Beaufort County Library

Russell J. Arnsberger Postcard Collection

Russell J. Arnsberger Postcard Collection
The Russell J. Arnsberger Postcard Collection is comprised of over 350 postcards of houses, businesses, public buildings, street views, military base activities and structures in and around Beaufort, South Carolina. Some built structures pictured are no longer extant or have been greatly altered. Arnsberger collected postcards about Beaufort County beginning with some by Charles G. Luther and the Crescent Drug Company of the 1900-1910s through some produced by Photo Arts of Winnsboro, SC into the 1970s and 1980s. He donated two albums of his personal collection of postcards to the Beaufort District Collection in 2008. 
 
This discrete collection represents only a small portion of the postcards held in the Beaufort District Collection. Please contact Beaufort County Library for further information about the postcards that are not posted online.  
 
Contributing Institution: 
Collection Media Types: 

The Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina

The Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina

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.

Contributing Institution: 
Collection Media Types: 

Beaufort Hurricane of 1893 Photograph Collection

Beaufort Hurricane of 1893

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.

Contributing Institution: 
Collection Media Types: 

The Lucille Hasell Culp Collection - A Celebration of Beaufort, South Carolina

Black and white photo of the Garden's Corner Motel and Restaurant sign

“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.

Contributing Institution: 
Collection Media Types: 

Phosphate, Farms, and Family - The Donner Collection

Black and white photo of a group of unidentified African American children

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.

Contributing Institution: 
Collection Media Types: 
Subscribe to Beaufort County Library