1501 Bay St

Beaufort, SC 29902

O: 843-521-2600

www.reconstructionbeaufort.org

info@reconstructionbeaufort.org

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Contributions to Reconstruction Beaufort can be made to The Reconstruction Beaufort Fund in care of The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry [FEIN 57-0756987]. If sending a donation by check please mail to PO Box 23019 Hilton Head, SC 29925. 

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Our Projects

Reconstruction Beaufort initiates projects to help uncover and teach stories on the Reconstruction era, in accordance with President Obama’s January 12, 2017 Proclamation creating the Beaufort Reconstruction Era National Monument, soon to be the newest Park in The National Parks System.  Through our Advisory Board, we are also prepared to help other related projects when time and resources can be mobilized.

 

The following is a sample of projects where we are initiating and/or are working with others.

Support for Reconstruction Era National Monument

Reconstruction Beaufort -- with partners -- is seeking funding and other support for improving the four sites that are included in the Reconstruction Era National Monument and to restore period buildings as additional visitor centers at Brick Baptist Church on St Helena Island and Camp Saxton in the Town of Port Royal. 

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ut dicam animal platonem mea, sed no ullum quidam torquatos. Latine invenire ne est, ea his idque dicit. Ea putent hendrerit ius, causae delectus electram ei est, affert vidisse persecuti est cu. Sed te ferri sensibus. Eu regione facilisi mel, eu nominavi pertinacia vix.

Dicunt luptatum expetendis et pro, est at vitae vituperata suscipiantur. At augue commune mea, ut sea nulla liberavisse necessitatibus. Option philosophia vis no. Ius et convenire explicari moderatius, has id autem tempor.

Children Teaching Children

Reconstruction Beaufort is developing educational initiatives to teach children the stories of Reconstruction so that they can educate other students through visual art, music, oral histories and books on a variety of topics. 

Currently in the developmental state is Fa’ Da’ Chillun Reconstruction Choir that will travel to schools and public events.

Also in progress is the Children’s Video Project which will create a series of short videos and books telling the stories of people and places in this important but neglected part of our national history.

History of Beaufort’s Northwest Quadrant - A Village Built by Freed Slaves

Known as the Northwest Quadrant, only because that’s where it sits on a map and no one has taken the time or interest to name it in historical context like other neighborhoods in the City of Beaufort, the neighborhood embodies considerable history and structures relating to what took place during the Reconstruction Era in the City of Beaufort.

 

One of its most unknown historical features is that many of its vacant blocks, abandoned by their white owners, were purchased by former slaves that became Union soldiers who received preferred opportunities to purchase them at federal tax sales. 

 

A second significant feature is that many of its earlier structures were built by the hands of freedmen who became craftsmen who, after work each day, pooled their skills to help each other build cottages unique to the period and financial considerations.

Over time many of the cottages were handed down to family members both close and extended, while others were sold. Becoming part of the important Historic Landmark District also brought challenges: repairs and replacement materials were restricted to original materials that drove the cost of maintenance beyond the ability of many families to maintain them.  Furthermore, when structures were handed down, they often were deeded to multiple people many who did not occupy or maintain them. In some cases, with absentee owners who may not have even known each other, the properties became subject to heirs property dividing the rights which prevented even those living in them from maintaining property to which they did not have a clear deed or other rights necessary to borrow funds and make changes.  Many of these cottages fell to fires, decay and neglect and those found unsafe had to be removed.  Tet some significant structures remain: some have been restored by people moving into the neighborhood while others are awaiting the attention they deserve though the process is complicated and the restoration costs generally higher than new construction.

Reconstruction Beaufort plans to work with the Historic Beaufort Foundation to establish a fund pool to help those who want to fix up their homes for themselves and the next generation and those who want to purchase and restore those that present the best living example of the work of freedmen during and after the Civil War. 

Visual Interpretation

Partnering with the Beaufort County Arts Council, Reconstruction Beaufort has an artists’ studio where local artists will be translating stories of Reconstruction and showing them in the Center. 

 

Reconstruction Beaufort, thanks to the Santa Elena History Foundation Board, occupies space at the Santa Elena History Center for interpretation, a shared lecture room, a shared event/reception space and exhaling materials for public display.

 

Stay tuned for lectures, community discussions and much more. Join us in discovering The Second Founding of America.