The 1885 Beaufort High School was first operated by Ann Street Methodist Church and was a tuition school. The building was originally located on the Carteret County Courthouse grounds, facing Turner Street. Purchased for $1250 in 1907 by the town of Beaufort, the building was moved a short distance to the south side of Broad Street. Images from a 1960s architectural study done by NC State University.
|Broad Street Location |
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In The Story of the Methodist in the Port of Beaufort, Amy Muse wrote in 1941:
“In 1885 a Committee of Citizens leased lots 136, 144 and 152 on the northwest side of the Court House Square which had been ‘reserved for an Academy by an Act of the General Assembly in 1816.’ They agreed to pay an annual rental of $6.00 and were to erect upon it a school for white children, the building to cost not less than $1,000. The following were on the Committee: Thomas Thomas, B.L. Jones, W.F. Dill, William Sabiston, J.B. Davis, N.W. Taylor, S.M. Buckman, S.J. Moore, Sarah A. Davis, J.B. Jones, J.C. Davis, W.B. Duncan, B.J. Bell, T.D. Noe, N.L. Carrow, M.R. Geffroy, F. Borden Mace, J.D. Davis, W.S. Chadwick, R.W. Bell, James R. Bell and R.W. Bell Sr.
“This school was built facing Market Street, now Turner, and for fifteen years was operated as the Beaufort High School. In 1900, the Methodists leased the land for ten years with the privilege of renewing for fifty years and operated it as a Methodist school. The records do not show just what the transaction was, but the Methodists seem to have come into possession of the building at this time. A member of the original Committee, with whom I talked, said that those of other denominations who were on the Committee sold their interest in the building to the Methodists who were already in the majority. He says the money received by the Episcopalians was put into St. Paul’s School, and he thinks that the Methodists likewise gave their part in it to their church. As there was no real estate transaction involved, no deed was required.
“Two years before this St. Paul’s School had been founded, and it existed until ‘Miss Nannie’ Geffroy’s death in 1936. In all walks of life and in all denominations are those who were educated there. It was this school which competed with that operated by the Methodists. Apparently the Methodists had some difficulty in selling their school to all of their people, for the Beaufort Bulletin, paper of the school and also of the town, states in one issue, ‘The Episcopalians of Beaufort have their church school and without exception member of that church patronize their own school. This is as it should be. The Methodists of Beaufort have their church school…yet some of our good Methodists patronize the other school. This is as it should not be.’ Incidentally, Misses Grace Duncan and Bernice Hornaday were authorized agents for the paper—price twenty-five cents per year.
“The Methodists never exercised their privilege of renewing their lease for fifty years. Instead in 1907, after operating the school for only seven years, the Church sold a strip of land on Broad Street, back of the A.M.E. Zion Church to the town for $1,250 ‘also that certain school house building now standing on the public Court House Square in the said town of Beaufort and commonly called the Beaufort High School Building.’ The trustees signing the deed were T.M. Thomas, C.P. Day, T.W. Lindsay, H.C. Jones, C.L. Duncan, B.J. Jones, Charles L. Abernathy and W.L. Arrington.
|1908 Sanborn Map|
|1933 photo of Beaufort Fire Station next to Town Hall|
|Beaufort News - November 21, 1929|
|Another View of Broad Street Location|