Skip to content


Historic Beaufort is proud to exhibit an architectural scale model of Bay Street as it appeared during the Civil War. Built by noted scale-model craftsman Dennis Cannady, the re-creation was completed using the extensive glass plate photographic collection of Beaufort taken during the war years primarily by noted photographer Samuel Cooley. The early Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps provided key details as to building location and angle as well as sizes. Spanning five blocks of Beaufort’s core commercial district and running from New Street on the east to Charles Street on the west this diorama produced in 1:120 scale provides a realistic sense of what Bay Street was like 160 years ago.


The exhibit portrays a model of Bay Street that includes 62 structures of which 42 were major buildings and, of those 42, only seven remain. Each building is placed in its context, setting and relationship to each other complete with sandy streets and the waterfront covered with wharfs.

Architectural details of each building including windows, chimneys, porches, doors, and signs provide in intimate detail of merchandise such as spices (coarse pepper, dill weed and seed, lemon peel, and roasted garlic) that were available for purchase. The Beaufort Hotel, post office, grocers, a liquor store, clothing stores and private residences provide a sense of place and an eerily realistic sense of feeling and association to 19th century occupied Beaufort.