Historic Verdier House open for free tours Dec. 1 for Beaufort’s “Night on the Town” festivities, 6-8 PM

Historic Verdier House open for free tours Dec. 1 for Beaufort’s “Night on the Town” festivities, 6-8 PM

Historic Verdier House open for free tours Dec. 1 for Beaufort’s “Night on the Town” festivities, 6-8 PM

The historic John Mark Verdier House on downtown Beaufort’s Bay Street will be open for free tours from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 1 as part of the “Night on the Town” festivities that kick off the holidays in Beaufort.

 The house museum, the only such property in Beaufort’s National Historic Landmark District, earned national recognition for its restoration in 2021. Earlier this year, the front door frame and surround was restored to its early 1800s appearance through painstakingly detailed work by master carpenter and restoration craftsman Chad Bond of Charleston.

 “Having the main floor of the John Mark Verdier House open without admission fees for Night on the Town is our way of welcoming people who might not otherwise be downtown or know about the house museum,” said Cynthia Jenkins, executive director of Historic Beaufort Foundation, owner of the property.

 Regular admission to the house museum is $10 ages 13 and up, children under 13 are free but must be accompanied by an adult. Special pricing is available for tour groups of 10 or more. The Verdier House is a BlueSTAR Museum, providing free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families during summer months. 

Historic Beaufort Foundation also honors currently-serving U.S. military by offering free admission year-round. The Foundation also offers a Summer Camp for children ages 8-12 where participants can learn about Beaufort’s historic architectural legacy through hands-own activities. 

 Between 1801 and 1805, Verdier built his Bay Street house. He was a successful merchant and in 1795-96 was an original trustee for Beaufort College, which later became the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

 Verdier was joined on the Beaufort College Board of Trustees by Beaufort’s most eminent residents, Gen. John Barnwell, Col. Robert Barnwell, Maj. William Hazzard Wigg, William Elliott II, Stephen Elliott, Rev. Henry Holcombe, Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gen. John McPherson, Gen. John A. Cuthbert, John Jenkins Sr., William Fripp and John Bull, according to research by Lawrence Rowland, Alexander Moore and George C. Rogers Jr.

 His house features typical Beaufort Style architectural elements: It faces south, is built on a high tabby foundation, has a two-story pedimented portico and low-pitched hip roof.

 A 2012 repainting of the exterior brought the house back to ca.1863 when the color was a pinkish-tan.  At that time the house was occupied by the Union Troops as the Adjutant General’s Office for the duration of the war.  

In 2017, HBF launched the “Paint the Lady Campaign” with the goal of exterior repair and painting of the house. The decision was made to bring the house back to the period of its construction, ca. 1804, when the Verdier family resided in the home. Work began in 2020 and the exterior paint and clapboard repair was completed in 2021. 

That restoration earned the coveted Preservation South Carolina’s Stewardship Award in July 2022.

Historic Beaufort Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education foundation created to preserve, protect, and present sites and artifacts of historic, architectural, and cultural interest throughout Beaufort County, South Carolina. For more information on the entity’s mission and history, please visit historicbeaufort.org and follow them on social media, including Facebook and Instagram.