Celebrating 77 Years In 2016
                        The Beaufort County Historical Society

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Beaufort County Historical Society
P.O. Box 55
Beaufort, SC  29901

 "Celebrating Beaufort in 1939"

The 1940 Census recorded a Beaufort County population of 22,037: 7,124 whites, 14,781 blacks, and 132 “other.”  Residents of the Town of Beaufort totaled 3,185.
14.5% of the County population was classified as urban, leaving 85.5% rural.
Taxable wealth in 1935 was listed at $3.7 million. Total assets of The Peoples Bank were $340,000 (according to L. Rowland).

The Chamber of Commerce’s motto was “Come to Beaufort; Good Climate—Good Fishing.”

Businesses advertising in the Beaufort Gazette that year included:

3 Automobile dealers: Coastal Chevrolet, the Horne Ford Motor Co., and Von Harten Bros. Plymouth.
2 Gas Stations: Koth’s Esso and the Dave Brown Filling Station
Ralph Cohen was appointed distributor of Goodrich tires and auto accessories
But Coleman’s Stables was still “dealing in horses and mules”
The Greyhound Terminal offered a one-way trip to Washington DC for $8.25

7 Grocery stores: Fordham Bros Food Store (offered free delivery), A&P Food Store (the first “supermarket), H Junker’s Quality Market, Jasper Woods Co., The People’s Store, Kinghorn’s Groceries, and Economy Grocery
2 Liquor stores: Butler’s Powerhouse Liquors, Beaufort Distributing Co.
The Beaufort Home Bakery, South Carolina Seafoods Corp. for fresh seafood, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant
2 Drug stores: Luther’s Pharmacy (also provided florist services) and Greene’s Drug Store

Sample Prices:  Tuna 2 for 25c; fresh pork shoulder 19c a pound; peanut butter 15c; ketchup 15c; butter 28c a pound; coffee 15c a pound; cigarettes 14 ½ c a pack; 4 year old Carstairs whiskey $1.65 a pint and Silk Hat orange flavored gin $1.00 a pint.

5 Department and variety stores: Wallace & Danner, Lipsitz Department Store (of course, which had a gigantic sale in February), Schein’s Department Store, Mittle’s Specialty Shop, and the Dixie 5c & 10c Store
3 Hardware stores: Kinghorn Bros., Beaufort Hardware Co., and McDonald Wilkins (feed, fertilizer & paint)
5 Home Furnishing stores: Morrall Furniture, Brown Furniture. Beaufort Simmons Mattress Co., J. Allen Patterson furnaces, and GE Electric Supply Co,

3 Lumber companies: Shults Lumber Co., K & S Lumber, Bay Street Lumber Co.
Bertram Levy offered plumbing services

3 Dry cleaners and laundries: Coastal Dry Cleaning, Beaufort Star Laundry, Atlantic Dry Cleaners
3 Shoe repair shops: Jackson Greene Shoe Repair, Modern Shoe Repair, and Tom’s Shoe Repair (just opened)
3 Barber shops: The Model Barber Shop, Bowers’, and Happy’s. Apparently beauty salons didn’t advertise!
L. Goldberg repaired watches
The Palmetto Photo Studios and Framing opened on Bay Street

3 Banks: The Peoples Bank, First Federal Savings & Loan, The Bank of Yemassee
3 Insurance agencies: Southeastern Life Insurance, Marvin Dukes Insurance Co, Atlantic Coast Insurance Co.
3 Realtors: Adam Haskell Real Estate, Dowling Realty Co. (“We sell lots and lots and lots”), Hughes Lake Real Estate

2 Dentists, Dr. Winfield Scott Smith and Dr. Richard Smith, and an optometrist, Dr. Curtis Metz, advertised, but physicians didn’t. Dr. Wescoat Black and Dr. Ryan were the only two here until 1940 when Dr. Neidich arrived.    

7 Restaurants: The Ritz Café, The Ribault Inn on the Port Royal Road, The Gold Eagle Tavern, The Blue Bird Inn on Boundary (offered real pit BBQ), Henry’s Grill, and Log Cabin Park (with cabins), the Ocean View Café and Anchorage House (which opened that year). The Log Cabin Park offered a 4 course Sunday dinner for 75c.

Movies playing at the Breeze Theater during 1939 included such classics as: “Young Dr. Kildare” with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore, James Cagney in “Angels with Dirty Faces,” “You Can’t Take It With You “starring Jimmy Stewart, Gable and Laughton in “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “Dark Victory” starring Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Victor McLaughlin in “Gunga Din,” and of course “The Wizard of Oz.” Three to four different films played each week, plus a double feature matinee on Saturday.

Churches listed in the paper were: Beaufort Baptist, St. Helena Episcopal Parish, Beaufort Presbyterian, Beaufort Methodist, Port Royal Union Church, St. Peter’s Catholic, Lobeco M E, Ebenezer M E, and Sheldon Baptist. The Beth Israel Synogogue was also active.

Itemized budgets and detailed expense reports of the School Board and County Board of Directors were published on a monthly basis.

Events of the year:

The Beaufort and Sea Island Garden Clubs sponsored the Annual Flower Show in April, with Mrs C.G. Luther and Mrs. Angus Fordham winning their respective Sweepstakes prizes. The Alexander Garden Club was also active that year.

First royalties were paid to the state of the phosphate mines in the Coosaw River bed, which were reopened by a Connecticut corporation after a long hiatus. 1,000 sacks of phosphate were shipped to Europe in January.

Another new industry, the Blue Channel Corp., opened in Port Royal for the processing and canning of crab meat.

The Chamber of Commerce backed a Broad River bridge project and discussion was underway of a “straight line highway” from Georgetown through Charleston and Beaufort to Savannah at a potential cost of $6 million.

The new Parris Island Bridge was opened on February 10 by distinguished guest Senator W. B. Harvey and Port Royal’s Mayor L. Ritter. The cost of the bridge was $225,000.  $1,018,500 in Federal money was approved for projects at Parris Island and a request was submitted to make Parris Island a permanent aviation base.

“Beaufort and the Sea Islands,” was issued as part of the American Guide Series by the Federal Writers Project (WPA of South Carolina) under the sponsorship of the Clover Club.

Clark Gable and friends stopped for dinner at the Gold Eagle Tavern before continuing on to “parts unknown.”

Colony Gardens on Ladies Island was sold to a Connecticut businessman who planned to improve it as a resort with a fine hotel, rebuilt golf course and tennis courts.

Mayor J.E. Gill was reelected in “one of the cleanest elections ever held in Beaufort.” Also elected to the City Council were J.W. Logan, S.P. McDaniel, W.A. Black, and G.W. Kinghorn.

The Show Grounds at Prince and Harrington, by the County Jail, hosted such diverse entertainments as the Crescent Amusement Company’s shows, offering “No gambling—just good clean fun,”  and the Silas Green from New Orleans show, “the largest and best colored show on tour.”

Rotary Clubs founder Paul Harris was the guest of honor at the Beaufort Rotary Club.

The May 30 Memorial Day celebrations and recitals of the piano and violin students of Mrs. George Waterhouse and Miss Rita Crofut were all cancelled as precautionary measures due to outbreaks of infantile paralysis in neighboring communities. The Health Department also imposed a two week quarantine of children under the age of 12 coming into the county.

Beaufort High School awarded 37 diplomas at graduation on May 19.

A separate  Children’s Room was opened by the Clover Club in the downstairs of the Beaufort Township Library  on June 15, with Mrs. Chlotilde Martin in charge.

The South Carolina Federation of Labor held its annual convention in Beaufort in June.

The Beaufort Museum was organized with its headquarters in the recently completed wing of the Beaufort Arsenal. The Board of Trustees, consisting of 9 members, led by Howard Danner, included three appointed by the Historical Society, J.E. McTeer, W.E. Nelson, Chlotilde Martin, and three appointed by the Fine Arts Association, Major George Osterhout, W. Brantley Harvey, and F. H. Christensen. The balance would be appointed by the self-perpetuating Board. The Museum’s first exhibit was an 1847 cannon discovered on the Coosaw River.

The Beaufort High School Tidal Wave football team had a winning season, 6 wins and 1 tie, but lost to Blackville High in the Lower State Championship playoffs.

The publication of A Sea Island Lady by Francis Griswold was announced.

Sheriff McTeer traveled to Ohio to extradite a captured suspect in the 1925 killing of a local police officer.

The L.P. Maggioni Oyster Plant reopened in a new plant on Ladies Island twice the size of the old one and planned to increase seasonal employees by 100%.

8 deaths by auto accidents were reported in Beaufort County in all of 1939.