Antebellum Mansions in Beaufort, South Carolina
South Carolina is home to a variety of historic cities. When it comes to historic antebellum mansions Beaufort holds a rare collection within its limits. The four most famous districts and some very famous Beaufort South Carolina mansions follow.
The hub of the oldest, most expensive mansions in the city is The Point. This region represents the upper echelon of Beaufort’s social class.
Thomas Hepworth House
Situated among The Point’s many famous mansions, the Thomas Hepworth House is Beaufort’s oldest mansion. Built in 1717, it was used as a commercial center where local trappers could trade with the Yemassee natives.
The Bluff is adjacent to the downtown district and contains a variety of mansions. Homes in this area offer owners and tourists expansive views of the Beaufort River.
Of all these mansions, the Pick Pocket Plantation is, perhaps, the most well-known. That said, it is also the most exclusive. Set amid 15 acres, it boasts an expansive white picket fence. This fence, in fact, helped give rise to the symbol of the American dream home. The home’s drive is a long, winding road kept private by overgrown trees. The massive porch exudes a sense of languid luxury.
The Old Commons offers a glimpse of Beaufort’s most common mansion architectural style: the porch. Homes in this historic area were built with either a front or side porch. This architectural commonality typically places the porch on the south or west side. The rationale for a porch is to offer protection against the oppressive late-afternoon sunshine.
Beaufort’s commercial district has the highest concentration of the city’s historical antebellum mansions. These mansions served as hubs for various commercial interests.
John Mark Verdier House
When it comes to antebellum mansions Beaufort, South Caronlina has many famous mansions. However, of those in the downtown district, The John Mark Verdier House is, perhaps, the most famous.
Built in 1804, it became a symbol of the American dream. For example, Verdier built it to stand apart. Amid expansive acreage, it remains a highly visible landmark, representing Verdier’s rise from the merchant class to the wealthy class. During the union occupation, this house was army headquarters and served as the office for the adjutant general. The home’s style, a federal-style, consists of a box, with pillars, two stories, and multiple rooms.
The federal style is a common architectural style of homes built in the Federalist era. It is also a predominant style in Beaufort. Of all the mansions in Beaufort, the John Mark Verdier House is the only one currently open for public tours.
Built in 1800, The Anchorage’s official name is the William Elliott House. Of its most notable inhabitants, William Elliott was a powerful politician of his time. Elliott advocated a very unpopular restraint in terms of the south’s dealings with the north. He remained a unionist until war was declared. When war broke out, he sided, along with most people in Beaufort South Carolina, with the south.
During the civil war, the house served as a hospital. Following the war, it was home to famed Navy admiral, Lester Beardslee. During the 1900s, Beardslee updated the mansion, adding a stucco finish.
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