Beaufort has been the setting or the inspirational setting for several of books and films of importance in American culture.
Long-time resident Pat Conroy used Beaufort as a backdrop to many of his works. And our city is a popular filming location for major motion pictures, including The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, Forrest Gump, Something To Talk About and G.I. Jane.
One of South Carolina’s most noted Antebellum mansions, Tidalholm was the setting for the films The Big Chill (1983) and The Great Santini (1979). This gorgeous antebellum home sits next to the Beaufort River amid swaying palms and giant oaks. Now private, it has seen its share of history and is worth a gander from the gates if you’re in the neighborhood. Built in 1853 as a summer home, Union troops occupied the house during the Civil War. In 2017 Country Living magazine named Tidalholm the most famous historic house in South Carolina.
The “garden” in the title of John Berendt’s non-fiction novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a cemetery in Beaufort. The voodoo practitioner Minerva, based on Beaufort resident Valerie Bowles, lives near the cemetery.
Lady’s Island, the slave trade and the American Revolutionary War are the topics of an award-winning novel by the Canadian writer Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes (2007) (published in the US as Someone Knows My Name).
It portrays the evacuation of black slaves from Manhattan by the British after the Revolutionary War. The British forces promised freedom to slaves of rebels who joined their forces. The British transported more than 3,000 freedmen for resettlement to Nova Scotia, where they became known as Black Loyalists; others were taken to England and the Caribbean. The Book of Negroes is the record of names and origins of freedmen taken to Canada.