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The colonial seaport town of Beaufort, the second-oldest town in South Carolina, lies on Port Royal Island in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture. This picturesque seaside city, founded in 1711 on the site of an Indian village, was named after the 2nd Duke of Beaufort. Remnants of the original English colonial settlement of Beaufort can be found in the downtown or historic district area. Apart from its beautiful gardens, sights of interest include more than 100 colonial houses in the 21 block historic district, the town's Old Burying Ground and the Mariner's Museum which emphasizes the natural history of this coastal region. The town is also the home of The Kazoo Museum, which is located in the Kazoobie Kazoos Factory. Hunting Island is nearby and the state's most visited state park.
Spanish explorers first noted the harbour in 1520. In 1562, Jean Ribaut and his band of French Huguenots settled here and established the first Protestant colony in America. Like other settlements along the southeast coast, Beaufort was laid claim to by the Spanish, English, Scots, and Native Americans at one time or another. Beaufort Harbor was also the base of the pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and his ship Queen Anne's Revenge.
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