Beaufort Tricentennial News & Articles
January 17, 2011 - Beaufort Birthday Prayer by Bishop Alden Hathaway
Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine / October 2010
Historic party on the way as Beaufort prepares for Tricentennial
Everywhere you turn in Beaufort, history calls out – from the gracefully restored antebellum homes to the centuries-old live oaks, from the pristine waters to the quiet graveyards, from tabby and stucco to Sea Island cotton.
In 2011, Beaufort celebrates a special and historic birthday – its 300th. That’s a lot of candles and a lot of cake – but the Tricentennial is a lot of years.
“For a community that celebrates our unique history and culture on an almost daily basis, 300 years is a huge benchmark,” Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. “Over the past two and a half years, the Beaufort Three Century Project has been exploring our past so that we can better craft our future. Now, we are moving into our Tricentennial Celebration to move us into our fourth century.”
Beaufort was founded in 1711 by the English, although its beginnings date back to Spanish explorers in 1514. Beaufort was named for Englishman Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714), one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.
Beaufort leaders unveiled the logo in July, setting the stage for special events to commemorate the 300th birthday and for traditional events such as the Water Festival, Gullah Festival and Tours of Homes to incorporate the Tricentennial theme into their 2011 planning.
The first formal event for the Beaufort Tricentennial will be “Founders’ Night” the afternoon of Dec. 31. Scheduled for the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park starting around 4 p.m., “Founders’ Night” likely will include live music, a 300-gun birthday salute, historical re-enactments and fireworks to kick off the 2011 Tricentennial, said Mike McFee, the Beaufort City Councilman who has been instrumental in the project.
“This is the kind of celebration that happens only once, and it’s taken us 300 years to get here,” McFee said. “We are going to celebrate our history in a variety of ways that will involve our community and be something special to talk about for years to come.”
Part of the effort also is the Beaufort 300 fundraiser. For a donation of $900, contributors receive a lapel pin, car decal and permanent recognition on a Tricentennial monument. The monument will update the historical markers in the Henry Chambers Waterfront Park, creating a continuing story of Beaufort’s history with the names of all the Beaufort 300 donors.
Erin Dean leads the Tricentennial Committee and is organizing the events schedule, the merchandising and the overall tone of the historic birthday.
“The ‘Beaufort 300’ is a unique way to contribute the city’s history and its future,” she said. “We will be working with sponsors to help support some of the events, such as the ‘Founders’ Night,’ but the permanent monument is really for the people, by the people.”
The Tricentennial Committee has been working since January to plan events commemorating Beaufort’s 300th birthday, with much of the initial work related to the logo. The city’s actual birthday, Jan. 17, 2011, will be celebrated that early evening with a birthday cake cutting and other events at Beaufort City Hall.
Throughout 2011, the Tricentennial recognitions will be woven through traditional city events such as the Gullah Festival, Water Festival, home tours and the Shrimp Festival.
An early part of the Tricentennial project was a national contest for a visual representation of the historic birthday. Bluffton graphic artist Kelly Logan Graham created the city’s Tricentennial logo. It was selected from among 27 entries from across the United States to represent Beaufort’s Tricentennial celebration throughout 2011.
“The color graphic obviously uses the number 300, expressed using symbols that echo the crescent moon shape on the SC flag,” Graham explained. “The three colors represent the full spectrum of light, as well as the red bloodline of local founders, the golden Carolina sunshine and the blue waters that define Beaufort's boundaries.”
For more information about the Beaufort Tricentennial and the Beaufort 300 fundraiser, visit www.cityofbeaufort.org.