Historic Beaufort Foundation’s annual Fall Festival of Houses & Gardens, October 22-23, is among the Lowcountry’s most-anticipated events and this year’s schedule includes iconic properties as well as a Sunday brunch, tour, and conversation at Tidalholm with HBF executive director Cynthia Jenkins and Beaufort architect Rob Montgomery on the Beaufort Style of architecture and way of life.
Named one of South Carolina’s best fall festivals by “Best Things South Carolina,” the annual tour is one of the rare times that owners of historic houses open them for public tours.
“The Fall Festival of Houses & Gardens is the best time to experience Beaufort’s extraordinary setting and architecture as gracious property owners open their private homes and exquisite gardens to public view.” said Cynthia Jenkins, executive director of Historic Beaufort Foundation. “To visit inside these houses and to walk their gardens is truly a magical experience.”
This year’s event represents the best of The Beaufort Style while reflecting Beaufort’s distinct architectural history. Sponsors include Frederick & Frederick Architects, Gilbert Law Firm, Modern Jewelers, Montgomery Architecture & Planning, Lowcountry Real Estate, Beaufort Carts, HomeFinder Realty Group and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group.
The Beaufort style reflects the rural setting of the town laid out following the natural bends of the river as it wraps around Beaufort’s famous Point Neighborhood. Sometimes referred to by architectural historians as a “plantation style come to town,” Beaufort’s architectural heritage reflects both topographic and climatic conditions with key design elements that ensured more comfort in the sub-tropical climate of the Lowcountry.
The Saturday walking tour will take visitors through modest cottages to grand residences to historic churches dating circa 1786 through the early 1900s.
Highlights include the Milton Maxcy House, ca.1810 and remodeled in the 1850s; the John Joyner Smith House, ca.1850; the William Ritchie House, ca. 1883; “Petit Point,” ca. 1855; the Talbird-Sams House, ca.1786; the Adam Davis Hare House, ca.1924; and the Parish Church of St. Helena, ca.1817-1842; and its churchyard.
Of special note is the inclusion this year of one of the rare officer’s cottages that was saved and relocated from Parris Island to the Point.
The John Mark Verdier House, which underwent a comprehensive exterior renovation in 2021 taking it back to its 1804 paint scheme, is also included on the Saturday tour this year. The renovation earned statewide honors.
A highlight of the weekend is Sunday’s brunch and tour of the Edgar Fripp House, ca.1853, also known as “Tidalholm.” HBF Executive Director, Cynthia Jenkins and local architect Rob Montgomery will be discussing the Beaufort Style of architecture and way of life.
This year’s properties are in historic downtown Beaufort along the Bluff, on the Point and in the downtown commercial district. The tour will take place rain-or-shine on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, and all sales are final.
Advanced reservations are strongly recommended as this popular event tends to fill up quickly. Tickets for the Saturday tour are $60 for HBF members and $75 for non-members. Tickets for the Sunday Brunch and Tour of the Edgar Fripp House (Tidalholm) are $130 for HBF members and $150 for non-members. Please note Sunday tickets are limited and will go quickly.
All tickets may be purchased by calling HBF at 843-379-3331 or online at https://historicbeaufort.org/beauforts-architects-tour/.
Online Ticket sales will close Thursday, Oct. 20 at midnight. Tickets will also be available for purchase on Saturday, Oct. 22, 9AM to 2:00PM at the fall tour station in the Arsenal Courtyard, 713 Craven Street.
HBF has prioritized tour participants’ and safety during the event. Per homeowner requests, masks may be required when inside the properties.
Please also plan to visit other community events scheduled during the Tour weekend:
Downtown Gallery & Merchant Walk – Friday, October 21, 5-8 PM, Downtown Beaufort. Visit many of Beaufort’s unique downtown galleries and shops as they stay open to welcome locals and visitors for the Fall Tour weekend.
Halloween Celebration – Saturday, October 22, 10AM, Henry C. Chamber Waterfront Park. Sponsored by the City of Beaufort.
Sunday Community Sing with Marlena Smalls and Eric Crawford – Sunday, October 23, 3PM, Carteret Street Methodist Church, 408 Carteret Street. Sponsored by USCB’s Center for the Arts. For tickets: https://centerfortheartstickets.universitytickets.com/w/event.aspx?id=1572
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.