This collection of 106 Civil War period photographic stereopticon cards of the Beaufort area, St. Augustine, Florida, and Charleston are primarily from the Samuel A. Cooley studio. This collection was purchased from New Hampshire based collector, Stephen J. Edwards. There are a number of scenes depicting the homes and life of the freedmen, a rarity. Dr. Stephen Wise, the Parris Island Museum Director verified the authenticity of the images, noted how unusual it was to find an entire collection of local interest together, and introduced the images to the public on 7 December 1997 in a formal library program attended by 100 members of the community. Beaufort County Library Trustee funds and donations from the Friends of the Beaufort County Library and Beaufort County Historical Society secured the purchase of the images in November 1997.
Beaufort County Library
L.A. Hall, Beaufort's postmaster, gave the Beaufort Township Library a collection of 36 stereopticon views of Beaufort taken "right after the War between the States" that he had received "from a friend in the north." Twenty-six of the images were taken in Beaufort by photographer E.W. Sinclair who worked for Samuel A. Cooley, self-described "Photographer, 10th Army Corps" during the Civil War and early Reconstruction periods. According to the Beaufort Times June 21, 1944, "The pictures are most interesting, including those homes which were used as hospitals, the old Magnolia hotel, which is no more, and many of the homes which still exist."
The stereopticon card "Cotton picking at the Yard - St. Helena Island Fall of 1879" was donated by a Mrs. Evans though the date of her donation is unknown.
Four stereopticon cards published by Rufus Morgan depict scenes near Columbia, SC. One stereopticon card of "Southern Scenery" near Asheville, NC was also published by Rufus Morgan. The provenance of the Rufus Morgan cards housed in the L.A. Hall Collection is unknown.
It appears that the Hall images and other donations of stereopticon cards were merged into one series at some point before February 1999.
The Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina describes damage and recovery efforts in Beaufort, South Carolina, and the surrounding coastal area after the hurricane of August 27, 1893. Accounts from hurricane survivors describe the destruction of homes, crops, boats, wharves, bridges, railroads, and other infrastructure in the area. The author, Mrs. R. C. Mather, recounts the recovery efforts she and others undertook throughout the following year. Mather, who created The Mather School in 1867 to educate the daughters of liberated slaves, continued her work after the hurricane by providing clothing, blankets, tools, seeds, and other provisions to the needy. Interspersed throughout the 14 chapters of the book are poems and biblical passages, reflecting the author's deep religious faith.
For images of Beaufort after the 1893 hurricane, please see the companion collection, the Beaufort Hurricane of 1893 Photograph Collection.
This collection features 20 photographs that record the damage caused by the hurricane that swept through Beaufort County on August 27th, 1893. Images captured include wrecked and stranded ships and steamers, including the "City of Savannah," damaged buildings and wharves and a debris covered Bay Street.
For more information, please see the companion publication, The Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina.
“The Lucille Hasell Culp Collection - A Celebration of Beaufort, South Carolina” contains a selection of 300 images, primarily photographic negatives, from the much larger Lucille Hasell Culp Collection. Here one finds selected images of enduring historical value to Beaufort, such as those relating to community and military events, built structures that are no longer extant or greatly altered, iconic architecture, commercial activities, natural vistas, and daily life, 1941 – 1999. Most of the images were taken in the immediate area of the City of Beaufort, S. C. during from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.
Lucille Hasell Culp was born on September 30, 1921 in Denver, Colorado, a daughter of Andrew George Hasell and Hazel Frances Middleton Hasell. Culp moved to Beaufort with her family in 1933 to help on the Old Oak Plantation farm of her recently widowed aunt, Nellie Hasell Fripp. Culp purchased the Palmetto Studios in 1941 from Samuel Kosiner. In 1948 she married her second husband, William “Bill” Culp who helped her run the business until his death in 1975 at age 52. She continued to work out of 809 Bay Street for another 16 years, closing the studio in 1981.
When the Bay Street studio closed, Culp relocated her vast archive of negatives to her modest home on Ribaut Road. Because of the degradation caused by the variable environmental conditions of the South Carolina lowcountry, some of the materials initially given to the Library ultimately had to be destroyed. The bulk of the images chosen for this digital collection were retrieved from her home. Unfortunately, some images display the irreversible ravages of long-term storage in non-archival conditions.
Culp died on August 8, 2007 in Charleston, SC. Culp was survived by three nieces, Frances Hasell Haselden, Barbara Hasell Bradley, and Bonnie Hasell Antonucci and stepdaughter, Pamela Culp Rodriguez. A biographical sketch of Culp entitled “A View Through a Fine Lens” is a chapter in Remembering the Way It Was at Beaufort, Sheldon and the Sea Islands (History Press, 2006) by Fran Heyward Marscher. The Beaufort County Library was awarded SC SHRAB (South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board) grants to fund the services of photographic archivist, Celeste Wiley, to perform the initial survey, arrangement, and preservation plan on the Lucille Hasell Culp Collection in 2008 – 2009. The preliminary Finding Aid to the Lucille Hasell Culp Papers is found on the Beaufort District Collection web page.
Provenance: Donated by Frances Hasell Haselden in 2007 on behalf of her aunt, Lucille Hasell Culp, by power of attorney to the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort County Library; additional materials from the Estate of Lucille Hasell Culp were received in 2008 and 2009. Copyright: Copyright of all items within the Lucille Hasell Culp Papers has been transferred to the Beaufort County Library.
This collection of 548 photographs comes from two albums of family photographs created by Conrad Munro Donner (1844 - 1916), a peripatetic engineer from the Hamburg-Altona area near the border between Denmark and Germany who had an active interest in photography. Self-taught, the bulk of his images reflect his experience of lowcountry rural life in Beaufort County, SC near the turn of the 20th century.
Conrad and his brother, Leonard Donner, moved to Beaufort in 1889 as mining engineers for the Pacific Guano Mining Company. Several factors led to the decline of the Beaufort area phosphate industry in the mid 1890s and the brothers decided to try farming for a living. Around 1900 they purchased Hall's Island to go into the "White Asparagus" business. The Donner brothers remained on Hall's Island until their deaths within weeks of each other in August 1916. They are buried in the St. Helena Episcopal Churchyard in Beaufort, SC.
Few images of phosphate mining operations in Beaufort County are known to exist. The 35 images that Conrad Donner took of the Pacific Guano Company, a phosphate mining company operating on Chisolm Island, are especially important as they show key aspects of an industry crucial to the post-Civil War economy of Beaufort. Activities on Hall's Island are well documented through images of farm life, often including photographs of African American laborers hard at work, and photographs of family hunting and fishing trips. Conrad Donner took images on Chisolm Island, Halls Island, and Yemassee, SC; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Rye, New York, and Hamburg-Altona, Germany.
Professor Christopher Donner of Miami [ nephew of Conrad and Leonard Donner] and Dr. Christopher and Ann Donner of Cape Cod, Massachusetts donated the two albums to the Beaufort County Library in 2001.
- Pinehurst Tea Plantation Visual Materials
- Art Work of Charleston: Published in Twelve Parts
- An Architectural Guide to Charleston, South Carolina
- Warren Hubert Moïse Letters, 1933-1939
- Agricultural Society of South Carolina Visual Materials
- George W. Williams Photograph Collection
- Charles Fraser Sketchbook, 1793-1796
- Civil War and Reconstruction Era Stereoscope Photographs of the Port Royal Region
- L.A. Hall Collection of Mid-19th Century Stereoscopic Images
- William ("Bill") Saunders Papers, circa 1950 - 2004
News & Events
- Announcing the Completion of our NHPRC Grant!
- The "Eugene C. Hunt Papers, 1834 - 1994" Are Now Available for Research Use on the LCDL!
- The "Charleston Branch of the NAACP Papers" are Live on the LCDL!
- New! LDHI Publishes Online Exhibition about Civil Rights Leader Septima P. Clark
- Survey! Help Us Improve LCDL
- Accepting Applications for Temporary Staff Position at LCDL!
- Announcing a New Collection: "J. Arthur Brown Papers, 1937-1988"
- Additions to the “Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers, 1934-2003" Collection Now Available on the LCDL!