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Historic Buildings

The Beaufort Historic Site is comprised of ten buildings, six of which have been authentically restored, nestled on two acres in the heart of the quaint downtown area of Beaufort. Of the authentially restored houses, three were built between 1778 and 1825, the Carteret County Courthouse of 1796, the Carteret County Jail, c1829; the Apothecary Shop and Doctors Office, c1859 and the c1732 Rustell House that houses the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery.

Living history demonstrations, guided tours and special events vividly describe the lifestyles, customs and architecture unique to this coastal area. See the resting place of Confederate and Union Soldiers as well as some of Beaufort's earliest residents while exploring the mysterious Old Burying Ground, enshrouded in the shade of hundred-year-old live oak trees.

Guided tours of these historic treasures are available Monday through Saturday. $10 for adults and $5 for children.


Leffers Cottage, c1778
This rustic cottage was once home to Samuel Leffers, a schoolmaster, merchant, and clerk of the court. The primitive house serves as the perfect setting to showcase artifacts relating to the daily chores of cooking, spinning, sewing, candle making, and weaving in the Colonial period.


Carteret County Courthouse, c1796
The oldest wood-framed courthouse in North Carolina, the courthouse has recently undergone an award-winning restoration. It serves as the backdrop for our courthouse dramatization, an integral tool for educating today’s youth about the early American legal system.


John C. Manson House, c1825
The award-winning John C. Manson House is a testament to the Beaufort Historic Site’s dedication to authentic restoration. This elegant Federal-style house stands on its original site as an excellent example of the Bahamian architecture so prevalent in Beaufort. It now boasts exact replications of the historic decorative faux finishes found on the interior walls and exterior doors of the house.


Josiah Bell House, c1825
This Victorian house served as the residence of the influential Bell family of Beaufort. Josiah Fisher Bell, son of the home’s namesake, was a Confederate agent who was responsible for blowing up a series of lighthouses at Cape Lookout during the Civil War.


The Old Jail, c1829
A favorite with children, the Old Jail has 28-inch thick walls and boasts legends of ghosts and a single hanging in 1874. The jailer and his family coexisted here with the prisoners, though the jailer’s quarters were much cozier than those of the inmates. Amazingly, this jail remained in use until 1954.


The Apothecary Shop and Doctor's Office, c1859
Built in 1859, the apothecary remains essentially unchanged in appearance. It houses a priceless collection of medicinal and pharmaceutical artifacts, most of which are original to the shop, that make it very popular with residents and visitors alike.
Historic Site Gardens

The Beaufort Historic Site has two gardens that guests are welcome to stroll through.  These gardens are cared for by volunteers from the Carteret County Master Gardener Association.


The Leffers Garden
The charming Leffers Garden depicts a typical colonial garden that would have been found in the 1800's.  The garden is maintained by the NC Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener Volunteers of Carteret County for use as an educational tool.

The Herb Garden
The Herb Garden, located behind the Apothecary and Doctor's Shop, features a variety of plants and herbs that are an example of what was used for medicinal and cooking purposes during Colonial times. The Herb Garden is maintained by the NC Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener Volunteers of Carteret County.


Beaufort Historic Site
100 Block Turner Street | Beaufort, NC 28516
252.728.5225 | 800.575.7483