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Beaufort County: Rich in History and Heritage

Posted by Darle Booher on July 28, 2018
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Several years ago, I had the good fortune of taking a class on the history of Beaufort County, taught by two USCB professors. It was a fantastic experience and provided background I often share with potential buyers.

The Lowcountry has more than 100 historic sites spread throughout the county. Collectively, the 4 local mayors of Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Port Royal, created a joint task force to raise awareness of our rich past. This group is to investigate ways to use the sites to educate and enrich our residents, students and visitors.

The sites have been divided into four categories: Native American, Early Explorers, Civil War, and Gullah and Reconstruction. Multiple heritage trails will be created throughout the county that can provide attendees insight into the extensive role of Beaufort County in early American history.

St Helena will exhibit the time of European exploration and settlement. Penn Center will guide visitors through the Gullah-Geechee and Reconstruction era. Beaufort and Port Royal will demonstrate the Reconstruction period, while Hilton Head will show the island’s participation in the Civil War and founding of the first freed slaves’ settlement at Mitchelville. Putting this together would ensure the legacy of the Lowcountry is preserved in a cohesive format and be an inspiration to its participants.

While ambitious, it would be quite an asset to network the sites, similar to Boston’s Freedom Trail. Our history is an important part of our culture and we should do our part to make it available to future generations. It is likely we will learn and be inspired along the journey. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

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