Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Beaufort - Happy Birthday!

Posted June 2, 2009

How about a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” for Beaufort? 300 years old! That’s a lot of candles on anybody’s cake!

Founded in 1709, Beaufort is described today as “delightfully different.” That’s a pretty good description. I can’t think of any town quite like the Carteret County community. There’s a historical sweetness to Beaufort. It wears the years with grace and dignity. Beaufort is pretty but it’s not ostentatious. Almost everything in Beaufort is made of wood and painted white. It is a place of picket fences surrounding historic houses built by shipwrights. The architecture has a Caribbean influence.

I love to peruse the Old Burying Ground in the historic district with its weathered tombstones shaded by ancient live oaks. I enjoy a trip to the NC Maritime Museum where you can learn about “the graveyard of the Atlantic.” I savor Sunday mornings at St. Paul’s parish on Ann Street. I love the early morning light on the waterfront across the street from Clawson’s restaurant with its famous shrimp and grits. I delight in the warm hospitality of Katie and Bruce Ethridge at the Beaufort Inn. My mouth waters at the French bistro menu of Beaufort Grocery Company for lunch.

Those are just a few things I like about Beaufort. What are your favorite things about this whitewashed town by the sea? Please share.

Can you name the song I wrote about a special event in Beaufort?

By the way, tomorrow is weigh day on the Ten Pounds Down weight loss challenge. It’s going to be close for me in reaching my goal of 181 tomorrow. My appetite has been raging today.


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  • Frank Downtown Jun 4, 2009

    I grew up in Morehead City and Salterpath and my mother is from Beaufort but I live in Raleigh.

  • dontaskme Jun 4, 2009

    Beafort has hidden little treasures everywhere. Have you visited the Library? Or gone to the Front Street Post Office?
    Walk down the street early on a Saturday morning and strangers smile and wave. Dolphin sightings in Taylor's Creek. I love the place: the Dirigables at Clawsons, ponies, and picnics on Carrot Island.

  • fishnett5977 Jun 4, 2009

    Doing good - busy at work! And waiting for school to be out next week for the granddaughter! She will graduate from kindergarten on Monday! So proud!lol :) We have the half day on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the weekend then she is off to her mom's to stay during the week while her Papa and I work. Going to play in our new pool - we both love the water! And just waiting until June 26th - going down to my favorite place - Sunset Beach -from Friday until Tuesday with my gal pals!lol We always have sooo much fun! I come home happy and my face hurting from all the laughing! We are some "wild and crazy girls"lol!!! Hope you are doing okay and I am sooo proud of you and your weight loss. I have been working since last year with diet modification and so far I have done well. Still need to do more exercise but stay so busy at home and work now. Maybe with the pool up, I'll be able to get some exercise in in the afternoons after work IF it doesnt rain! Take care! Talk to you soon!
    Hugs! :)

  • bleslie Jun 4, 2009

    fishnett - you are correct about the song! Thanks and I hope you are doing well.


  • fishnett5977 Jun 3, 2009

    I know you wrote the "theme" to the Tall Ships event. It was called Tall Ships and every time I hear it I see those beautiful ships in the harbor at Beaufort! I went to that, didnt see all of it - too many folks! lol But still I got to see and do things I may never get to again! Had the pleasure in 2007 in seeing the "Compass Rose" again in Key West(their homeport). That music, it makes me think of ships sailing on the waves and the waves, the wind and the sun! Gee Bill, I already am ready to head to the beach but that makes me want it even more!!! Happy Birthday(belated) to the beautiful seaport of Beaufort NC!!! :)

  • taintguy Jun 2, 2009

    Dinner at The Net House (on Turner St) is a must for our family every trip to Beaufort. The dijon grouper & stuffed soft shell crab are awesome!

  • bleslie Jun 2, 2009

    beautiful memories, ziradog, Thanks! I hear Jerry Stackhouse came through Beaufort recently with a big new boat.

  • bleslie Jun 2, 2009

    From M. Walker on Bruce Ethridge: Was his father a highway patrolman? If so, I knew Bruce when we were teenagers and I spent lots of time in Beaufort. My grandparents, Jess and Pearl Mebane, had bought property at 118 Moore Street, the Alexander House, long-time rectory for St. Paul's, and home of Rev. Dr. Lay, Paul Green's wife's father. Next time you drive down Moore St., think of me! I dearly love Beaufort now, but I remember it more fondly from the 1950's before it became a tourist destination. It just smelled so good, and Front Street was a fun place to me. Hot fudge sundaes at Guthrie-Jones Drug Store were the best, eaten sitting on the sea wall. Love it!! I was 13 the first time I saw Beaufort and have loved it ever since.

  • ziradog Jun 2, 2009

    There are so many wonderful things in Beaufort. We too love the Old Burying Ground and the Maritime Museum. And the boats! Sail boats from all over the world, giant luxury yachts, john boats with a shower curtain roof, you never know what you will see next. The horses running free across the creek, the Michael Smith memorial, the Museum boat shop, ice cream from The General Store (but not on Sunday), lunch at Spouter Inn, Clawsons, Rocking Horse and Scuttlebutt book stores, I could go on all day.

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