6. Beaufort History Museum
“All American History Begins In Beaufort,” Lawrence S. Rowland, Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina Beaufort.
Relive this area’s rich history by visiting Beaufort History Museum at the historic Arsenal in downtown Beaufort. One of our knowledgeable docents will guide you through more than 450 years of Beaufort’s past, bringing to life the events that shaped the development of America.
Before Jamestown and Plymouth, French explorers built a fort on nearby Parris Island in 1562. Then the Spanish founded Santa Elena, the first colonial capital in what’s now the United States, on the same site in 1566.
The seeds of Civil War were planted in Beaufort when prominent residents secretly met to plan secession. Union troops occupied Beaufort in the early months of the war and Reconstruction began here first, while the war continued to rage. Northern missionaries educated newly freed slaves at Penn School and Mather School as part of the Port Royal Experiment. A century later, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent time at Penn Center during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.
Come to Beaufort to experience the place where this country began… Visit the Beaufort History Museum to learn how Beaufort changed the course of America’s history!