John Mark Verdier House Museum
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A smallish but stately Federalist building on the busiest downtown corner, the Verdier House Museum (801 Bay St., 843/379-6335, www.historicbeaufort.org, Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–4 p.m., $6 adults, $4 students) is the only historic Beaufort home open to regular tours. Built in 1805 for the wealthy planter John Mark Verdier, its main claim to fame was acting as the Union headquarters during the long occupation of Beaufort during the Civil War.
However, perhaps its most intriguing link to history—a link it shares with Savannah’s Owens-Thomas House—is its connection to the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette, who stayed at the Verdier House on the Beaufort leg of his 1825 U.S. tour. Despite the late hour of his arrival, a crowd gathered at the corner of Bay and Scott Streets, and Lafayette finally had to come to the entranceway to satisfy their desire for a speech.
When the Verdier House was faced with demolition in the 1940s, the Historic Beaufort Foundation purchased the house and renovated it to its current state, reflective of the early 1800s.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition