If you look at the map for Beaufort, SC you’ll see a coast that looks like a tough-to-fit-together jigsaw puzzle. Islands are wedged together, divided by rivers and channels. It’s not always easy to tell where one island ends and another begins.
When G suggested that we might spend the afternoon sightseeing on the islands, we jumped at the chance. Five of us piled into his older car and off we went.
G’s St Helena Island beach house is simple and probably hasn’t changed much since he was child, playing in the water, woods and nearby Fort Fremont, a fort built for the Spanish American War. We enjoyed a late picnic lunch, followed by a walk down the beach.
One of the most memorable sights was Praise House. It sits, stark white, by the roadside. The building is small and appears to be almost a perfect cube. What is it? Plantation owners built Praise Houses for their slaves to attend Sunday services. We peeked in the windows and were surprised to discover the building is still in use. There are only a handful of Praise Houses left and all are on St Helena Island.
Shrimp boats are docked at Gay Fish Company. We popped inside just to look at the seafood. Irresistible. G bought some lovely fresh shrimp and oysters to take home. Very fresh, wonderfully tasty, and a great price!
FOCUS + SNAP
It was getting very late when we drove by Penn Center, a National Historic Landmark. The Center was founded in 1862 as an educational institution for freed slaves, and, one hundred years later, in the 1960’s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference used it as a training center.
The islands are a world apart from Beaufort, and we were grateful to see them and put some of the puzzle pieces into place.