Chely the Beaufort Bear visits The Secession House

Follow Chely the Beaufort Bear as she makes her way around the Beaufort area visiting a different local historical site each week, showing us parts of history and culture that have helped shape Beaufort into the amazing town it is today.

On this Saturday morning in Beaufort, Chely visits The Secession House…

The Secession House also known as the Milton Maxcy House was built in 1813.
An inscription on the basement wall reads: “In this house the first meeting of Secession was held in South Carolina.” According to local tradition, after voting, the Beaufort County Delegation went directly to the boat landing and set off for Charleston to cast their ballots for secession. The foundation of the house represents the base of an earlier 2-story house that was reportedly constructed in 1743.
Around 1800 Milton Maxcy came to Beaufort from Massachusetts to open a school for boys and acquired the property. He removed the tabby second floor, and added two stories of wood siding. The next owner, Edmund Rhett, rebuilt the two upper floors completely, circa 1861, using modified Greek Revival architecture.
The house was used by the Union Army for headquarters of General Rufus Saxton, billeting of officers, a hospital, and for the office of Paymaster.