TAKE ADVANTAGE OF the comfortable summer weather in June by strolling through some of the state’s oldest homes and gardens. As the third oldest town in the state, Beaufort is home to more than 200 homes in the National Registered Historic District that are more than a century old, and several private residences that are more than 200 years old. The Beaufort Historical Association sets aside one weekend every June to show of the picturesque seaport town and the history that calls this area home.
The 54th annual Beaufort Old Homes & Gardens Tour is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 27-28. For the eleventh time, the Old Homes and Gardens Tour has been named a recipient of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for June 2014. This prestigious award includes events like the Kentucky Derby, the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Georgia and Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend.
From small cottages to double-porched homes, this year’s tour features 11 private homes, 10 gardens and artist studios, as well as plein-aire artists around town. New this year is a vintage Airstream trailer completely decorated. The restored buildings on the Beaufort Historic Site will be open both days with docents in period dress. Other popular events include an antique car show, an opening concert by the Carteret Chorale and narrated tours of the Beaufort Historic District aboard the association’s vintage English double-decker bus.
Kicking off this year’s tour is the art opening for featured artist Larry Dean from 4:30-6:30pm on Thursday, June 5 at the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery, and a new event, the “Men Who Cook” Party from 4:30-6:30pm on Saturday, June 7 at the Beaufort Historic Site. Dean’s show, “Beaufort’s Colorful Palette,” features his inaugural collection of nautical themed work, which captures the charm of Beaufort’s waterfront town and stunning coastal landscape through the eyes of a visitor. His painting, “MC Thomas House, Beaufort, NC,” is featured on this year’s fine art poster and will be used in marketing and promotional materials for the event.
The “Men Who Cook” party coincides with the release of the second volume of the “Beaufort Cooks” cookbook, a compilation of dishes from the local men of Beaufort. During this special event, several of these men will be on hand as guest chefs to prepare delicious tastings of the recipes included in the cookbook. This party also serves to thank the homeowners and garden owners who work hard to get their homes and gardens ready for the tour that showcases Beaufort each year.
“The first cookbook was very popular as a gift or keepsake because of the artwork as well as the recipes, so we wanted to do another one with a different twist,” said Tour Committee Chair Katherine Bland. “The men in our town are very proud of their cooking. Many of their favorite recipes are ‘highly improvised,’ so this is the first time some of the recipes were actually written down.”
Tickets for the party are $30 and can be purchased by calling 252-728-5225 or online at www.beauforthistoricsite.org.
Held in conjunction with the homes tour, the Antiques Show and Sale is scheduled for June 27-29, with more than 40 dealers from throughout the Southeast, displaying furniture, silver, crystal, jewelry, linens, dolls and much more. The show is held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City and offers three days of great antiquing to fit any budget. With such a wide range of dealers offering treasures and collectibles of all types, from fine china to vintage jewelry to refurbished one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, there is truly something for everyone. A Gourmet Tea Room will be open during the show and will offer specialty sandwiches provided by Amos Mosquito’s Restaurant, Beaufort Grocery Co. and the Spouter Inn, beverages and a variety of homemade desserts.
This annual event gives visitors the chance to find out more about the wonderful history of Beaufort with most wanting to return for more. Tickets for the Old Homes & Gardens Tour are &18 in advance and $20 at the door, and the Antiques Show and Sale tickets are $7 and good for all three days. Combination tickets for both the tour and the antique show are available for $21 in advance and $24 the days of the events. For more information on any of these events, contact the Beaufort Historical Association at 252-728-5225, stop by the visitor center at 130 Turner St. or visit www.beauforthistoricsite.org.