Brunch and Burial Grounds…Perfect Together!

Yesterday, when Bill said, “I think we should take a day off from the gym tomorrow,” I smiled and shared that “Sweeter words were never spoken!” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to work out and Bill continues to be my inspiration, but when you average 6 days a week, a day of rest is irresistible!

Waking to another beautifully sunny, yet chilly, morning, we decided to go to brunch at a restaurant that had been recommended. Arriving at the Beaufort Grocery Company around 10:30, we were seated immediately and very quickly realized why this establishment receives excellent reviews. We opted for breakfast entrees, which were as tasty as they look, and I accompanied mine with a “BeauGro Bloody Mary” – complete with pickled okra – yum!

Needing to walk off our breakfast, we took a stroll along the waterfront and then found our way to the Beaufort Old Burying Grounds, a cemetery that dates back to 1731 and is located in the heart of town. We grabbed a self-tour brochure and proceeded to explore, focusing on the 28 individual stories shared in the flyer.

The cemetery was filled with magnanimous trees and grave sites of all kinds. Of particular interest were the vaulted graves that had apparently been bricked over in an attempt to protect them from high water. Inclusively, the graveyard honored soldiers, doctors, ministers, ship captains, women and children, each with a unique life story.

I found a few stories particularly interesting…

  • Pierre Henry (1812-1887) – An African American educator, born free during slavery, who taught emancipated slaves and their children in a nearby seminary.
  • Sarah Gibbs (d. 1792) – Sarah’s husband, Jacob Shepard, went to sea and was presumed dead as he never returned. She married and had a child with Nathaniel Gibbs and then after several years – Surprise! – her shipwrecked husband returned! The two men agreed that Sarah should live her life out with the father of her child but must spend eternity at the side of Jacob Shepard, which is exactly what she’s doing.
  • British Officer (1700’s) – Sometime in the 1700’s, a British Naval officer, who did not want to be buried “with his boots off” was laid to rest standing upright in full uniform!
  • Girl in a Barrel of Rum (1700’s) – A father took his daughter to London to see her homeland and promised her mother to return her safely. Tragically she died on the return trip, so her father placed her in a barrel of rum and brought her back to Beaufort for burial. (FYI – embalming was unknown until the 20th century!) As you can see, this gravesite gets lots of visitors! 

After discovering all 28 grave sites of interest, we wandered back to the waterfront via the rest of the Beaufort Historic Site, which includes a jail, apothecary, court house, several churches, and various homes of  original prominent Beaufort residents.

Bill and I didn’t really realize all of the history that this town shares, but we are enjoying discovering more and more!

Stay Calm and Travel On…



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