BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — The Beaufort Historical Society has finally finished the renovations of the second oldest jail in North Carolina.

The jail was built in 1829 out of brick and covered with plaster in the 1930s. As time progressed, the bricks under the plaster started to soften and crumble, creating structural damage throughout.

To preserve the crucial piece of Crystal Coast history, Mark Carter from Comfort Plastering and Stucco was hired and began work in mid-October 2020 to restore and repair the jail, starting with the roof, the rusting windows, and front door and continuing with the exterior and interior brick and plaster.  

The extensive restoration has required funding of more than $250,000. 

“Throughout the restoration, the most important aspect of the work taking place was to make sure the original patina of the building was preserved including inmate’s graffiti on the walls, so while the building has been restored, it doesn’t look brand new.” 

Hannah Taylor, Beaufort Historical Association Public Relations Director  

Taylor said that jail is extremely significant to the history of North Carolina, and it is a contributing property in the center of a National Registered Historic District. She said they wanted to restore it not only to ensure structural safety but so that it will be preserved for decades to come so those future generations can learn about our state and local history.  

“We hope this project will remind people how important historic preservation is to keep a building like this from demolition. The jail’s restoration will help tell the story of our coastal area for decades to come.”

Hannah Taylor, Beaufort Historical Association Public Relations Director  

To attend the grand reveal, it is free, and you see it at Historical Society grounds on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

On February 9, the historical society will be having its unveiling and dedication of the new Civil War Trails Marker. The project results from a counted partnership between the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority and Civil War Trails, Inc. It will be the second Civil War Trails Marker in Beaufort.  

(Beaufort Historical Society illustration)

The new marker provides historical information about Union Town, a refugee camp built in 1862 by African Americans who fled enslavement to Union-occupied Beaufort.  

The dedication will start with the presentation of colors by The United States Colored Troops 35th regiment reenactment group. The event will also include many special guest speakers.  

For more information about the ceremony, you can call 252-728-5225 or visit the Civil War Trails Inc. website.