06 January 2011

Display Case: Notable Natives and Residents of Beaufort, SC

In honor of Beaufort Town's 300th Birthday, we are highlighting "Notable Natives and Residents of Beaufort, SC" in our display cabinet during the month of January.

From the pantheon of notable Beaufortonians, Preservation Associate Charmaine Seabrook Concepcion chose to feature Joe Frazier, Harriet Keyserling, Thomas Ezekial Miller, Robert Smalls, and Ed McTeer in her design.

Of course, there is a host of others who could have been included but the case is small, and the number of items we hold so large, choices had to be made.

Demographically speaking, she selected 3 male African Americans, a Caucasian male, and a Jewess born in New York City who moved here as a bride. Beyond race, gender, and religion, look at the occupations and economic status of those she selected: a world-class athlete; several politicians; an attorney; a lawman; a patron of the arts and the environment; two former slaves; and a war hero.

Beaufort County has always been blessed by an interesting mix of people who love this place. Beaufort throughout its 300 years, has become far, far richer for its tendency to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

Several books take a broad approach to notable Beaufortonians. Charmaine chose two for the case: Beaufort, South Carolina: Pages from the Past by Gerhard Spieler, a German immigrant who chose Beaufort as his home more than 30 years ago (7 copies available through the Local History sections); and, Beaufort Through the Ages by Gloria Singleton, a native daughter who returned home after spending her career mostly in the Philadelphia area (11 copies available through the Local History sections).

I would also add Fran Marscher's three volumes of oral histories: Remembering the Way It Was for Hilton Head, Beaufort, Sheldon, and the Sea Islands. (Multiple copies available through the Local History sections). I remind everyone that Marscher will be reviewing her own books at the Books Sandwiched In on Valentine's Day.

Beaufort lost Keyserling just last month, at age 88. Harriet Keyserling's book, Against the Tide, is also a Books Sandwiched In title. That review occurs on Mon., Jan. 31st.

As per usual for librarians, we have prepared lists of materials about some of these notables in the "Local History Treasures Brought to You by the Beaufort District Collection" under the Recommended Reading link in the left column on our library's homepage. More information can also be found in the "Local History & Nature" web pages under the links for "Famous People of Beaufort County, SC."

For a list of materials about Harriet Keyserling, click here.

For a list of materials about Sheriff McTeer, click here.

For a list of materials about Robert Smalls, click here.

I've mentioned Joe Frazier in Connections before. Click here to read that entry and here to go directly to the video clip about the fight on Oct. 1, 1975.

So, click a few links above or drop by the Beaufort District Collection Research Room to explore materials in the "Forever" part of the Beaufort County Library about these and other Local Notables! Our customary hours are Mondays through Fridays, 10 am until 5 pm. The only upcoming scheduled exception is Monday, January 17th when all Beaufort County offices will be closed to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

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