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Places of interest

BEAUFORT THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF BEAUFORTBuilt in 1844, it's an example of Greek Revival architecture. During the Civil War the church was used as a hospital. 600 Charles St., Beaufort, 843-524-3197

BEAUFORT COLLEGE BUILDINGThis site was used as a school for freed slaves and a black soldiers' hospital and became the regional headquarters for the Freedman's Bureau, a government organization set up to assist the former slaves in their transition to freedom and citizenship. Beaufort College was founded in 1795. It opened as the University of South Carolina Beaufort in 1959.

BEAUFORT NATIONAL CEMETERYCarteret Street, downtown Beaufort. One of the first cemeteries established during the Civil War, it is one of the few that contains both Confederate and Union dead. 1601 Boundary St., Beaufort, 843-524-3925

EDGAR FRIPP HOUSE (Tidalholm)Built in 1856 by Edgar Fripp, a wealthy landowner, for use as a summer home. The property as been the location of several major motion pictures including "The Big Chill" and "The Great Santini." 1 Laurens St., Beaufort

FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCHThe church was organized in 1804, and this Greek Revival building was built in 1844. 601 New St., Beaufort. (843) 524-

JOSEPH JOHNSON HOUSE(The Castle)This house, circa 1850, is one of the most photographed in America. It occupies an entire city block and is surrounded by lush gardens. The home has been the location of a number of major motion pictures, including "Forces of Nature." 411 Craven St., Beaufort

THOMAS FULLER HOUSE(Tabby Manse)One of the early homes in Beaufort, circa 1786, the tabby exterior (concrete made of lime, sand and oyster shells) walls are 2 feet thick. 1211 Bay St., Beaufort

PARISH CHURCH OF ST. HELENA(Episcopal)Part of St. Helena Parish that was formed in 1712. Construction on brick and stucco church began in 1724. During the Civil War the church was used as a Union hospital. Docents are on hand 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 505 Church St., Beaufort. 843-522-1712,

THE JOHN MARK VERDIER HOUSE MUSEUMBuilt circa 1805 for a wealthy merchant-planter, this building was restored by the Historic Beaufort Foundation. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Tour $5 per person. 801 Bay St., Beaufort, 843-379-6335

LOWCOUNTRY ESTUARIUMRecently expanded, this living museum in Port Royal is home to indigenous species from local waters. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; creature feedings at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Call for group tour information. 14th Street and Paris Avenue, Port Royal, 843-524-6600. Or

NAVAL HOSPITAL BEAUFORTThe hospital, site of the John Joyner Smith Plantation, used during the war as a Union Army campground, was also where the war's first black regiment, the 1st South Carolina, was organized and trained. It was also the site of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, which freed slaves in the rebelling states, including those on the Sea Islands, a refugee slave camp and a school that taught the former slaves. 1 Pinckney Blvd., Beaufort, 843-228-5600

UNION CHURCHOne of the first churches built in Port Royal. The church is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. A docent is available for tours and information. 11th Street, Port Royal. 843-524-4333

PARRIS ISLAND MUSEUMMilitary history and island settlements from the 1500s. Open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Self-guided tours. Museum also offers booklet for driving tour of Parris Island and St. Helena Island. No admission fee. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, 843-228-2951,

ST. HELENA ISLAND BRICK BAPTIST CHURCHUsed as a church, meeting hall and a school by the Northern missionaries, Brick Church was one of the forerunners to Penn School. Built by slaves in 1855, Brick Baptist Church is the oldest church on St. Helena Island. It was designated as part of the Penn National Historic Landmark district. No tours available. 85 Martin Luther King Drive, St. Helena Island, 843-838-3033

CHAPEL OF EASEChurch built between 1742 and 1747 to serve the planters on St. Helena Island. In 1886 a forest fire destroyed part of the brick and tabby chapel. The ruins and a small graveyard remain.

COFFIN POINT PLANTATIONThe plantation was one of the most prosperous of the Sea Island cotton plantations in St. Helena Parish and was a cornerstone of the federal government's attempt to hire former slaves to grow cotton for the war effort. It was one of the first attempts to set up a free labor system with former slaves as laborers. Located about four miles east of Frogmore. Coffin Point Road, St. Helena

PENN CENTER YORK W. BAILEY MUSEUMCampus of the first African American school where freed slaves were educated during the Civil War era, designated as a national historical landmark. Rare artifacts and an overview of the Reconstruction era. The Penn Center hosts arts and cultural events, conferences, workshops, seminars, teacher trainings and more. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 16 Penn Center Circle W., St. Helena Island, 843-838-2432,

OLD SHELDON CHURCH RUINSRemains of Prince William's Parish Church, 1745-55. Burned by the British during the Revolutionary War, it was reconstructed in 1825 and burned by Gen. William T. Sherman's troops in 1865. It's open for self-guided tours daily from dawn until dusk. The Old Sheldon Church Ruins are a popular site for weddings. U.S. 21, Sheldon, 843-522-1712 Bob Bender, curator of the Lowcountry Estuarium, feeds one of the Diamondback Terrapins at the estuarium.