas Fuller as a wedding gift for his bride Elizabeth Middleton. The house was built on a raised basement to take advantage of river breezes. The house was converted to a guest house in the 1870s. Francis Griswold wrote A Sea Island Lady while staying in the house.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1207 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Robert Means House can be found next, at 1207 Bay Street. The house was built around 1800 by a prominent Beaufort merchant and planter. The stately two-story veranda wasn’t added until the early 1900s.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1203 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The John A. Cuthbert House sits just down the street at 1203 Bay Street. Built around 1810, the house underwent significant remodeling in the late 1930s. The Federal-style house was given Victorian elements in the form of gingerbread trim and a south porch expansion. The house operates as the Cuthbert House Bed and Breakfast today.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1103 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The William Elliott House is commonly known as the Anchorage. This magnificent home at 1103 Bay Street was built around 1800.  The double verandas are topped with a roof line balustrade. The house was used by Union troops as a hospital and was designated as the Mission House. The home was greatly altered in the early 1900s when stucco was added to the exterior. The Anchorage was threatened with demolition, but the Historic Beaufort Foundation stepped in to save it. Today this protected property serves as the Anchorage Bed and Breakfast.

Bay Street beaufort sc
1001 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The George Elliott House sits proudly on a corner lot at 1001 Bay Street. When originally built, the house had no upper veranda. The second story porch was added in the late nineteenth century. The three-story 7,980 square foot home is built on a raised basement. This stately home with massive columns was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Union soldiers were posted upstairs where they kept an eye on the harbor.

Bay Street beaufort sc
801 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Just two blocks away sits the Verdier House at 801 Bay Street. This c.1804 Federal-style mansion was built by and named after John Mark Verdier, a wealthy merchant and planter. Verdier acquired wealth trading indigo, lost his money then revived his wealth by planting sea island cotton. This home served as Union army headquarters and the adjutant general’s office from 1861-1865. Today the house is open as a museum Monday – Saturday, from 10:30 – 3:30.

Bay Street beaufort sc
611 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Wallace House sits just steps away at 611 Bay Street. This 1908 home was built after the Great Fire of Beaufort in 1907. The fire was started by three boys, all under 10, who sneaked into a barn to smoke cigarettes. The wrought iron fence in front dates to the early 19th century. The brick home’s double verandas are accentuated with arched doors and window trim.

Bay Street beaufort sc
607 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The William Joseph Thomas House can be found at 607 Bay Street. Built in 1909, this Victorian structure was built of concrete stone blocks from materials brought from Charleston. The two-story porches and large windows are positioned to catch the breezes coming off the Beaufort River

Bay Street beaufort sc
601 Bay Street. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Lewis Reeve Sams House sits on the Point at 601 Bay Street. This three-story 7,600 square foot Beaufort Style house was built in 1852. The double verandas are held up beautifully with Doric and Ionic columns. The beautiful house was used as a hospital and headquarters for General Rufus Saxon during the Civil War. According to local folklore, the house was spared from fire in 1907 by the efforts of the Waterhouse cotton gin workers. They extinguished the flames by forming a bucket brigade and using wet blankets. This house was also used in the movie Prince of Tides.

You can also read about More Architectural Treasures in Historic Beaufort.

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

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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

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The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
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Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
Spanish moss drapes the live oak trees that are ubiquitous to the Edisto Island area. Did you know that Edisto gets its name from the native Edistow people? The Edistow Native Americans were a sub tribe of the Cusabo indians, a group of Native Americans who lived along the Atlantic coast in South Carolina.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: Stop by mid-morning. That way you can explore the island, grab lunch, and stay for the amazing sunset if you choose.🏖️ Things to do while there: Edisto Environmental Learning Center, Boneyard Beach, Scott Creek Inlet, Big Bay Creek, SeaCow Eatery.☀️ Things to visit in the area: Jungle Road Park, Bay Creek Park, Otter Islands, Spanish Mount Point.📆 Best time of the year to visit: For warmer weather come anywhere from March-August.🏨 Where to stay: Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort (frippislandrsrt), Seabrook Island Club (seabrook_sc), The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (kiawahresort), Charleston Kiawah Island/Andell Inn (andellinn).Photo by qcphotographer
Discover at your own leisure at the coastaldiscoverymuseum 🌳  From century-old buildings with storied pasts, to wooden boardwalks that stretch into the Jarvis Creek salt marsh, there's always something to explore!
Reposted from coastaldiscoverymuseum Hilton Head Island has the second highest tidal range on the East Coast, second only to Canada’s Bay of Fundy. The average tidal range here is 7-9 feet between high and low tides.The Salt Marsh is one of our area’s most prominent features, not to mention an essential resource. Most coastal creatures depend partially or even fully on the Salt Marsh for survival as it serves as a nursery, as well as a water filter vital for the functioning of the entire coastal ecosystem.Explore the Lowcountry up close with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum and head out into the marsh via the Osprey Outlook floating dock on a self-guided tour or register for the weekly Salt Marsh Discovery program to learn from an expert how and why this particular environment is so important. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223 or coastaldiscovery.org.
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A visitor takes a leisurely stroke under a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss in the Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff) neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque community that sits in the heart of Lowcountry. Nestled along the May River, it’s abundant with beautiful walking trails, historic sites, and stunning views.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: There is no wrong time to visit Palmetto Bluff. However, we highly recommend sticking around for one of their spectacular sunsets.🛶 Things to do while there: Stop by Cole’s for some regionally inspired Southern fare, paddle board, kayak, or canoe along the May River, go saltwater fishing, take a tour at Bluffton Jack's Old Town Tours.🌊 Things to visit in the area: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Old Town Bluffton, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, May River Sandbar, Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center (heywardhouse).📆 Best time of the year to visit: For the best weather, we recommend visiting between March and May or from September to November.🏨 Where to stay: The Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort (montagepalmettobluff) is the only resort in Palmetto Bluff. However, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding areas including: Old Town Bluffton Inn (oldtownblufftoninn), The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (theinnandclubatharbourtown), Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (sonestahhi).Photo by jpgriceoz
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It’s my last week in the Lowcountry. I will be incredibly happy to be back home, but I will sure miss these views. ☀️🌴[Image Description: a photo of a sun setting over the Lowcountry wetlands. The cloud in the sky are reflected on the water below.]
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Riding into the weekend like...Isn't this live oak tree tunnel beautiful? Live oak, draped in Spanish moss, is emblematic of South Carolina and many of the Southern states. We love these iconic trees, not only for their beauty, but their history as well. The average lifespan of a live oak is 300 years!Photo by qcphotographer
The tickets for our Decoration Day Gullah Campfire Supper with Stories and Songs are available now through our website, link in bio.We are Hipcamp hosts.  You can attend the event and stay over, extra spaces will be made available.  Contact us for more information.  Our Hipcamp listing name is Friendly Fowl Farm.This event will celebrate the United States Colored Troops in the Beaufort area and the establishment of the Grand Army Union Post and the Hall, it’s members and their mission.The guest speaker for this year is Rev. Dr. Elijah Washington, the current Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic whose historic hall is located at 706 Newcastle Street, Beaufort.Built in 1896, this meeting hall for the post is believed to be the only surviving building in South Carolina associated with the Grand Army of the Republic. The post hosted annual Decoration Day services at Beaufort National Cemetery and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War continue that tradition. It is included in the Beaufort Historic District.
If you have period clothing please join your hosts amjones42 Tony and orbgtennis Belinda and dress the part.  Re-enactors are welcome.#decorationday #memorialday #unitedstatescoloredtroops #ushistory #history #travelandleisure #farmtotable #camping #unionarmy #uscoloredinfantry #historymakers #travelandlearn #gullah #gullahgeechee #blackhistory #grandarmyoftherepublic #grandarmyoftherepublic #robertsmalls #civilwarhistory #civilwarreenactment #sclowcountry #discoversc #campinglife #explore #getoutside #hipcamp #historicbeaufort
The magic of the season has begun in our SC Lowcountry. Come see!#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry #beaufortcountysc #colletoncountysc #hamptoncountysc #jaspercountysc #tistheseason #holidayseason
“Beaufort River Sunset”
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