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The Reconstruction Era National Monument Larry Koolkin Renaissance Man of Beaufort History

Fort Freemont A Vital Piece of History

JANUARY 2019 Robert Smalls American Hero





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Susan Deloach

Cindy Reid has been published in About Town, skirt!, and The Coastal Mariner. A graduate of Mills College in Oakland, CA, she spent most of her career working with authors in the retail book business before becoming one herself. She has a daughter who lives in the state of Washington. A native of New York’s Hudson Valley, she now makes her home on St. Helena Island.

Susan Deloach was born Susan Bessinger in Beaufort, where she still resides with her husband, Larry, and sons Hudson and Tucker. Susan has a gift for capturing the personality and unique essence of her subject whether on location or in the studio. Her portraits are as diverse as the personalities of the people she photographs - some are edgy, some joyful, but all have one thing in common: the sensitive, skilled and thoughtful approach of the artist behind the camera.

Emily Burgess Emily Burgess received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to three boys and writes freelance. She moved to Beaufort in 2013 for her husband’s job and enjoys all the lowcountry has to offer.

John Wollwerth

Nathan Livesay

John Wollwerth is a photographer raised in New York, now living in Beaufort. He specializes in wedding and commercial photography, with additional background in portrait and stock photography. His work has appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, the Minneapolis Tribune, Coastal Living and South Carolina Homes and Gardens. John is involved with the Photography Club of Beaufort and the Professional Photographer of South Carolina. He lives with his wife and three children.

Nathan Livesay is the Director of Economic Empowerment at World Orphans and Head Varsity Boys Basketball coach at Beaufort Academy. He has been a coach for the past 18 years and has written for various publications throughout the years.

Paul Nurnberg

Carol Lauvray Carol Lauvray relocated from Ohio to Beaufort in 2011 to enjoy the pristine coastal beauty of the Lowcountry and this friendly, welcoming community. In Beaufort, Carol’s found more than a home--she’s found the ideal place to pursue her passions for history and writing. Carol has more than 20 years of experience in writing marketing communications and holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Communication from Ohio University. Her daughter Cristin and son-in-law Kevin live near Columbus, Ohio.

Paul Nurnberg, whose studio is in Beaufort, SC, specializes in architectural and lifestyle advertising photography. He photographs a variety of subjects including people, products, food, nature and travel for ad agencies, large corporations and magazines. Local clients include Beaufort Memorial Hospital, The Vegetable Kingdom and Swanky J Boutique. Other clients include JCB, (UK/Savannah), Johnson Matthey, Parker’s Markets and Stertil­ Koni. Paul also teaches photography and camera classes and one on one lessons to individuals. He just finished a two-year term as president of the SC chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers


Julie Hales Owner/Publisher

Naomi Forrestall Graphic Design

04 January 2019 |

Lea Thornton-Allen Office Manager

Susan DeLoach Account Executive

Marsha Stewart Executive Assistant

Local Partnerships United Way of the Lowcountry also partners with several local agencies who specialize in improving the lives of “at risk� children in poverty and those suffering from neglect and abuse. UWLC helps meet the immediate needs of our community and works to create lasting, positive change.


Make a gift online at

or text LOWCOUNTRY to 30306 Mail Donations to: P.O. Box 202, Beaufort, SC 29901




Beaufort’s Roots In Reconstruction The Reconstruction Era National Monument


Larry Koolkin Renaissance Man of Beaufort History


Fort Freemont A Vital Piece of History


The Pat Conroy Literary Center Conroy Center’s Visiting Writers Series Welcomes Indigo Girl Author Natasha Boyd


Robert Smalls American Hero

Departments 07 Publisher’s Thoughts 17 Pull Out Section Bay Street Realty

08 14

34 06 January 2019 |




HAPPY NEW YEAR! Julie Hales owner/publisher Naomi Forrestall graphic designer Lea Thornton-Allen office manager Susan DeLoach account executive Marsha Stewart Executive Assistant

Beaufort Lifestyle is proudly produced by:

2015 Boundary Street Suite 330 Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 379-8696 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Write to us and tell us what you think. Beaufort Lifestyle welcomes all letters to the editor. Please send all letters via email to Julie Hales at Letters to the editor must have a phone number and name of contact. Phone numbers will not be published. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Beaufort Lifestyle welcomes story ideas from our readers. If you have a story idea or photo essay you would like to share, please submit ideas and material by emailing Julie Hales at Stories or ideas for stories must be submitted by email. Only feature stories and photo essays about people, places or things in Beaufort, Port Royal or the Sea Islands will be considered.

CIRCULATION: Beaufort Lifestyle is published monthly printing 10,000 copies and distributed to over 200 locations. Reproduction in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.


ell here we are....2019 has arrived! Each year at this time, we all start thinking of the things we plan to do different in the new resolutions, new goals, new plans for our professional life as well as personal. This new year brings many of these to mind for me. One of my main goals in 2019 is to find a way to give myself more time. Now, last time I checked, there is never going to be an increase to our 24 hours in a day. Nope...just not gonna happen. I sometimes find myself looking at the clock and wondering where all the time has is a very precious commodity that we all Julie Hales, PUBLISHER need more of. As some of you may know, I have recently gotten a “new job.” Unfortunately, my mother has had a very harsh year. She has been very ill and has been hospitalized for over half of 2018. About five months ago, I had to move my mother in with me. So, now I can add caretaker to my resume. It’s a fascinating that requires patience and understanding....and a huge amount of love! With my new “position,” I have found that time is a bit more valuable to me than before. And, it is something that I run out of frequently. There are days when I wish I could run to the store and buy some more of it, but we all know that is wishful thinking. Please don’t get me wrong. I value the relationship I have with my mother. And, I am happy to be there for her and with her. She has always been there for me...I am just returning the favor. Time is my only issue...and I plan to make changes in 2019 to allow myself more time for the important things in family and my dear friends. My advice to the same. Make 2019 a little more special to the ones you love!


ABOUT THE COVER “There’s not a better place than Beaufort to use as a platform to tell the story of Reconstruction.” – Scott Teodorski, National Park Service Superintendent of the Reconstruction Era National Monument shown here with Mayor Billy Keyserling in front of the Era National Monument Visitor Center


The Reconstruction Era National Monument Larry Koolkin Renaissance Man of Beaufort History

Fort Freemont A Vital Piece of History

JANUARY 2018 Conroy Center’s Visiting Writers Series Welcomes Indigo Girl Author | January 2019 07

Beaufort’s Roots in Reconstruction

The Reconstruction Era National Monument story by Carol Lauvray

photos by Susan DeLoach


resident Barack Obama issued a proclamation on January 12, 2017 establishing the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The monument is a unit of the National Park Service consisting of historic sites from the Reconstruction Era—Penn Center’s Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church on St. Helena Island and the Camp Saxton site in Port Royal—along with the Old Beaufort Firehouse in the Beaufort National Historic Landmark District in downtown Beaufort. If you’ve passed the old firehouse on Craven Street, you may have noticed it’s now the Reconstruction Era National Monument visitor center, which has been closed much of the time. That will change beginning in January when Scott Teodorski, the NPS’ newly appointed permanent superintendent of the national monument, opens the visitor center on a more regular basis to tell the story of how the Reconstruction Era started right here in Beaufort! The Reconstruction Era National Monument—Decades In The Making Reconstruction is a story that began nearly 160 years ago in the Sea Islands of the Lowcountry in the early months of the Civil War. The story of the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort has unfolded over the past two decades, with the support of hundreds of people within this community and nationally. “The National Park Service’s involvement in creating the Reconstruction Era National Monument goes back to 2000, when former Secretary of the

Interior Bruce Babbitt recognized that Reconstruction was a large part of this country’s history that was not being told by the Park Service,” Superintendent Teodorski says. “There’s not a better place than Beaufort to use as a platform to tell the story of Reconstruction.” Upon the President’s January 2017 proclamation establishing the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort, U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn released a statement reinforcing why Beaufort was chosen for the monument: … Reconstruction had some of its earliest and most significant impact in Beaufort County, South Carolina. For the last two decades, many communities in Beaufort County have worked to recognize and preserve their Reconstruction heritage and to create a unit of the National Park Service linking these historic sites together. Today’s announcement is a great tribute to their years of work and sacrifice on this endeavor. Penn Center, originally called Penn School, was established in 1862 as the first school in the South for former slaves. The Board of Trustees has donated Darrah Hall, the oldest building on Penn Center’s campus, to the National Park Service to be used as an interpretive center. I extend my thanks to Chairman Clifford Bush, Executive Director Rodell Lawrence, and the entire Board of Trustees and staff for their contributions to this important cause. Brick Baptist Church, adjacent to Penn Center, was built in 1855 by slaves. Before Penn School expanded to its

current location, early classes were held in the Brick Baptist Church building, which still stands today. Under the leadership of Rev. Abraham Murray, the church is now part of the national monument, and the congregation donated a historic preservation easement to the National Park Service to ensure this structure will be preserved in perpetuity. Downtown Beaufort features many historic sites from the era, and the national monument will include the old firehouse building to be used as a visitor center for the many significant Reconstruction Era sites in the area. I want to thank Mayor Billy Keyserling for his family’s donation of the building and for all of his advocacy and efforts to galvanize community support for this designation. The monument also features the Camp Saxton Site in Port Royal where on January 1, 1863, Union General Rufus Saxton assembled 3,000 slaves from the surrounding Sea Islands to read the Emancipation Proclamation, the first such reading in the South. On the grounds of the U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort, this site will be opened up to the public once an agreement between the Navy and the National Park Service is finalized … In his statement, Rep. Clyburn also thanked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, and the staffs of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, as well as former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and the Conservation Lands Foundation, for their support of the Reconstruction Era National Monument. Community Support For The Reconstruction Era National Monument During a public meeting held at Brick Church in December 2016, Rep. Clyburn and National Park Service Director Jarvis witnessed unanimous community support for the proposed monument from an overflowing crowd. Scott Teodorski says, “A big part of what brought me to Beaufort to act as | January 2019 09

superintendent of the monument is this community. Everyone here is so excited about and supportive of the Reconstruction Era National Monument,” he emphasized. “Mayor Billy Keyserling was on the cutting edge of the efforts to create the monument here and it’s been a community-driven effort from the beginning. The monument is in Beaufort as a result of bi-partisan Congressional support and the amazing efforts of local officials, the Park Service’s community partners, and the Beaufort community.” Community partners who are making the Reconstruction Era National Monument possible include: Penn Center; Rev. Abraham Murray and the congregation of Brick Church; Port Royal Mayor Sam Murray and the U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort; and Mayor Billy Keyserling and Paul Keyserling, who donated the Old Beaufort Firehouse for the monument. Penn Center board chair and acting interim director Marion Burns says Darrah Hall, built in the late 1800s, is the oldest existing building on the Penn Center campus. Superintendent Teodorski emphasized that Penn Center’s donation of Darrah Hall is a “game changer.” Traditionally used as a community center, it will be used by the Park Service as an information and education center for the monument and continue to be available for special events. Teodorski calls Brick Baptist Church “ground zero” for Reconstruction saying, “It was built by hand by slaves and some of the early classes for freedmen were taught in the church.” The congregation has donated a facade easement, allowing the Park Service to maintain the church’s exterior as well as its grounds, which Rev. Murray says include separate cemeteries for slaves and their white masters. The Camp Saxton site on the grounds of the Naval Hospital in Port Royal is not currently open to the public, however, Teodorski says the Park Service is working with the Navy and town to make the site

accessible, so visitors can stand where Union troops came ashore at the camp. Mayor Sam Murray shared plans to move the historic Porters Chapel to the Naval Heritage Park to serve as an interpretive center for the monument. Teodorski also praised Beaufort History Museum, located in the historic Arsenal, for its partnership with the Park Service and its long-term loan of BHM’s Reconstruction Beaufort exhibit, now on display in the NPS visitor center. Reconstruction Began In Beaufort President Obama’s Proclamation making Beaufort County the Reconstruction Era National Monument provides insight into why Reconstruction began in Beaufort: The Reconstruction Era, a period

10 January 2019 |

spanning the early Civil War years until the start of Jim Crow racial segregation in the 1890s, was a time of significant transformation in the United States, as the Nation grappled with the challenge of integrating millions of newly freed African Americans into its social, political, and economic life. It was in many ways the Nation’s Second Founding, as Americans abolished slavery and struggled earnestly, if not always successfully, to build a nation of free and equal citizens. During Reconstruction, Congress passed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth constitutional amendments that abolished slavery, guaranteed due process and equal protection under the law, and gave all males the ability to vote by prohibiting voter discrimination based

on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Ultimately, the unmet promises of Reconstruction led to the modern civil rights movement a century later. The Reconstruction Era began when the first United States soldiers arrived in slaveholding territories, and enslaved people on plantations and farms and in cities escaped from their owners and sought refuge with Union forces or in free states. This happened in November 1861 in the Sea Islands or “Lowcountry” of southeastern South Carolina, and Beaufort County in particular. Beaufort County became one of the first places in the United States where formerly enslaved people could begin integrating themselves into free society. While the Civil War raged in the background, Beaufort County became the birthplace of Reconstruction … [and] a novel social experiment, known as the Port Royal Experiment, to help former slaves become self-sufficient. In and around Beaufort County during Reconstruction, the first African Americans enlisted as soldiers, the first African American schools were founded, early efforts to distribute land to former slaves took place, and many of the Reconstruction Era’s most significant African American politicians, including Robert Smalls, came to prominence. African American political influence and land ownership endured there long after setbacks in other regions. In short, events and people from Beaufort County illustrate the most important challenges of Reconstruction—crucial questions related to land, labor, education, and politics after the destruction of slavery— and some early hopeful efforts to address them. The significant historical

events that transpired in Beaufort County make it an ideal place to tell stories of experimentation, potential transformation, hope, accomplishment, and disappointment. In Beaufort County, including St. Helena Island, the town of Port Royal, and the city of Beaufort, many existing historic objects demonstrate the transformative effect of emancipation and Reconstruction. The Future of the Reconstruction Era National Monument “How to Remember Reconstruction,” an article written by Gregory P. Downs and Kate Masur, authors of the National Historical Landmark Theme Study

and Fact Book on Reconstruction, was published in November in The New York Times. In their article, Drs. Downs and Masur called on Congress to pass the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act. They say the act “would empower the National Park Service to connect Reconstruction sites all around the country; encourage visitors to talk about Reconstruction at local historical sites; and help convey the full story of how America was remade after the Civil War.” Mayor Keyserling says the legislation, introduced by Rep. James Clyburn and cosponsored by Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, would: 1) change the name of the monument to the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park; 2) expand the park’s boundaries to encompass the entire downtown Beaufort Historic National Landmark District (including sites like Tabernacle Baptist Church where Robert Smalls is buried and Smalls’ house on Prince Street) and include all of St. Helena Island; and 3) authorize the NPS to launch a national network of Reconstruction Era sites overseen from the national park in Beaufort County. Scott Teodorski thinks the future of the Reconstruction Era National Monument is bright, with Beaufort’s unrivaled Reconstruction Era sites and history, and the enthusiastic support of this community. “I’m excited about hiring park rangers and staff. My first priority is to open the sites so visitors can experience first-hand the stories of the Reconstruction Era!” | January 2019 11

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Larry Koolkin

Renaissance Man of Beaufort History story by Carol Lauvray

14 January 2019 |

photos by Susan DeLoach


he Road Leading to Beaufort “I’m definitely a glasshalf-full kind of person and believe that serendipity has been prominent in many aspects of my life,” Larry Koolkin says smiling. Larry and his wife Lainie had been living in the Northeast for much of the past several decades when they found Beaufort by chance, while looking for someplace warmer to call home in retirement. He recalls that during the winters of 2012 and 2013, they embarked from their Vermont home on an adventure down the east coast and across to Galveston, Texas, where they had previously lived. “We were exploring to find the right place—a place that would speak to us,” he says. “We camped in South Carolina at Huntington Beach, Edisto and Hunting Island, in Georgia, and along the panhandle of Florida.” Larry says they thought about moving to Edisto or Charleston, but instead said to each other, “Let’s move to Beaufort—and that was that!”

with Dr. Chester DePratter, discoverer of French Charlesfort and the archaeologist who conducted extensive excavations at the Santa Elena site on Parris Island.” The grand opening of the Santa Elena History Center and its inaugural exhibit was celebrated on April 30, 2016. Serendipity—being in the right place at the right time—and possessing the experience, skills and keen interest in 16th Century history to take on this kind of project, led Larry to this exciting volunteer opportunity in his new home town. His life experiences had prepared him to successfully manage the development of Santa Elena History Center’s project. “I’ve had broad experience and success in applied information technology, finance, international business, and museums, as an entrepreneur who has helped to successfully launch and manage a half dozen companies,” Larry said. “Along the way, I’ve held senior positions at MIT’s Project Athena, Ernst

& Young International and Ross Capital Markets (both in Bermuda), Springboard Technology Ventures in Prague, and the Boston Museum of Science—and earned graduate degrees in both Museum Studies and Applied Computer Science.” He continued, “After enjoying a 35year entrepreneurial technology career, volunteering led to working on staff at Boston’s Museum of Science and developed into a new career when I joined their Exhibits Department.” In September of 2015, while Larry was still in the midst of managing the development and installation of Santa Elena’s inaugural exhibit, the board of directors of Beaufort History Museum (BHM) asked him to consider joining their board. The museum manages the city of Beaufort’s collections of artifacts, photos and documents and is located in the historic Arsenal. BHM was looking for board members who possessed expertise in the areas of both technology and museum

The Path to Beaufort’s History “I’ve collected vintage books involving pirates, treasure, adventure, exploration and the Age of Discovery for the last 40 years,” says Larry. “When we moved to Beaufort in 2014, I had no idea of the depth of local history—the European exploration, pre-Colonial and Revolutionary War history, the antebellum period, the Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, and the Civil Rights history that happened right here in Beaufort.” Larry related that shortly after arriving in Beaufort, he saw an article about the archeological discovery of the Spanish colony of Santa Elena on what is now Parris Island. “Sixteenth Century history is really my sweet spot, so I contacted Andy Beall, who was referenced in the article, to talk with him and learn more.” Larry met with Beall and Michael Marks, the former director of the Coastal Discovery Museum, to learn about the new Santa Elena Foundation and its plans. Larry says, “I left that meeting as a co-chair, along with Michael, of Santa Elena’s Building and Exhibits Committee, with the responsibility of planning and developing the exhibit for the new Santa Elena History Center.” During the 18-month project to develop Santa Elena’s new exhibits, Larry says he worked closely with Carol Poplin from the Charleston-based exhibit design firm HW Exhibits (formerly known as The History Workshop). “During the project, I also developed a wonderful friendship | January 2019 15

exhibits, so Larry’s background was a perfect fit and truly serendipitous for the museum. Because BHM is an all-volunteer organization, the members of its board are directly involved in all aspects of the museum’s management, projects and events. Since joining Beaufort History Museum’s board, Larry has updated and streamlined every aspect of the museum’s technology infrastructure—from creating a new engaging website built atop an organizational membership management platform … to serving as the museum’s Webmaster … to researching, planning and installing systems to monitor the environment and security of the museum’s exhibits and collections. Larry was also instrumental in leading the development of the museum’s exhibits over the past three years in his role of co-chairman of the museum’s Exhibits Committee. With the assistance of BHM board member Steve Guida, Larry managed the project to develop the museum’s exhibit, Reconstruction Beaufort: Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress. That exhibit, funded by accommodations tax grants from the city of Beaufort and Beaufort County, opened at Beaufort History Museum in the summer of 2016. It was a visionary project of the museum to educate the community and visitors about the importance of the Reconstruction Era in Beaufort. The exhibit was developed in large part through the work of many of BHM’s volunteer board members, including Katherine Lang and Paul Keyserling, two members of the original board when the museum was re-formed in 2011. The museum’s Reconstruction Beaufort exhibit is now on long-term loan to the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National

16 January 2019 |

Monument visitor center, located on Craven Street across from the Arsenal. Larry explains that to promote the history of Beaufort, the museum has formed partnerships with many local history-oriented organizations. Among these are Santa Elena History Center, Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Verdier House, Fort Fremont, Penn Center, and the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Era National Monument. As co-chair of the museum’s Exhibits Committee, Larry has also led a multi-year, phased project to completely transform Beaufort History Museum’s main exhibit gallery space, working with BHM’s committee members and HW Exhibits of Charleston. He explains that the first phase of the newly renovated exhibit hall, which opened in May 2018, features colorful and engaging exhibit panels that chronologically detail Beaufort’s prehistoric period through its dramatic 500-

year history. Larry states that the second phase of the museum’s renovation project will include additional artifacts, as well as interactive technologies, to engage visitors of all ages and tell Beaufort’s story. “I’m proud of what I’ve been involved in accomplishing these past three years at Beaufort History Museum in the realms of administration, technology, security, exhibits and collections,” he says. “We’ve achieved a great deal of success in BHM’s exhibits, reflecting our mission of educating visitors about the history of Beaufort County.” With a wry smile Larry adds, “Some visitors still remember the shrunken head and two-headed snake from the museum years ago and ask where they went!” The Future Larry lost his wife Lainie to cancer in 2016, after 43 years together. “In 2018, I was invited to join the board of the Friends of Caroline Hospice, a cause close to my heart. I want to continue to focus my volunteering where it can have an impact,” he explains. “I’m enjoying time with friends and family and traveling again, especially visiting with my daughter Kristin, granddaughter Madeleine and son-in-law Mark, still up in Vermont—not to mention my brother Bob who moved to Beaufort last year!” He adds, “Although I won’t be serving as a board member after my term expires in January, I look forward to continuing my active support of Beaufort History Museum as its Webmaster and to participating as a member of its Exhibits Committee, as we complete the second phase of the museum’s total exhibition hall renovation.”



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401 Remora Drive 5 Bedroom/ 5 Bath MLS #155082 • $979,000

425 Ocean Point Lane 6 Bedroom/ 5.5 Bath MLS #157751 • $949,000

101 Tom and Mike Road 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #154646• $2,900,000

1113 Craven Street 4 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #158742 • $2,400,000

14 Wrights Point Circle 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #158779 • $1,350,000

13 Waterside Drive 5 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #155979 • $999,999

424 Ocean Point Lane 3 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #156431 • $998,000

112 Front Street 3 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159335 • $899,900

18 Sparrow Nest Point 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159097 • $899,000

277 Ocean Point Drive 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159485 • $839,000

16 Spyglass Lane 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #156792 • $987,000

723 Seahorse Road 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #156074 • $895,000

6 Bedroom/6 Full Bath 2 Half Bath

6 January 2019 |

116 Sand Piper Run | Fripp Island PRICED TO SELL! Magnificant marsh and ocean view from this classic low

country home. Maintenance free tile floors in the main living area. Ten-foot ceilings add to the spacious feel of the open floorplan. The impressive expanse of windows in the living areas are UV and hurricane protected. Kitchen has many custom features including pull-out drawers and adjacent wet bar. The kitchen bar can accomodate six for casual meals with dining area seating ten. Take advantage of the expansive decks lining the rear of home with screened porch off master bedroom suite. This home features four bedrooms, 4.5 baths and an at-home office. First floor laundry room features utility sink plus extra storage. $629,000 • MLS #159206

13 Burckmyer Drive | Beaufort

Magnificent marshfront home in desirable Burckmyer Beach neighborhood. This 4BR 3.5BA home has multiple living areas. With 4 porches, antique heart pine floors, 9’ ceilings, nice open flow for entertaining, new wet bar, makes this home a must see. Large bedrooms, and master has an extra room with built ins that can be used for many purposes. Beautifully maintained inside and out. New fire pit area near the water. Within minutes of town, hospital and all bases.. $669,000 • MLS #159492

17 Crooked Creek Lane | Fripp Island

This home has it all! End of cul-de-sac overlooking marsh and ocean in the distance with 400-ft walkway to private dock on tidal creek for fishing and boating. Elevator from ground floor to main floor and second floor bedrooms. Huge roof deck offers lighting, sound, seating for twelve, plus jacuzzi. Five bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths. Entire home tastefully furnished - included with very few exceptions. New HVAC system in 2015 with dehumidifier, foam insulation, hardiplank exterior, separate side entry for golf carts. Presently on rental program details provided upon request. $1,100,000 • MLS #159106


843.263.2737 Carole@


843.597.1605 Cbohmert@


843.263.5962 Jennifer@

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 • Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004 •

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004

13 Burckmyer Drive 4 Bedrooms/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159492 • $669,000

1725 Longfield Drive 3 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159609 • $640,000

9 Pee Dee Point 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #157171 • $634,900

116 Sand Piper Run 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #159206 • $629,000

35 Wrights Point Circle 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159634 • $549,000

1509 Gleasons Court 4 Bedroom/ 4 Bath MLS #158956 • $535,000

220 Dataw Drive 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159313 • $498,000

5 Canton Row 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #159484 • $417,000

55 Downing Drive 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158711 • $369,900

700 Bay Street #206 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #159252 • $365,000

259 Locust Fence Road 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #159204 • $340,000

490 BB Sams Drive 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #159381 • $299,900

37 Pine Run Trail 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #157290 • $225,000

70 S Boone Road 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #159077 • $749,900

1808 Lenora Drive 4 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #158625 • $797,000

29 Tuscarora Avenue 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #156890 • $474,900

4 Waterbird Drive | Beaufort

COOSAW POINT Newly painted outside quality custom home with casual southern charm in excellent condition and priced to sell! Built by Bill O’quinn. Enjoy the peace and quite from your private back porch. Located across the street from the open community park. Great curb appeal and large living areas. Kitchen / dining area This home has a a wonderful finished room over the garage that makes a great apartment or office space, would be great for rental. This home features the following: New Water Heater, New downstairs HVAC unit, Central Vac system, house, and apartment, .Deeded well for irrigation, 2 Master Bedrooms, Fenced Backyard, Large 2 car garage, 2 Decked Attic spaces, New Whirlpool stainless refrigerator. $489,000 • MLS #154583

518/ 520 Remora Circle | Fripp Island

Christopher Rose custom home ... quality unlike any other on Fripp Island. This private oasis is unique to the island ... heated and cooled saltwater swimming pool with waterfall, cave and slide, copper roof, professionally landscaped. Six bedrooms, six baths, 10’ beamed ceilings, tongue and groove paneling and/or shiplap throughout, custom mahogany entry door, walnut floors. Maine Cottage designer furnishings ... included. Kitchen boasts Wolf six-burner gas range, Sub Zero refrigerator/freezer with four additional refrigerator drawers in island, two Bosch dishwashers, icemaker, wet bar and oversized pantry with built-ins. Bathrooms with heated floors ... too many special features to mention. Call Jennifer for “special features” list. $999,000 • MLS #159641

457 Porpoise Circle | Fripp Island

This exceptional Coastal Carolina beach house offers a fabulous open floor plan to take full advantage of the spectacular scenery - palm lined ocean views,tidal lagoons, and fairways. Stunning heart pine flooring in exceptional widths recreates the past but the gorgeous granite counters, shaker style cabinets and stainless steel appliances ensure that this very desirable home stays in tune with the present. Simply stated this incredible beach paradise guarantees that you and your guests will never want to leave.. $769,000 • MLS #158333

TODD MCDANIEL 843.263.1906 Todd@


843.263.5962 Jennifer@


843.263.2737 Carole@

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 • Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004 •

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004

730 Bonito Road

647 Dolphin Road 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #158784 • $729,000

701 Whiting Road 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158475 • $649,000

2 Sand Dollar Court 5 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #152456 • $549,000

14 Ocean Marsh Lane 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158495 • $509,000

413 Wahoo Drive 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #158430 • $559,900

3 Bedroom/ 3 Full 2 Half Bath

MLS #142812 • $429,000

31 Veranda Beach Road 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158548 • $479,000

102 Captain John Fripp Villas 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #157695 • $409,000

38 Ocean Marsh Lane 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #157520 • $377,700

15 Nautical Watch Way 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #156908 • $359,000

22 Ocean Marsh Lane 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #158559 • $339,000

6 Periwinkle Court 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #152409 • $299,000

457 Porpoise Circle 5 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158333 • $769,000

15 Veranda Beach Road 3 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #159453 • $495,000

645 Dolphin Road 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #159416 • $489,000

142 N Harbor Drive 4 Bedroom/ 4.5 Bath MLS #154423 • $679,000

1113 Craven Street | Beaufort

One of the finest and most notable homes is the Milton Maxcy House also referred to as “Secession House”. The home was originally built by Milton Maxcy, circa 1810, as a school for boys. In the 1840’s Edmund Rhett, brother of U.S. Senator Robert Barnwell Rhett purchased the home. The first meeting in favor of secession from the Union took place in the Milton Maxcy Home. During the Civil War, the home served many purposes from officers’ quarters, a hospital and as a Pay Master’s Station for Union Troops. Edmund Rhett completely remodeled the home in a Greek Revival architectural style. Grand architectural elements such as Corinthian and Ionic columns, exquisite Italian marble mantels as well as elaborately detailed plaster moldings and medallions throughout this stunning home. Enjoy being steps from Historic Downtown Beauforts most well-known shops and restaurants and relax while watching lavishing sunset views along the Beaufort River. In addition to the main house and detached garage, the property includes the original separate 600+/- sq ft kitchen house. This unique property also allows for additional space to construct a carriage house with upstairs living quarters containing 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchens and living areas on the second floor. MLS #158742 • Call for details

1362 Hearthstone Drive | Ridgeland

Come see this meticulously maintained home for yourself! Enjoy the lagoon views from your oversized screened porch and paver patio within your fenced yard! Inside you will find beautiful hardwood floors, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances! Other fabulous features include a 6ft custom tile master shower, large laundry room, custom garage flooring, storage unit in the garage and more! This professionally landscaped larger lot in the beautiful quiet neighborhood of Hearthstone Lakes is conventionally located between Beaufort and Bluffton. Close to Savannah, Hilton Head and more! SCREA Owned. $329,900 • MLS #159846

60 Davis Love Drive | Fripp Island

WATERVIEW- Overlooking the marshes of OLD House Creek is this beautiful beach home on Fripp Island. located across from Golf multiple golf holes in the newer section of Ocean Creek!! Home meticulously cared for and built on a premium lot that provides extra privacy from all of it many decks. One unique feature includes access to the multiple decks from every room of the house. Many other extras include updated kitchen in 2016 with new appliances and granite counter tops. Home also has new HVAC upstairs, new water heater, new outside fans, hardiplank construction, irrigation and much more. This dream home is close to all Fripp amenities and beach access. A true must see home. Search for 60 Davis Love, Fripp Island on YouTube for a virtual tour of the this home. 2 New garage door openers, New roof 08-2018, New stove top, new faucets.$631,500 • MLS #154664


864.337.4089 Will@


858.354.4420 Maria@

TODD MCDANIEL 843.263.1906 Todd@

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 • Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004 •

Beaufort: 843.301.0013 Fripp-Harbor: 843.838.3004

619 Porpoise Drive

856 Bonito Road 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #159682 • $429,900

326 Ocean Point Drive 3 Bedroom/ 3.5 Bath MLS #157681 • $424,500

843 Bonito Road 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #156893 • $629,000

7 Fairway Club Drive 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #159725 • $339,000

427 Wahoo Drive 5 Bedroom/ 5.5 Bath MLS #156313 • $559,000

3 Bedroom/ 2 Half/ 2 Full Baths

MLS #158553 • $499,900

704 Bonito Road 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #149523 • $499,000

573 Remora Drive 3 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #158331 • $315,000

505 Carteret Street 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #156188 • $329,900

655 New Haven Court 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 Bath MLS #157326 • $309,000

905 Marsh Dunes Road 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #159833 • $315,000

4 Windjammer Court 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #152583 • $395,000

959 Hearthstone Drive 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #159830 • $339,000

1247 Hearthstone Drive 3 Bedroom/ 2 Bath MLS #159359 • $277,623

1362 Hearthstone Drive 4 Bedrooms/ 3 Bath MLS #159846 • $329,900

15 Carter Oaks 4 Bedroom/ 3 Bath MLS #159889 • $498,500

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Capturing Your Life. . . Beautifully 1225 Ribaut Road - Beaufort, SC 29902 843-470-1646 | January 2019 33

Fort Fremont A Vital Piece of History story by Emily Burgess


eaufort holds a vast array of history dating back centuries. The richness of the past is evident through the preservation of homes and buildings akin to the time period they were built. On the coast of Saint Helena Island sits a vital piece of lowcountry history, Fort Fremont. For years it was nearly forgotten as it sat decaying. “The fort has always been there, but unless you were a diehard historian, you wouldn’t know why it was there,” said Pete Richards, founder of The Friends of Fort Fremont.

34 January 2019 |

photos by Paul Nurnberg

Fort Fremont was constructed in 1898 in response to the Spanish-American War. Years before, President Grover Cleveland sought to review the effectiveness of all coastal defense fortifications. The Board of Fortifications established by the Secretary of War, William Crowninshield Endicott, determined that the existing coastal defense systems were obsolete due to improved weapons technology, such as high velocity breech-loaded cannons. The recommendations of the Board led to a large-scale overhaul and modernization program for harbor and coastal defense in the United States.

When the war with Spain seemed imminent in 1898, Congress under the $50 million Harbor Fortification Defense Act, authorized construction of coastal batteries. Fort Fremont was one of the coastal defenses built during this time with upgraded design and new weapons systems making it unlike anything our country had before. Fort Fremont was critical in the defense of The Port Royal Sound, one of the largest natural deepwater harbors on the Atlantic Coast. “It was a whole technology shift after the Civil War to these huge battleships and there was a need for equally upgraded

technology to protect them,” said Wendy Wilson, a board member for The Friends of Fort Fremont. During the Civil War, this area served as a key union blockading station at what is current day Parris Island. In 1891, construction was started on a dry dock at the Naval Station, which would be the only one south of Norfolk, VA. This strategic support base would serve the emerging Atlantic Fleet including twentytwo naval ships such as the USS Maine, USS Massachusetts, USS Texas and USS Indiana. The USS Maine would make one of its last stops for provisions at the dry dock in Port Royal before heading to Key West and continuing on its last voyage to Havana, Cuba, where it sank, and the start of the Spanish-American War. The imminence of the SpanishAmerican War made it critical to protect the dry dock and the US Navy’s network of coaling stations for warships at the Port Royal Naval Station. The dock was the only one in the South capable of serving the modern battleships and heavy cruisers that the US Navy was beginning to build and deploy. Fort Fremont was the solution to protecting these important US stations and was authorized on April 6, 1898. The fort was one of six fortifications designed to protect the southeastern coast during the Spanish-American War and was named for Major General John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) known for his early explorations in the far west and his role in the early history of California. The original fort site consisted of 170 acres and was manned by a force of 110 personnel. The weapons contained at the fort during this time period were considered state-of-theart including Battery Jesup which had three 10-inch breech loaded disappearing cannons and Battery Fornance with two 4.7-inch rapid fire guns. In addition to the two batteries, the fort consisted of barracks, a mess hall, Post Exchange, officer and NCO quarters, administrative and engineering buildings, a hospital and stables. In 1898, Navy personnel, 2nd NC Volunteer Infantry and a detachment of the Heavy Battery, SC volunteers, manned the temporary

batteries. From 1899 to 1907, Coast Artillery Companies manned the fort. Training was constant in order to maintain proficiency with the complex guns and firing systems. Calisthenics were daily except Saturday and inspection by higher headquarters and live fire drills were periodic requirements. The state-ofthe-art weaponry also required constant maintenance. It wasn’t all work at Fort Fremont. By mid-afternoon, most duties were done and the soldiers participated in athletics, the most popular being baseball, against local civilian teams traveling as far as Hampton where a game in 1906 attracted 700 spectators. The men were also active in local society attending dinners and dances, outings to hunt or fishing expeditions. Several men from the fort married local women with descendants still residing in Beaufort County today. While in commission, Fort Fremont never engaged in combat, but served as deterrence against attack. Fort Fremont was a front-runner in technology in every way, not just in weaponry. The fort generated its own electrical power, had modern lighting, running water, telephone communication, and even a precursor of the fax machine as part of the fire control system. The War Department considered closing

Fort Fremont as early as 1906 due to budgetary constraints. In 1908, the public could tour the fort and see its weapons emplacements. In 1909, the Port Royal Naval Station was moved to Charleston, SC and a new dry dock was opened there to replace the one at Parris Island. By 1911, only a small detachment of soldiers of the 116th Coastal Artillery Company remained at the fort. Fort Fremont was officially deactivated in 1912, although the guns remained at the fort up until World War I. The land was officially placed on the market in 1921. Over the years, several private individuals acquired the land, each with various plans, which at one point included turning the property into beach lots. In 1951, the owners of the hospital renovated the structure into a hunting and fishing lodge. In May of 1989, the batteries and hospital building, which to this day serves as a private residence and the only original structure remaining, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Following it’s decommission, areas of Fort Fremont grew over with maritime forest and the ruins became an attractive nuisance. In October 2004, The Trust for Public Land and the Beaufort County Council paid $5.4 million to the two landowners of the fort property to transform the remnants of the fort into a beachfront park. At this point, minor | January 2019 35

improvements and cleanup were made to the area and a sign and fence were installed. In the fall of 2009, the Friends of Fort Fremont was established to work in conjunction with Beaufort County to oversee the preservation plan for the site. The mission of the organization is to “promote Fort Fremont as an educational, historical, natural and cultural resource of the Spanish-American War era on the shores of historic Port Royal Sound in Beaufort, South Carolina.” The Friends of Fort Fremont has spent years researching and working to get the word out about Fort Fremont in our local area. The non-profit group installed temporary interpretive signage, stairs

36 January 2019 |

and railings and cleaned external graffiti. Working closely with the county, final design plans for major improvement to the park have been approved. “Our goal is to preserve not restore. We want to preserve what is left of the fort and educate the public about why it was important,” said Rod Kesting, president of The Friends of Fort Fremont. The Friends of Fort Fremont continue to work on projects to preserve the remainder of the fort while also educating the public about its history. Currently, a diorama of the fort accurately scaled, made by master miniaturist Dennis Cannady, is displayed at Saint Helena Public Library. Plans are also in the works for an interpretive center at the fort for the public to come tour

and learn about this important historical landmark. Visitors can experience the fort every fourth Saturday of the month through docent-led tours starting at the Saint Helena Public Library. The tour lasts around two hours and no reservations are required. The Friends of Fort Fremont also have a tremendous amount of volunteer opportunities for those who would like to lend a hand in the preservation of this valuable piece of history. For hundreds of years, Europeans and their descendants built fortifications to defend the great harbor at the Port Royal Sound. Fort Fremont was the last fort in this long history of coastal forts and an imperative remnant of lowcountry history.

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The Red Piano Too Art Gallery in St. Helena Island, SC offers exciting art events as part of our mission to share with others our love and appreciation for art. We represent over 150 artists with work that ranges from folk, fine, and craft art. Attend our art exhibits and shows, and feast your eyes on magnificent masterpieces. UPCOMING EVENTS Sam Doyle March 9, 2019

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870 Sea Island Pkwy., St. Helena Island | January 2019 39

Conroy Center’s Visiting Writers Series FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Welcomes Indigo Girl Author Natasha Boyd Contact: Maura Connelly / 843-379-7025

January 13, 5:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head


f you love historical fiction, this book should be on your reading list.’’—Southern Living Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722–1793) revolutionized Colonial American agriculture by successfully cultivating commercial indigo dye production in South Carolina. She was Living, the Pat Conroy Literary Center, and the Anchorage 1770 BEAUFORT, SC - Southern a teenager at the time, entrusted by Inn are excited to announce her father with the management of his the first Cook The Book: Sharing Recipes, Wine & Words, a Lowcountry plantations. At 21, Eliza special event to be held Saturday, May 19 , from 4:00–9:00 p.m. at the Anchorage 1770 married widower Charles Pinckney, (1103 Beaufort, and theirBay sons, St., Thomas and CharlesSC). The inaugural Cook the Book will be presented by renowned Cotesworth, played distinguished roles southern chef Cynthia Graubart, and will focus on recipes from her recent cookbook Sunday in the founding of the new American Suppers (2017). The event Republic. Eliza Lucas Pinckney becamehas three components: Cynthia will give a cooking demonstration thethree first woman inducted into the South Suppers assisted by Anchorage chef Byron Landis, followed by of recipes from Sunday Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1989, aand book andsheapron with wine and appetizers on the veranda, and culminating with a in 2008, was alsosigning inducted into the official South Carolina Hall of Fame. four-course dinner complete with hand-selected wine pairings in the dining room. Pinckney’s legacy as an entrepreneurial innovator and challenger of societal norms is brought to life in Natasha Boyd’s This new venture was inspired by Pat Conroy’s passion for cooking and his perennial search historical novel The Indigo Girl. Boyd will a discuss novelization the life of for newher recipe. Patofopens his 2004 cookbook with the words, “The subject of food is this iconic South Carolinian on Sunday, nearly a sacred one to me.” His lifelong passion for cooking was first ignited in 1969 and January 13, at 5:00 p.m. Freebecame and open to the public, this as he grew older. Many of his readers are familiar with another only more intense program will be presented at and in quote from partnership withhis Firstcookbook, Presbyterian “a recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” Church of Hilton Head Island (540 William Hilton Parkway). A book signing Cynthia Graubart is an ideal chef to launch the new Cook the Book series, which celebrates will follow the author’s presentation. Internationally acclaimed and USA foodways, writing, and fellowship. When Pat first began cooking in earnest, he turned to Today best-selling writer Natasha Boyd’s Cynthia’s husband debut novel Eversea was a Cliff finalist for guidance. It was 1969 and Pat’s first wife had appointed him in the 2013 Winter Rose Contest for to the Old New York Bookshop in Atlanta, asking for Graubart’s family chef. He ventured Contemporary Romance and won the help. According toforPat’s 2014 Digital Book Award Adult recollections, Cliff, fearing the Conroy clan demise by starvation, Fiction. She is a member of the Hilton handed Pat an edition of Auguste Escoffier’s cookbook. And so Pat’s culinary adventures Head Island Writer’s Network. began, heConroy became the epicurean ‘magician’, the soup ‘sorcerer’, turning “the art of Part ofand the Pat Literary Center’s Visiting Writers Series, this program stealing recipes into both a hobby and an art.”

The Conroy Center and the Anchorage 1770 Inn to Host a Southern Living Inspired Event: Cook the Book

With James Beard Award-winning Chef and Cookbook Author Cynthia Graubart

40 January 2019 |

Cynthia’s newest cookbook, Sunday Suppers extols the virtues of the Sunday supper. She

is sponsored in part by South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. Praise for Natasha Boyd’s The Indigo Girl “Based on a true story, The Indigo Girl is an outstanding example of historical fiction...Through Eliza’s strong internal voice and excerpts from actual letters, Boyd effortlessly brings this character to life. Readers will love discovering the amazing story of a virtually unknown girl who changed the course of history.”— Booklist (starred review) “Without preaching or judging, the narrative integrates the politics of gender inequality, race, and class into Eliza’s quest for confidence and allies...Boyd’s first historical novel captivates on every level, refreshingly crafting the eighteenthcentury world of real-life Eliza Lucas Pinckney.”—Library Journal (starred review) “The Indigo Girl breathes new life into an absorbing true account of one of South Carolina’s preeminent historical figures. Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s empowering

story of persistence and autonomy in defiance of societal and familial expectations makes for imperative reading at a time when disenfranchised voices are powerfully coming to the fore, invigorating new dialogues about the future of our democracy and unwilling to be silenced.”—Charleston Post and Courier “Boyd excels in her descriptions of coastal South Carolina and its climate, in the intricacies of eighteenth-century colonial society, and in her strong characters. Her information regarding indigo production adds interest to the narrative. Eliza is an engaging heroine, both compelling and realistic, who discovers her strengths and capabilities amid a series of setbacks and frustrations. This is a solidly researched and wellcrafted story based on the life of a woman, Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722– 1793), largely forgotten today, but who left an important legacy.”—Historical Novels Review The nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the American Writers Museum and second American Library Association Literary Landmark. Through its

interpretive center, year-round educational programs, and annual literary festival, the Conroy Center preserves and continues the literary legacy of Pat Conroy (1945–2016) as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to readers and writers alike. The Conroy Center is located at 905 Port Republic Street in downtown Beaufort, open to the public from noon to 4:00 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. To learn more, please visit | January 2019 41


AMERICAN HERO story by Cindy Reid


ost everyone in or around Beaufort eventually drives on Robert Smalls Parkway. Local children attend Robert Smalls International Academy. Most strolls downtown take you past the bust of Robert Smalls at the Tabernacle Baptist Church. The name “Robert Smalls” is out there enough to fade into the general background of our lowcountry life, into our collective mental attic where we store half remembered stories and random bits of information. The place for the dusty remnants of history. But the man Robert Smalls does not belong in that dusty place. Because the man Robert Smalls was a blaze of brilliance and glory, the man Robert Smalls was larger than his own time, the man Robert Smalls broke the trails for the trail breakers and the man Robert Smalls was one hundred percent Beaufort’s own native son. Consider this. Born in Beaufort in 1839 in a cabin behind 511 Prince Street, to Lydia Polite, a woman enslaved by Henry McKee, Smalls was sent at the age of twelve to Charleston by McKee to hire out as a laborer. (This was a common practice where Smalls could keep a very small portion of his wages and McKee would keep the rest.) Even at a young age Smalls was ambitious and found work on the Charleston waterfront as a longshoreman and then wheelman. This is how he became extremely knowledgeable about Charleston harbor, which becomes very important in a few years. By the time he was seventeen, Smalls married Hannah Jones, an enslaved hotel maid in Charleston. She had two daughters at the time of their marriage and they had their first child, Elizabeth Lydia Smalls in 1858. The couple had a second daughter, Sarah, and third child, Robert, Jr., who died of smallpox as a toddler. The Smalls lived separately from their owners, but had to send the owners most of their income. Smalls wanted to buy his family’s freedom but the price of $800 was far more than he could earn or save. But fate, destiny and a

42 January 2019 |

feat of incalculable courage intervened. The Civil War began in April 1861 at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Shortly afterward, Smalls, who was 22 years old and still enslaved, was assigned to work on a lightly armed Confederate military transport ship, the CSS Planter. Because he was extremely knowledgeable about the Charleston Harbor, and highly motivated to escape to the north to freedom, the CSS Planter provided Smalls the means to enact a daring escape plan. On the night of May 12, Smalls and the crew were left alone on board while the officers were on shore. At three AM, Smalls and the enslaved crewman put their plan to escape to the Union blockade ships into action. Smalls put on the captain's uniform and guided the ship past the five Confederate harbor forts without incident, as he gave the correct signals at checkpoints. He sailed the CSS Planter past what was then called Southern Wharf, and stopped at another wharf to pick up his wife and children, and the families of other crewmen. Smalls replaced the ship’s rebel flags with a white bed sheet his wife had brought aboard and headed for the Union Navy fleet. The captain, John Frederick Nickels,

of the Union ship the USS Onward, saw the white flag and approached the Planter, and Smalls surrendered the Planter and her cargo to the United States Navy. Smalls' escape plan had succeeded. He had delivered seventeen black passengers (nine men, five women and three children) from slavery to freedom, and was a hero for delivering the Confederate troop ship to the Union Navy. As a result of his successful escape, the valuable information regarding the Confederacy’s positions in the south, and the ship he brought to the Union Navy, Smalls was rightly hailed as a hero. He used his fame and status to personally lobby the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, to begin enlisting black soldiers. And, when President Lincoln acted on it a few months later, Smalls was said to have recruited five thousand soldiers himself. Smalls went on to be a spokesperson for African Americans and have an illustrious career with the Union Armed Forces. Back to Beaufort Smalls returned to Beaufort after the war and was able to purchase his former master's house at 511 Prince St. Union tax authorities had seized the property for unpaid taxes and although Henry McKee sued to try and regain the property,

Smalls won the court case and kept the house. Lydia, his mother, lived in the house for the rest of her life. It is often noted that Smalls was so magnanimous that he allowed his former master's wife, Jane Bond McKee, to move into her former home prior to her death. The house remained in the Smalls family until 1953. (The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974 for its association with Robert Smalls.) Reconstruction was happening throughout the south and, in 1866, the federal government passed a Civil Rights Act and two years later, they passed the 14th Amendment, which extended full citizenship to all Americans regardless of race. In Beaufort, Smalls was investing in the economic development of the lowcountry. Together with Philadelphia businessman Richard Gleves, Smalls opened a store in 1866 to serve the needs of freedmen. In 1870, Smalls and other investors, formed the Enterprise Railroad, an 18-mile horsedrawn railway line that carried cargo and passengers between the Charleston wharves and inland depots. The railroad's board of directors was entirely African American, except for one white director. Smalls also owned and helped publish a black-owned newspaper, the Beaufort Southern Standard starting in 1872. Politician A staunch Republican, Small’s political career began during the war. He joined free black delegates to the 1864 Republican National Convention, the first of seven total conventions he attended as a delegate. After the war, Smalls was a delegate at the 1868 South Carolina Constitutional Convention charged with writing a new state constitution, which guaranteed freedmen the right to vote and their children the promise of free public education. In 1868, Smalls was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. He was very effective, and introduced the Homestead Act and introduced and worked to pass the Civil Rights bill. In 1870, Jonathan Jasper Wright was elected judge of the South Carolina Supreme Court and Smalls was elected to fill his unexpired time in the Senate. He continued in the Senate, winning the 1872 election against W. J. Whipper. In the senate he was considered a very good speaker and debater. He was on the Finance Committee and chairman of the Public Printing Committee. Robert Smalls served five terms in the U.S. House, representing a South Carolina district described as a “black

paradise” because of its abundant political opportunities for freedmen. Smalls endured violent elections and a short jail term to achieve internal improvements for coastal South Carolina and to fight for his black constituents in the face of growing disfranchisement. In 1875, he opposed the transfer of troops out of the South, fearing the effect of such a move on the safety of blacks in the South. During consideration of a bill to reduce and restructure the United States Army, Smalls introduced an amendment that "Hereafter in the enlistment of men in the Army ... no distinction whatsoever shall be made on account of race or color." However, the amendment was not considered by Congress. He was the last Republican elected from the 5th district until 2010 when Wesley Godwin took office. He was the second-longest serving African-American member of Congress (behind his contemporary Joseph Rainey) until the mid-20th century. In 1890 he was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as collector of the Port of Beaufort, which he held until 1913. Smalls was active into the twentieth century. He was a delegate to the 1895 South Carolina constitutional convention. Together with five other black politicians, he strongly opposed political efforts that year to disfranchise black citizens. They wrote an article for the New York World to publicize the issues, but the state constitution was ratified. (www.wikipedia. org/wiki/Robert_Smalls) Legacy Smalls remained in Beaufort for the remainder of his life. After his wife, Hannah Smalls, died in 1883, Smalls married Annie E. Wigg, a Charleston schoolteacher, who bore him one son, William Robert Smalls.

Smalls died of malaria and diabetes on February 22, 1915 at the age of 75. He died in Beaufort in the same house behind which he had been born a slave and he was buried in his family's plot in the churchyard of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in downtown Beaufort. The monument to Smalls in this churchyard is inscribed with a statement he made to the South Carolina legislature in 1895: "My race needs no special defense, for the past history of them in this country proves them to be the equal of any people anywhere. All they need is an equal chance in the battle of life." Robert Smalls’s life and legacy has been honored in various ways. In 2004, the U.S. named a ship for him, the USAV Major General Robert Smalls (LSV-8), a Kuroda class logistics support vessel operated by the U.S. Army. It is the first Army ship named after an African American. Charleston held commemorative ceremonies in 2012 on the 150th anniversary of Robert Smalls' escape on the Planter, and there is a statue of Robert Smalls in the new US National Museum of African American History and Culture. There is talk of a movie being made of his fascinating life and recently HGTV featured the Robert Smalls home. Robert Smalls’ legacy is indeed alive. There is a wealth of information on Robert Smalls life and times online, below are a just a few of the books available. Be Free or Die by Cate Lineberry, 2017 St. Martin’s Press. Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann, 2012 Lee & Low Books Gullah Statesman: Robert Smalls from Slavery to Congress, 1839-1915 by Edward A Miller Jr., 2008 University of South Carolina Press | January 2019 43



f you like to enjoy local cuisine, you won’t want to miss United Way of the Lowcountry’s Dine Out & Give Back event on Friday, January 25, 2019. Dine Out & Give Back is a great way to enjoy and support local restaurants, while supporting United Way of the Lowcountry at the same time. During this one-day event participating restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to United Way of the Lowcountry to help meet the immediate needs of our neighbors and create positive, lasting change in our community. The following restaurants will be participating in Dine Out & Give Back to support United Way of the Lowcountry: Amigos – Bluffton Annie O’s Kitchen – Hilton Head Island Bella Luna – St. Helena Island Brody’s Bar & Grill – Lady’s Island Dockside – Lady’s Island Fat Patties – Beaufort Fat Patties – Bluffton Hearth – Beaufort Jump and Phil’s Bar & Grill – Hilton Head Island

Lowcountry Produce – Beaufort Lowcountry Produce – Hilton Head Lowcountry Produce – Seabrook Panini’s on the Waterfront - Beaufort Plums – Beaufort Porter & Pig – Hilton Head Island Wren – Beaufort The list of participating restaurants continues to growing so check United Way of the Lowcountry’s website at www. for the latest information. Restaurants interested in participating, should contact Mae Young at | (W) 843.982.3040.



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Beaufort Lifestyle - January 2019  

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