The congregation started in 1863 as a praise house called “Baptist Church Colored.” The Gothic Revival church was constructed in 1865 by local freedmen. It is a contributing property to the Beaufort Historic District.
Tabernacle Baptist Church was built by Beaufort Baptist Church as a meeting house in the 1840s. In 1863, the church was utilized by Reverend Solomon Peck, who brought 500 Black parishioners to start Tabernacle Baptist Church. The church purchased the land from Beaufort Baptist Church in 1867.
The Gothic Revival church was rebuilt in 1893 after a hurricane destroyed it.
It was the church of Robert Smalls. He is buried in the small graveyard.
The Wesley United Methodist Church began as a church in the 1830s. Initially, it was for white parishioners and the people they held in bondage. It transitioned to a church for Black Methodists after the Civil War.
The building was used as a school and had been an active church until recent years.
The Prince Hall Masons were founded after the Civil War in South Carolina. Prince Hall (1738-1807) was a free Black leader and abolitionist in Boston. He founded the African Lodge No. 1 with several other men after being denied admission in the St. John’s Lodge. After his death, they renamed themselves the Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
Sons of Beaufort Lodge No. 36 was founded in 1896. The building was initially used by the whole community. The organization bought the building in 1937.
From the historical marker:
Berean Church Berean Presbyterian Church was founded by Samuel J. Bampfield, an influential African American political figure during Reconstruction. Bampfield served in the S.C. House of Representatives, was Beaufort’s postmaster, and clerk of the county court. In 1892 the congregation purchased this lot and constructed a church in the Gothic Revival style. Solomon P. Hood, who later was appointed U.S. Minister to Liberia, was the first pastor.
J. I. Washington Branch Library In 1931 the building was purchased by the Beaufort Township Library and converted for use as a segregated branch library for African Americans. It operated in that capacity until 1965 when this branch closed and Township Library was desegregated. The building was later used as headquarters for the Neighborhood Youth Corps and in 1993 was purchased by USC Beaufort for use as an art studio.
St. Helena’s was established in 1712 as a colonial parish by The Commons House of Assembly, under the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Construction began in 1715. The church has been expanded and rebuilt to accommodate growth of the congregation and to make repairs after the Civil War and when a hurricane caused significant damage.
One of the earliest burials was Colonel John Barnwell (1671-1724).