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The Oldest Ghost in America?

Pinky is a cute little guy who sometimes plays with children in The Castle at Beaufort, SC. The children may have named him for his pink jester’s outfit. Only the children can see him, as he plays pranks and makes himself scarce when adults are around. His real name is Guernauche, and he’s a French Huguenot dwarf who’s been floating around since the town was settled and then he met with some unfortunate death in 1562. Of course, he’s a ghost, so who’s to say what his real story is!

Guernauche is the most well known and the oldest ghost of Beaufort, and possibly the oldest ghost in America, according to Harper’s Bazaar in 1940. The 1859 home called The Castle is thought to please him because of its resemblance to homes in his native country. How do we know about him? “Well, we just know. Of course we know he’s there,” storytellers will insist.

“Because every family who’s ever lived there has had children tell of seeing him,” says Donnie Beer, a storyteller once a year when she’s off duty from her post as Beaufort City councilwoman.

While the ghosts of Beaufort could possibly be seen, heard or felt any time by those in tune with the supernatural, they are most likely to make their annual appearances during the last two weekends in October when they are eagerly anticipated to entertain guests of the Ghost Tours. For your own look at the rest of the story…and many more…visit Beaufort for a proper celebration of Halloween.

You might learn about the well known bride of Blackbeard, a lovely blonde who could possibly be seen walking the beach along Fripp Island at night. She was reportedly abducted by the nasty pirate, but she was in love with a handsome gentleman in Charleston. When she learned that Blackbeard’s men were sent to kill her true lover, as evidenced by their return showing her young man’s hand as a trophy, she walked into the ocean to drown her tears. This bride’s story is sometimes told by noted storyteller Millie Boyce, looking over the marsh toward Fripp Island and hoping the evidence of the severed hand doesn’t appear to frighten the audience. Some storytellers relate that the young couple still walks the beach together because their love could not be drowned. Of course, they are ghosts, so interpretation may be applied liberally.

Watch for another restless spirit which sometimes is thought to walk back and forth on the upstairs veranda of a house called Little Casino. She was a freed slave who had purchased the house after the Civil War. When the hurricane of 1893 brought flood waters up to the second floor, she was unable to leave.

Union soldiers frequent several homes, and a Confederate soldier crawls out of the marsh to walk away without having feet. Or rather the ghosts of such soldiers might be seen. These occurrences don’t seem surprising to Beaufortonians, who remind visitors that the town was occupied by the Union Army early in the Civil War.

Beaufort’s ghosts are believed to frequent primarily the Old Point neighborhood along with a few other locations where the oldest of the old can be found, thus lending credence to the founding of their stories.

If you see a ghost, old or young, would you please send us a picture? We would really like to know more about this.

Beaufort history is reviewed in our new book published by Tourist Town — Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry. It’s available at the Cuthbert House Inn in Beaufort and Rose Hill Mansion in Bluffton, both of which might have ghosts of their own too.

Creme de la Creme of Car Shows

Even if you know only two things about cars, where to put the gas and where to put the air in the tires, car shows are great fun to go and look at old gems. If you come across a car that jogs your memory back to a time long ago, then you can count that time as well spent. Those memories may be of that ‘56 Chevy Bel Air that Dad bought home from the dealer or that ‘69 GTO that you and friends double dated in way-back-when.

Car shows are a staple of almost every festival that comes down the pike, and all of them have more than their share of muscle cars of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. However, there is one car show that is the gold standard of car shows, the Concours D’ Elegance.  The Concours has its share of muscle cars of bygone days of course, but the real treat of attending one of these events is the likelihood that you will see automobiles that you may have only seen in movies or television. Bentleys, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Rolls Royces are almost always on display.

Besides the varied cars shown, one other concept of the Concours D’ Elegance that sets it apart from other car shows is that each car is there by special invitation of the organizers. If someone has a car they would like to enter in the  Concours, they must apply for an invitation and with the application they must also provide pictures and interesting or historical facts about the car.

Concours D’ Elegance is French for “competition of elegance.”  The cars on display more than live up to the name. They are more than just cars in mint condition. Many are in better condition than when they came off the assembly line. The upholstery, paint, and the engine restoration are just a few of the components that make some of these cars better than mint.

Judging is much more strict than in a normal car show. To secure a top award, the car must be perfect or very close to perfect.

There are many categories in which the cars can compete including pre-war and post war, vintage and antique. Some popular models may have their own categories such as the Porsche or the Mercedes Benz. The categories may even extend to hardtops, coupes and convertibles.

The first Concours D’ Elegance was in Pebble Beach, California in 1950, as an add on to the Pebble Beach Road Race. Since that first Concours many organizations have instituted their own Coucours D’ Elegance. Among the most notable is the annual event on Amelia Island. This is a grand affair where the cars are displayed in a wonderful setting, along the cart path of  the Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach.

Other locales that have competitions are Denver, New York in midtown Manhattan and Hilton Head, SC.

The Hilton Head event is hosted each year at Honey Horn Plantation on the north end of the island. More specifically, it is at Mile Marker 1 on US 278.  As with most of the Concours, the admission proceeds go to local charities, and in this case proceeds go to the Hilton Head Symphony and the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head.

This year’s event in Hilton Head will be October 29 through November 7. Each day something special will be going on, from wine dinners on Thursday to the obligatory golf tourney on Friday. Saturday is a great time to view the Club Car Jamboree. The culmination event  is the actual Concours and judging on Sunday November 7.

If you have never been to a Concours this event in Hilton Head is a perfect chance to see some really beautiful cars, talk to their owners and have a good time.

Pirates Plundering Tybee

Cayman Island pirates are set to reunite at Tybee Island Pirate Festival.  Pirate friends EJ Bodden of Grand Cayman and Sharon and Capt. Don May of Beaufort, SC, will enjoy three days of piratical fun at the Tybee Island Pirate Festival.  EJ, Sharon and Don have been pirates since the mid 80’s and look forward to this reunion to pillage and plunder Tybee Island.

The 6th Annual festival is October 8-10 featuring Eddie Money and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’. We love you, Eddie! Two Tickets please!!!

Here’s the schedule if you want to have some swashbucklin’ fun too!

Finding Flowers and More

Flowers in the Forest in the Myrtle Beach area is an introduction to flowers, gifts, baskets, gourmet coffee and tea, catering and personal planning to make any day or celebration a special event. You might find tropicals, unique roses, edible fruit and veggie designs. Working with Vickie is a real pleasure. She even sells our new book Myrtle Beach: A Guide to South Carolina’s Grand Strand which can be added to a gift basket for a newcomer or guest.

 

Sleeping with 200 years of History

Cuthbert House Inn

Cuthbert House Inn in Beaufort, SC is the only waterfront antebellum bed and breakfast in this quaint historic town on the Intracoastal Waterway. The 10,000-square-foot house is a beautifully preserved architectural treasure.

The view displays the marina and moss-draped live oaks over Beaufort Bay often dotted with sailboats.

Step into this foyer and open the door to history. Arrive for social hour with refreshments and lively conversation. Take a short stroll downtown for fresh seafood in a waterfront restaurant. Wake up to hot and homemade Southern delicacies for breakfast.

It’s the year 2010, and the war between the states has long since ended, but we are reminded of General Sherman’s march to the sea when Beaufort was preserved as a headquarters for Union soldiers. Soldiers left their carving on this marble mantelpiece, but no ghosts appear among antiques and amenities in a luxurious suite. Modern conveniences include gas fireplaces and cozy robes and comforters to follow a soak in the claw foot tub.

Beaufort Waterfront

The quiet little town is rich with dozens of restored antebellum mansions and tales of wealthy plantation owners fleeing these homes at the threat of war. Touring the neighborhoods, browsing for antiques and art or celebrating a special event are reasons to savor this visit. Weddings, girlfriend getaways or romantic interludes are perfectly set here. Make this your headquarters for day tours to Hunting Island, Hilton Head, Charleston or Savannah.

The Cuthbert House Inn takes reservations online and by phone at 800.327.9275.  It is recommended in our travel book recently published in Channel Lake’s Tourist Town series — Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry. The book is available for purchase at the Cuthbert House Inn, in all major bookstores  and online.

We’ve arrived at our favorite bed and breakfast.