Beaufort and the Military Go Hand in Hand
Formerly the Beaufort Arsenal. Now serves as the Beaufort Visitors Center Photo: CTSB Volunteer
Beaufort is a beautiful town, full of history, scenic views, and delicious foods. What some may not know is that Beaufort is also a military town.
Being the second oldest town in SC and a major part of the Reconstruction Era means that Beaufort has seen it's share of military battles and operations.
The evidence of those military operations can be seen all across the town at places like the Beaufort National Cemetary, The Grand Army Hall, and the many other Reconstruction Era sites located here.
The military still thrives today in Beaufort through MCAS Beaufort, MCRD Parris Island, and the Naval Hospital Beaufort.
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
The depth of history in Beaufort county is far and wide. For instance, did you know that the land that the MCAS Beaufort is located on was once occupied by Lowcountry plantations? Today MCAS Beaufort is home to some of the finest Marines, Sailors, and their civilian counterparts. To learn more about MCAS Beaufort, visit http://www.beaufort.marines.mil
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
We Make Marines! That's the mission of the MCRD Parris Island and they do just that. Their website says: Parris Island has a long history of colonization. Many attempts were made at permanent settlement between 1526 and 1722. The first successful attempt was made by the French in 1562, followed by the Spanish and finally the British. After the Revolutionary War, Parris Island plantations began to grow cotton instead of indigo. During the Civil War, the island became a coaling station for the Union Navy. To ding out more about MCRD Parris Island visit: http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/
Distant view of Parris Island from Port Royal,SC. Photo by: CTSB Volunteer
Naval Hospital Beaufort
More Beaufort history can be discovered on the grounds of the Naval Hospital Beaufort. The site of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation which freed enslaved Gullah people is on Naval Hospital grounds! The Naval Hospital grounds were once the John Joiner Smith Plantation. Camp Saxton, a Civil War Garrison, and Fort Frederick, are both located on the grounds and both are recognized as National Historical sites.
Today, the site is home to a hospital that serves Marines, Soldiers, other active duty, retirees, and dependents. For more information visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nhbeaufort/Pages/Welcome_Page.aspx
Parris Island Museum
The Parris Island Museum is a 10,000 sq ft collection of Marine Corps artifacts. The museum has tons of Marine Corps history to explore dating back to the Native American inhabitants and the newly discovered Santa Elena settlement. To find out more about the museum visit http://www.mcrdpimuseum.com/intro/
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