Beaufort, South CarolinaBeaufort, South Carolina Location of Beaufort, South Carolina Coordinates: 32°25′55″N 80°41′22″W / 32.43194, -80.68944CountryUnited StatesStateSouth CarolinaCountyBeaufortArea - Total 23.4 sq mi (60.7 km²) - Land 18.6 sq mi (48.2 km²) - Water 4.8 sq mi (12.5 km²) Elevation10 ft(3 m) Population (2000) - Total 12,950 - Density695.7/sq mi (268.6/km²) Time zoneEastern (EST)(UTC-5) - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4) ZIP codes29901-29907 Area code(s)843FIPS code45-04690GNISfeature ID 1245003
Beaufort is a city in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States, situated on the Beaufort River. Founded in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city's population was 12,950 in the 2000 census (46,227 total pop. of Beaufort Urban Cluster). It is the county seat of Beaufort County and part of the Hilton Head Island-Beaufort Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Beaufort (pronounced /ˈbjuːfɚt/ "byew-furt", unlike its counterpart in North Carolina) is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. The city is renowned for maintaining its traditional "southern aura", which have helped it attract tourists and new residents.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Neighborhoods
- 4 Culture
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Government
- 8 Education
- 9 Transport
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The city of Beaufort, which is located on Port Royal Island, is rich in history. Near by Parris Island was the location of France's first colony in the New World, founded by Jean Ribaut in 1562. The Spanish colonized St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. The first Scottish settlement in what is now the United States, known as Stuart Town, was founded on Port Royal Island in 1682, only to be destroyed by Spanish forces in 1684.
Beaufort was chartered in 1711 and is known as the second-oldest city in South Carolina, after Charleston. It was part of the Carolina colony and was governed by Lords Proprietors. The Treaty of Beaufort fixing the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia was signed in the city in 1787.
Beaufort is also a center for the Gullah culture and language. St. Helena Island, which is considered one of the last strongholds of the Gullah people, lies a few miles away.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city is amidst a marshy estuary, and has a total area of 23.4 square miles (60.7 km²), of which, 18.6 square miles (48.2 km²) of it is land and 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²) of it (20.57%) is water.
Downtown & Historic District
The original settlement of Beaufort can be found in the downtown or historic district area. 304 acres (1.23 km²) of the town have been designated a National Historic Landmark. With approximate dimensions, downtown is defined as anything upon the peninsula jutting into the Beaufort River that is located east of Ribaut Road (US 21). Further defined, downtown is broken into several distinct neighborhoods:
- The Point, also known as the Old Point is home to some of Beaufort's largest, oldest, and most expensive homes. Defined as the land between Carteret Street and the Beaufort River, this portion of downtown does not follow the major street grid.
- Bay Street & Waterfront Park is centered along Bay Street, Beaufort's main downtown commercial street. Located between the Beaufort River and Bay Street is the newly renovated Henry Chambers Waterfront Park, which overlooks the Beaufort River and is home to many of Beaufort's festivals. An ecclectic mix of restaurants, art galleries, and other tourist-oriented shops can be found along Bay Street, Port Republic Street, Scott Street, West Street, and Charles Street, which had originally served as Beaufort's original commercial center. Many non-tourist commercial services have since relocated to areas along Boundary Street.
- The Northwest Quadrant is located in the northwestern portion of Beaufort's original street grid, loosely defined as the area between Newcastle Street on the east, King Street to the south, Ribaut Road on the west, and Boundary Street to the north. This area has for generations been the center of Beaufort's African-American community and is comprised of turn-of-the-century homes, many in a shotgun architectural style. Bladen Street serves as the principal street through the community and is currently undergoing a streetscape renovation to improve utilities, sidewalk access, landscaping, and lighting.
- The Pigeon Point community is located immediately north of Downtown Beaufort. It is centered around two major city parks: Pigeon Point Community Park and the Basil Green Recreation Complex. An area with smaller homes and mostly one-story early twentieth-century structures, Pigeon Point has experienced a renewal of development interest, with many homes being "flipped" or renovated to create an attractive neighborhood.
- The Depot community is located west of Ribaut Road, south of Boundary Street and north of the Technical College of the Lowcountry campus. It has been the focus of recent redevelopment efforts with regards to home improvements. Formerly concentrated around the Beaufort rail station (the depot), the neighborhood has similar characteristics to the Pigeon Point community and has many military families living in it, due in part to the proximity of Beaufort's military institutions.
Boundary Street, Robert Smalls Parkway & Beaufort Town Center
Once the outer edge of town, the corridor along Boundary Street (US Highway 21) starting from the Marine Corps Air Station on the northwest, Parris Island Gateway on the southwest (via SC Highway 170), and Ribaut Road on the east now serves as Beaufort's principle commercial gateway. Several major shopping centers in addition to numerous dining establishments and lodging facilities are the standard business types in this area.
- The City has annexed a sizeable portion of Lady's Island, though does not have complete jurisdiction of the entire area. Most of the City's holdings are upscale residential areas and the Beaufort County Airport.
- Spanish Point is a residential area near the TCL campus which has medical-oriented commercial establishments (due to the proximity of the Beaufort Medical Center) and several upscale residential neighborhoods.
- The Mossy Oaks community is at the southern edge of the city limits (along the border of Port Royal). There are some commercial establishments in the area in addition to residential neighborhoods ranging from apartments to smaller single-family homes and duplexes.
Beaufort's major daily newspapers are the Beaufort Gazette, Beaufort Today & The Island Packet
Several radio stations have transmission feeds originating or duplicating in Beaufort.
Books & Film
Beaufort has been the setting for several novels by native son Pat Conroy, and a popular filming location for major motion pictures, including The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, Forrest Gump, Something To Talk About and GI Jane. Lady's Island and the slave trade is the subject of an award winning novel, "Someone Knows My Name"(aka The Book of Negroes) written by Lawrence Hill.
Tourism & Events
Beaufort is a romantic and popular tourist destination. Major festivals and arts events include the Water Festival which is a well-known, two week extravaganza in the middle of July. The Shrimp Festival, celebrating the local and traditional industry, is in the second weekend in October. Kaleidoscope: Film, Food, and Fine Arts in late February screens independent films, such as Brats. A Taste of Beaufort, presented by Main Street Beaufort, is held on the first Saturday in May and features 20 local restaurants, fine wines and live music. Chalk on the Walk at Beaufort Town Center is an interactive festival focusing on bringing street art to and by the people, and is produced the Arts Council of Beaufort County.
The Arts Council of Beaufort County, located on Boundary Street in uptown Beaufort, nurtures the arts by offering resources to artists and audiences: free roundtable discussions (for example, Artist-Gallery relationships); Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers; public art projects such as the Big Swim: 31 Mermaids; Quarterly Community Arts Grants, and the Ever Expanding Arts Calendar, which brings artists and audiences together; emerging artists initiatives, and more.
Sports & Recreation
Through the city's recreation department, junior and intramural athletics are sponsored year-round. Activities include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and cheerleading.
The city is home to many Christian denominations, with several churches located in the downtown area. A Jewish house of worship, Beth Israel Synagogue, is also in the downtown area, adjacent to the Beaufort Arsenal and Museum. Other religious faiths have houses of worship in surrounding communities, especially in Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah.
The location of the City to other fast growing areas including Hilton Head Island, and Bluffton as well as good access to Savannah, Georgia, the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, and a future container port to be built on the Savannah River make the city a desirable choice for residential and business development opportunity.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,950 people, 4,598 households, and 3,034 families residing in the city. The population density was 695.7 people per square mile (268.7/km²). There were 5,080 housing units at an average density of 272.9/sq mi (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.41% White, 59.14% African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.07% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.98% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.39% of the population.
There were 4,598 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 19.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 114.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,532, and the median income for a family was $42,894. Males had a median income of $22,465 versus $23,474 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,501. About 11.5% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.
Beaufort is the center of an urban cluster with a total population of 46,227 (2000 census), comprised of the city and its surrounding towns and unincorporated areas including Port Royal, Burton, Lady's Island, Shell Point, Laurel Bay, and Parris Island, among others.
Beaufort is also part of the larger Hilton Head Island-Beaufort Micropolitan Statistical Area which includes Beaufort and Jasper counties and had a total population of 159,247 in 2005 (U.S. Census Bureau estimate). According to the more detailed data available in the 2000 census, the population included in this micropolitan area (which actually was designated after the census itself) was 64% urban and 36% rural. It included the urban clusters of Beaufort (2000 pop.: 46,227), Hilton Head Island (34,400), Bluffton (6,136), and Ridgeland (3,585).
Beaufort is classified as a "city" according to the South Carolina Secretary of State. The current Mayor, Bill Rauch, was at one time the advance press man for New York Mayor, Ed Koch.
In October 2007, voters approved a $15 million bond referendum that will allow the city to construct a new city hall and other municipal buildings at the intersection of Boundary Street and Ribaut Road.
Government: The city is governed by five (5) council members, elected at large, and operates under the council-manager form of government (See ICMA). The City provides police, fire, sanitation, recycling, parks, events management, planning, zoning, building codes, and downtown parking as some of its services. The City has a web site at www.cityofbeaufort.org
Public K-12 education is administered by the Beaufort County School District. Schoolchildren in the city are districted to attend the following schools (listed alphabetically):
- Battery Creek High School
- Beaufort Elementary School
- Beaufort High School
- Beaufort Middle School
- Broad River Elementary School
- Coosa Elementary School
- James J Davis Elementary School
- Joseph Shanklin Elementary School
- Lady's Island Elementary School
- Lady's Island Middle School
- M C Riley Elementary School
- Mossy Oaks Elementary School
- Port Royal Elementary School
- Robert Smalls Middle School
- Shell Point Elementary School
- Whale Branch Elementary School
- Whale Branch High School(soon to be)
- Whale Branch Middle School
Private K-12 education is supported by the following schools:
- Agape Christian Academy
- Beaufort Academy
- St. Peter's Catholic School
- Eleanor Christensen Montessori School
- Thomas Heyward Academy (actually located in Jasper County)
Libraries & Museums
The Beaufort Arsenal and Museum serves as both the city's major museum and a point of interest in Beaufort's history.
Located in downtown, the Beaufort County Library serves residents of Beaufort and northern Beaufort County.
Three local institutions comprise the current extent of higher education in the Beaufort area. Both the University of South Carolina Beaufort Main Campus and the Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort Campus are located within the city limits. Clemson University also operates a university extension office in the city with ecological and agricultural programs.
- U.S. Highway 21, is the major connector through the city and the principal route to the Sea Islands. It is also known as Trask Parkway west of the SC 170 intersection, Boundary Street, and Ribaut Road. Originally going through downtown and across the Woods Memorial Bridge, US 21 was rerouted to the south upon the completion of the taller and wider McTeer Bridge in the 1980s.
- U.S. Highway 21 Business, also known locally as "Business 21" or more specifically as Boundary Street and Carteret Street is the major arterial through downtown Beaufort. Starting at the US 21 split, the route travels eastward along Boundary Street to the Bellamy Curve at the edge of the peninsula, then turns sharply towards the south along Carteret Street until reaching the Woods Memorial Bridge (drawbridge) over the Beaufort River. The route continues onto Ladys Island before rejoining US 21.
- S.C. Highway 170, also known as the Robert T. Smalls Parkway serves as the primary connection between Beaufort and southern Beaufort County, Jasper County, and Savannah.
- The Downtown Marina is Beaufort's nautical gateway to the Intercoastal Waterway and the surrounding Sea Islands.
- The Beaufort County Airport, located three miles east of downtown on Lady's Island provides general aviation services. Larger airline-service airports are found in Charleston and Savannah.
- The Port Royal Railroad served Beaufort and surrounding locales with freight rail service until the closing of the South Carolina Port Authority terminal just south of the City in 2004. The rail at one time also had passenger service and was used by Marine Corps recruits to reach Parris Island. Currently closed between Yemassee and Port Royal, there are continuing discussions about the future of the rail line.
- ^ a b American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
- ^ US Board on Geographic Names. United States Geological Survey (2007-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
- ^ Find a County. National Association of Counties. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
- ^ US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990. United States Census Bureau (2005-05-03). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
- City of Beaufort
- Beaufort Gazette
- Arts Council of Beaufort County
- Technical College of the Lowcountry
- Photographs of Beaufort, South Carolina
- Beaufort, South Carolina is at coordinates 32°25′55″N 80°41′22″W / 32.431853, -80.689515 (Beaufort, South Carolina)Coordinates: 32°25′55″N 80°41′22″W / 32.431853, -80.689515 (Beaufort, South Carolina)
Beaufort County, South CarolinaCounty seat: Beaufort City
Stateof South CarolinaColumbia(capital)
Atlantic Coastal Plain | Blue Ridge Mountains | Grand Strand | High Hills of Santee | Lake Murray Country | The Lowcountry | Metrolina | The Midlands | Olde English District | Old 96 District | Pee Dee | Piedmont | Sandhills | Sea Islands | The UpstateLarger Cities Smaller Cities
Abbeville | Aiken | Camden | Cayce | Easley | Forest Acres | Gaffney | Greenwood | Hilton Head Island | Isle of Palms | Lexington | Mauldin | Mount Pleasant | North Augusta | North Myrtle Beach | Orangeburg | Simpsonville | Summerville | West Columbia | YorkTowns CDPs Counties
Abbeville | Aiken | Allendale | Anderson | Bamberg | Barnwell | Beaufort | Berkeley | Calhoun | Charleston | Cherokee | Chester | Chesterfield | Clarendon | Colleton | Darlington | Dillon | Dorchester | Edgefield | Fairfield | Florence | Georgetown | Greenville | Greenwood | Hampton | Horry | Jasper | Kershaw | Lancaster | Laurens | Lee | Lexington | Marion | Marlboro | McCormick | Newberry | Oconee | Orangeburg | Pickens | Richland | Saluda | Spartanburg | Sumter | Union | Williamsburg | YorkTopics
History | Famous People | Governors | Legislature | State House | Congressional Districts | Census Areas | State Parks | Rivers | Wildlife Refuges | Historic Places | Amusement Parks | Colleges and Universities | Sports Venues | Shopping Malls | TV Stations | Radio Stations | Highways | AirportsCategories: Cities in South Carolina | Beaufort County, South Carolina | County seats in South Carolina | Settlements established in 1711 | Gullah
Link former page on this page
Related word on this page