BEAUFORT, S.C. (July 27, 2022) – Dr. Larry Rowland, professor of history at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and City Councilman Philip Cromer will lead a lunch-and-learn discussion about the Search for Stuarts Town project at the Beaufort History Museum on Monday, Aug. 8. The discussion will begin at noon, with a Q&A to follow.
"What is Stuarts Town and why are we digging in Beaufort?" is the focus of their talk.
The Stuarts Town project will begin in The Point neighborhood on Aug. 8 and extend through the week. During that time, Dr. Chester DePratter, of USC-Columbia, and Dr. Charles Cobb, of the Florida Museum of Natural History, will bring their crew of nine archaeological excavators to dig approximately 250 small shovel test holes in their search for the lost Scottish colony.
DePratter, a research professor at the University of South Carolina’s South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, has spent more than 30 years studying maps, documents, and other information on Stuarts Town. However, he said, the maps do not show details of the town and the documents about Stuarts Town are “vague” or “difficult to interpret.”
So, just exactly where is Stuarts Town? That’s the question.
“It’s always exciting to start a new search with the hope of finding something. There's no guarantee, but I think here we have a good shot,” DePratter said. “In 1684, about 50 Scots arrived in Port Royal Sound to establish Stuarts Town. Two years later, the settlement was destroyed in an attack by the Spanish and their Indian allies.
"We hope to dig about 300 small holes in a period of five working days in August – Aug. 8 through the 12 – and if we're lucky we'll find something that was left when the Spanish burned the town in 1686,” DePratter said.
Find out more about the project here: www.stuartstown.com.