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Lowcountry History Tours
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LEGACY HISTORY TOURS

OF THE LOWCOUNTRY

(843) 422-3842

Hilton Head offers an unparalled scope of history featuring sites from the major phases of North American history: pre-Columbian Native American, Early Explorers, Revolutionary War, Plantation Era, American Civil War, and Reconstruction periods as well as being the location of the first planned resort-retirement community in the world in the 1950’s, an historic event in itself.

Come out with us and learn the fascinating stories of these sites and some of our former visitors to Hilton Head and the Lowcountry and how their contributions helped make this the very special place it is. Choose from one of our themed tour packages or use this page as a guide to customize a tour. Custom tours can include your choice of visits to any combination of sites listed on this page. Tour duration is not listed as it is dependent upon your custom choices. Please call and speak with our reservations specialist to plan your custom tour. Tours are offered 7 days a week - call (843) 422-3842 to request your preferred date and time and to check availability.


Customize Your History Tour

Greens Shell Enclosure

Sea Pines Shell Ring

Spanish Wells

Oldest location of human habitation on Hilton Head Island, a Native American ceremonial and communal site dating back approximately 4,500 years.

Pre-Columbian Native American ceremonial and communal site, unique among GA and SC shell rings in that it shows evidence of usage as recently as 1400 (700 years BP)

The peninsula of land bordering the Intracoastal Waterway on which fresh water springs were located and many early explorers, especially the Spanish in the 16th Century as early as 1520, came to refresh their ships’ supplies


Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery

Site dating to Revolutionary and Plantation Eras on Hilton Head, and location of the Zion Chapel of Ease of St. Luke’s Parish and its cemetery housing the Baynard Mausoleum, the oldest structure on the Island


Stoney Baynard Ruins

Talbird Oak

Honey Horn Plantation

Site of Revolutionary War period plantation manor house owned by Patriot Lieutenant John Talbird (or Talbot),burned by British forces led by brother-in-law, Philip Martinangele in 1781


Largest tabby structure on Hilton Head, remains of the manor house built by Revolutionary War privateer Captain Jack Stoney in the 1790’s on Braddock’s Point Plantation

Sea island cotton plantation owned by Edisto planter family named Hanahan, from which it gets its name, and coverted into an exclusive hunting estate by wealthy northerners in       the 1900’s

Fort Walker

One of two Confederate forts guarding the entrance to Port Royal Sound in November 1861 and the site of the Battle of Port Royal Sound, the largest amphibious invasion in       U.S. history until D-Day in Normandy

Fort Sherman

Fort Mitchel

Mitchelville

Originally named Battery Gillmore, a Union defensive work along Skull Creek built in 1861 on the former Seabrook Plantation to guard against naval attack from Savannah by the Confederacy

Main supply depot for the U.S. Army Department of the South, the largest earthwork fortification in the South until the construction of Fortress Rosecrans in Murfreesboro, TN in early 1863


Birthplace of freedom for African-Americans, Mitchelville was the first fully self-governing Freedmen’s town in the U.S. and is often thought of as the focal point of the PortRoyal Experiment, a proving ground for the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863

Fort Howell

An earthworks fort built by the 32nd US Colored Troops Regiment in 1864 to protect Mitchelville from possible attack by Confederate troops coming across Skull Creek from the mainland

Fort Pulaski

Santa Elena

Honey Hill

Site of the first European colony in North America to endure more than two years, a Spanish settlement established over forty years before Jamestown was founded and nearly 60 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts (in Beaufort – 1 hour)

Site of Revolutionary and Civil War forts guarding the mouth of the Savannah River, and the site of a major battle in April 1862  which changed the strategy for attacking masonry fortifications and closed the port of Savannah to trade and resupply for the remainder of the war (in Savannah – 1 hour and 15 minutes)

Site of one of the last Confederate victories of the Civil War and the first major engagement in which African-American troops constituted the majority of forces for the Union offensive (near Ridgeland – 45 minutes)


Beaufort Arsenal

Built in 1798, it is the home of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, a unit whose distinguished history dates back to the Revolutionary War and which fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War – it also houses a fascinating museum

Pneumatic Cannon Battery

Leamington Lighthouse

Harbourtown

Officially the Hilton Head Rear Range Lighthouse, built in 1853 by the U.S. Maritime Service as part of the coastal navigation system on the Atlantic Coast, and later h site if WWI Coast Guard mounted shore patrol campc Coast, and later the site       of a WWI Coast Guard mounted shore patrol camp

The site of the Hilton Head battery location for one of thirteen “steam cannons” along the U.S. coast during the Spanish-American War period, this one manned by troops from nearby Fort Fremont


The location of the iconic lighthouse that has become a world-renowned symbol of Hilton Head and Sea Pines, a controversial feature of the original vision for the first environmentally-sensitive resort-retirement community in the world

HILTON HEAD ISLAND HISTORIC SITES

SURROUNDING AREA SITES

Tabernacle Baptist Church

Robert Smalls House

Cuthbert House

Home in which South Carolina’s first black U.S. Congressman was born as a slave and which he purchased during the war only to allow his former master’s wife to live there rent free when she returned destitute after the war’s end

Formed by African-American members of Beaufort Baptist Church following Federal occupation of the town in November 1861, it became a center of civic activity for blacks and its churchyard is the final resting place of Robert Smalls and his two wives


Purchased by General Rufus Saxton, Military Governor of the Union Department of the South and visited by General William T. Sherman soon thereafter, the house was a center for activities relating to the Port Royal Experiment and the early Reconstruction period


SAVANNAH HISTORICAL SITES

Old Fort Jackson

Spring Hill Redoubt

Davenport House

Site of the 1779 Battle of Savannah, the second bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War where combined Colonial forces from six countries commanded by General Benjamin Lincoln attacked the British strongholdold

Built on the site of a Revolutionary battery, the Fort James Jackson was constructed prior to the War of 1812 to guard the Savannah River approaches to the city and was the key inland bastion of the Civil War river defenses and headquarters of the Confederate Navy

New England builder Isaiah Davenport built the mansion as a model for his construction skills and it housed his family until sold as a city dwelling to the Hilton Head and Edisto Island Baynard family, South Carolina’s wealthiest planters at the time

Green Meldrim House

Built by a wealthy cotton merchant in the late 1850’s, the house was occupied and used by General William T Sherman from the capture of Savannah until the end of the war, and was the location at which he wrote the famous telegram to Lincoln in December 1864 giving the city to him as a Christmas present

Boyd’s Landing

Old House Plantation

Purrysburg Landing

Settled in 1743 it was the Home of Thomas Heyward, signer of the Declaration of  Independence and author of the Constitution of the State of South  Carolina, a wealthy planter and veteran of two wars, and is the site of his tomb


The place on the upper Broad River where the Union forces landed to cut the Charleston-Savannah Railroad at Grahamville, the mission which resulted in the Battle of Honey Hill, and a site of Union defenses following the battle

Site of the French Huguenot landing and early village on the banks of the Savannah River first settled in 1734, Purrysburg later became a city rivaling Savannah in its trade volume before it faded into obscurity after Savannah’s rise in prominence

RIDGELAND HISTORICAL SITES

CALL (843) 422-3842 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK YOUR TOUR

BEAUFORT HISTORICAL SITES