Beaufort, SC: Who Knew?

So we’re technically staying just outside Yemassee, SC. Yemassee’s very pretty and very friendly, but definitely a one horse town. The whole point of coming here was to visit Savannah and Charleston. Yet we’ve been here a week and haven’t gotten that far yet. Why? Beaufort, SC.

Beaufort’s about 20 minutes from here. Turns out it was practically the heart of both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. There are over 300 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places just in downtown Beaufort. Parts of Forrest Gump and Prince of Tides were also filmed there, for you Hollywood trivia buffs.

The city avoided being burned during Sherman’s march because it was already occupied by Union troops. Among other things, they turned the Episcopal church (founded in 1712, church building completed in 1724) into a hospital. They brought marble tombstones in from the graveyard and laid them out on pews to perform surgery. Not sure I’d want to undergo an operation laying out on a tombstone, but that’s just me.

A bit of trivia: although Forrest Gump is eating from a Russell Stovers box, the candy is actually from the Chocolate Tree in Beaufort. Tom Hanks is apparently a huge friend of the city, and loves the candy made on-site there. We bought some before we heard the story, and man is it good! Cool shop too.

We still have a few places we haven’t made it to in this area yet, like the first school for freed slaves, the lighthouse and the old church ruins, but I think we’re going to wait till the weekend. I want to do the ghost walk, which is only done on Saturdays. So more than likely, we’ll finally get into Charleston tomorrow.

I’m having so much fun. If I had to settle in one place and it couldn’t be NOLA, Alaska or St. Thomas, I’d have to look seriously at Beaufort.

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