Beaufort News

Historic Tidewater home opens doors for Beaufort's 300th birthday

Historic Beaufort Foundation and its honorary chairman Dr. Bobby Bell will celebrate Beaufort's 300th birthday with "Time & Tides: A Celebration of 300 Years" at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at historic Tidewater, 302 Federal St. on the Beaufort River.

Partygoers will be treated to all of the excitement of a birthday bash. They will be welcomed with champagne and signature cocktails under the spreading arms of old oaks. Guests will then enter the mid-19th century home, where they will enjoy its historical elegance and original moldings, including eight panel doors and heart pine floors and mantels.

Tidewater's original house plan consisted of a double pile with a three-bay, two-story pedimented portico overlooking the Beaufort River on the south side. The house was built for William Fripp, one of the area's wealthiest planters, whose fabled generosity led to his nickname -- "Good Billy Fripp." Fripp and his wife, Sarah Harriet, had six children, and by the mid-1800s he had acquired sufficient means to build his Beaufort townhome, Tidewater. Structural details point to a mid- to late-1850s construction date. From October to April, the family lived on one of their plantations on St. Helena Island. During the warmer months, they came into Beaufort to stay at Tidewater.

Double porches on the riverside of Tidewater will open to the tented lawn sloping to the city's original tabby seawall that connects the waterfront homes on Federal Street. Under the tent, guests will enjoy culinary specialties catered by Southern Graces. There will be open bars and dance music all evening. A dessert course will include a special 300th birthday treat plus a selection of late-night snacks. Exciting items and opportunities will be available in a silent auction that includes an overnight hunting trip, excursions, a mountain house stay, a martini party, and beauty and fitness options.

Reservations are $100 a person or $75 for guests younger than 35. Reservations may be made by calling 843-379-3331 or visiting and clicking "Shop."

From 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a jewelry trunk show featuring the work of Savannah artist Leighton Reeve will be held at the Verdier House. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the foundation. Using pearls and semi-precious stones from India, Thailand and China, Reeve makes a wide variety of necklaces. Some of the items incorporate antique Tibetan silver or handmade Hill Tribe Thai silver.

Prices range from $15 to $200, and limited edition items are available. Examples of Reeve's work were included in gift bags presented to the stars at the 2010 Emmy Awards. She shows regularly in Charleston at Charleston Place. The variety of jewelry that will be available at the Verdier House can be seen online at

We hope that you'll participate inHistoric Beaufort Foundation's celebration of Beaufort's 300th birthday.