We begin our tour of South Carolina’s 46 counties in fast-growing Beaufort County, near the southern tip of the state.
In 1980, Beaufort County’s population was just 65,364. In 2010, it was 162,233.
The northern and southern parts of Beaufort County are connected only by the 1.7-mile Broad River Bridge on South Carolina Highway 170.
Beaufort County is composed primarily of islands – part of the Sea Islands along the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
The county seat of Beaufort County is the city of Beaufort (pop. 12,361), located mainly on Port Royal Island. South Carolina’s Beaufort is pronounced “BYOO-fert.” North Carolina’s Beaufort is pronounced “BOH-fert.”
Boxer Joe Frazier (1944-2011) grew up in Beaufort.
Beaufort is the home of the Kazoo Museum, located within the Kazoobie Kazoos Factory.
Beaufort has a strong military presence, with the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the nearby Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
Author Pat Conroy based the main character of “The Great Santini” on his father, a Marine pilot; Conroy’s “The Water is Wide” was about his time teaching on Daufuskie Island in the 1960s.
Saint Helena Island has traditionally been a center of African-American Gullah culture, dating from the early days of slavery in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
The uninhabited (by humans) Morgan Island has been the home of a free-ranging colony of rhesus monkeys since 1979.
NEXT: JASPER COUNTY