John Mark Verdier House Museum c.1804

801 Bay Street Beaufort, South Carolina
The only planter’s house in Beaufort open to the public.

This prominent Federal-style mansion was built circa 1804 by John Mark Verdier (1759-1827), a successful merchant and planter.

Verdier had accumulated significant wealth both by trading indigo and subsequently by acquiring over 1,000 acres used for the growing of highly profitable sea island cotton.

This house was a highly visible statement that reflected his rise from a merchant’s status to a wealthy member of Beaufort’s planter class.

Verdier_1863John Mark Verdier House in 1863 during the Union occupation of Beaufort (1861 – 1865).
The house served as army headquarters and the adjutant general’s office.
Verdier_2011 Verdier_interior
Verdier House in 2011.Restored to the colors
of the 1863 exterior.
Beautiful Federal style interior and woodwork.
Verdier House interior by Jane Iseley
Verdier House interior by Jane Iseley Verdier House arch entry and staircase   Photograph by David Soliday

Diorama Photo 1

Beaufort Hotel, Adams Express, and Post Office, on Bay Street, 1863, Diorama Photo.

Diorama of 1863 Bay Street Exhibit is on display at the Verdier House

A scale model diorama of 1863 Bay Street is displayed at the Verdier House, 801 Bay Street.

Using photographs taken during the Civil War by noted photographer Samuel Cooley and others, Cannady spent 14 months capturing each Bay Street structure, from New to Charles streets, in 1:120 scale. The exhibit portrays a 19th century view of Bay Street largely unknown today. Of the 62 structures he re-created, 42 of them were major buildings. Of those 42, only seven remain. Fires, hurricanes and demolition took the others and the exhibit highlights that.

Cannady placed each building in context and in relationship to each other on a simulated Bay Street complete with sandy streets and a waterfront covered with wharfs.

Every building has been re-created as authentically as possible based on the photographs. Windows, chimneys, porches and doors all in miniature are reflected as they appear in the photographs. Cannady recreated the lowcountry landcape with spices including coarse pepper, dill weed and seed, lemon peel, and roasted garlic and dried flowers, glass beads and moss.

Cannady, a retired mechanical engineer and Civil War enthusiast, has created other models exhibited at the Verdier House including the SS Planter, a Confederate ship commandeered by local slave Robert Smalls, and a model of Robert Smalls home at 511 Prince Street and a model of the U.S.S. Wabash, a U.S. Navy ship which spearheaded the assault on Beaufort in 1861. Cannady is a frequent lecturer throughout the lowcountry and the state on the life of Robert Smalls.

Also Featuring Three Other Permanent Exhibits

Robert Smalls
Born in Beaufort in 1839.
First African American
to serve in the U.S. Congress
1875 – 1886
Civil War photos by Samuel Cooley
Photos of Bay Street in 1863 during the Union occupation.
The Beaufort Volunteer Artillary
The BVA was formed in 1776 and fought valiantly in the American Revolution and Civil War. The white space in the center of the flag is where it was shot through by Union artillery.
exhibit_1 exhibit_2 exhibit_3

Hours of Operation

Monday-Saturday: Docent-guided tours every hour on the 1/2 hour from 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM.
Phone: 843-379-6335.

Closed Sundays and Holidays.