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Beaufort, South Carolina


Our horse for the Carriage Tour
May 8, 2012    Winding our way just a little further south, we stopped in the second oldest city in SC, Beaufort, established in 1711.  We decided a local horse drawn carriage tour would be a good introduction to the city.  The carriage driver provided more facts and stories about the history than we were able to absorb, but it was a perfect way to get a feel for the background of the area. 
Cuthbert Home built in 1810

Tabby Manse built in 1786

Alan standing next to one of the massive, old oaks.
Stately homes, many of them built in the 1700 or 1800’s, and majestic oaks line the waterfront area of the city.  The morning after our carriage ride, we took a self-guided walking tour of the city trying to absorb a little more of the history.  The Historic District of the city was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, so any work, even a simple paint job, requires approval.  The buildings' colors have to remain as they were originally.  Among interesting tidbits, porch ceilings are painted black or blue in order to prevent wasp or mud daubers from creating nests on the ceilings.  We didn’t see a single nest on any of the dozens of homes we walked past; so I think Alan will be painting our porch ceilings when we get back home. 


St. Helena's
Graveyard at St. Helena's
St. Helena’s Episcopal Church, established in 1712, is celebrating 300 years of serving the Beaufort community.  In the graveyard surrounding the church, veterans from various wars, through its history, are marked with flags from the U.S, the Confederacy and Great Britian.  The church has been put to other uses through time.  Local legend says the British used the church as a horse stable during the Revolutionary War.  During the Civil War, the Union Army used the church as a hospital.

Tabernacle Baptist Church
Tabernacle Baptist Church, the first black Baptist Church in Beaufort, was formed in 1861 following federal occupation of the city.  The artist who created the stain-glass windows in the church was diagnosed with cancer after completing the first window and was told she had a few months to live.  She completed all the windows in the church prior to her death, 8 years later.  The church is also the burial site of Robert Smalls, born into slavery in 1839.  He went on to serve in the Union army and, ultimately, served in both the South Carolina state legislature and U. S. House.


Hunting Island Lighthouse
While we explored the Beaufort area, we camped at Hunting Island State Park.  We opted for the beach campground.  We were 3 rows away from the ocean but it was a short walk down to the water.  Walking to the south you come upon a tree graveyard similar to the one we experienced at Botany Beach (near Edisto Island.)  This is near the lighthouse location.  The lighthouse is open to the public and for $2 you can go the 167 steps to the top.  We decided not to do the climb, but I’m sure the view would be incredible.  Mosquitoes are a major issue in the treed area near the lighthouse (and throughout the Park.)  Palmetto, pine and oak trees line the trails.  It’s lovely but you want to be well supplied with mosquito repellant before starting out. 

Hunting Island Beach on low tide
Biking to the north end of the beach on low tide, we found hard-packed sand that went on for a few miles.  At some points the beach seemed to be half a mile wide, and with the ocean glistening alongside, it was gorgeous.  Shrimp boats could be seen just a couple miles offshore and shrimp is seen on the menu of most restaurants in town.  The shrimp certainly should be fresh!

Shrimp boats
We indulged heavily on seafood during our visit.  Alan dubbed the Shrimp Shack (not far from Hunting Island) as the best fried shrimp and corn fritters he has ever eaten—so that was lunch for him twice.  They are only open from 11-2 or I’m sure he would have eaten dinner there as well.

We enjoyed the visit in Beaufort but it is time to move on.  Savannah, GA is our next destination.

Sunset overlooking the marshes

Deer begging for handouts at the campground

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