Outta Beaufort for Oriental
05 April 2012
OUTTA BEAUFORT FOR ORIENTAL
April 5, 2012
No mistake about it, this is a wonderful example of how a harbor town should be designed. The town was designated as the top small city in America, so the signs and locals proclaim. Not only that, they have a very impressive small maritime museum and a Third System fort nearby, Fort Macon. Unlike most of the Third System forts, this one actually saw combat. The curious thing was that after it was built, it was occupied many times due to “Congressional” economizing by a single caretaker. What a concept. A single caretaker was in charge when on April 14, 1861 when the local militia asked for the keys. He gave them up and until April 26, 1862 it was under Confederacy occupation. The Union occupied it until 1876 when they gave the keys back to a caretaker.
Beaufort has a “Burying Ground” which tells its history. Of the residents of that cemetery, there are several Revolutionary graves. There is a grave of a British Officer that asked to be buried standing at attention facing England so that he would look his finest on Resurrection day. There is a grave of a fellow with high military honors that has a 6 pounder cannon on top. The most interesting one is that of a young girl who asked to see England. Her father, promising to bring her home, took her there. She died on the return voyage and her father, true to his word, purchased a keg of rum from the captain and brought her home in it. She was buried in that keg. Today, children still decorate the grave with toys. Old dad was true to his word.
The oldest house in town was occupied by various notable folks. Of them, Blackbeard often stayed there. It is on the ghost tour list. Many homes were built by ship builders and that may explain why they still stand after 300 years. Technology almost destroyed many when folks started to insulate them. Seems the old framing allowed air to flow through the walls. When insulation was added with no vapor barrier, the walls started to deteriorate. We saw a house that was being renovated and the studs were ships framing with stud spacing about four feet on centers. They showed the signs of hand sizing.
We leave here today bound for Oriental. It will be a short day of only 26 miles but puts us in another historic city. It is supposed to be a nasty day tomorrow so we either go today or Saturday. Today is the day. More later.
Scurv note: Scurv needs a day aboard to let his sniffer recover. The waterfront is a favorite walk for local dog owners and young Scurv had lots to do.