601 Bay Street, The Prince Of Tides

story by Leah Melvin photos by Tony Pierro

This idyllic antebellum home which was built in 1852 by successful South Carolina cotton planter Lewis Reeve Sams is a rare opportunity to own a slice of Beaufort’s rich history. This 3 story 7,600 sq ft mansion has served as a hospital to Union Army officers, and headquarters to General Rufus Saxton during the Civil War. It has also been known as the “Bay Street Inn,” and was featured in the “Prince of Tides” movie, based on the novel written by iconic Pat Conroy.
Unrivaled details of this home are found at every turn. The main level leads you to a jaw-dropping entrance with a sweeping staircase and holds the main living spaces including a library/media room, the t-shaped kitchen, formal dining room, family room and parlor. Remarkable elements include fluted windows and doors surrounded with decorative stylized acanthus leaves, unique chandeliers, 8 grand fireplaces, decorative Greek Revival picture molding and plaster, 12 ft ceilings and original heart pine flooring. The wood used for this house was cut on Dataw Island and transported to the home by boat as the original owner was a Co-owner of Dataw with his brother, B.B. Sams. The highest level of the home has the master suite and three additional en-suites, each with their own fireplace. A wide hall greets you atop of the steps opening up to the upper veranda with breezy views of the water. The ground level is complete with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, den and impressive Welsh stone flooring.

The 0.5 acre plot is positioned uniquely on a double corner lot overlooking the Beaufort River. The expansive double level verandas provide a relaxing breeze year round with breathtaking views at every angle. It is complete with a formal garden featuring boxwood hedges and a pergola covered in Carolina jasmine and wisteria. Additional plantings include hydrangeas, camellias, tea olive, roses & azaleas plus several fruit trees. The outbuilding to the rear of the home was the original wash house.
Centrally and conveniently located within “The Point” of Historic Beaufort, you are steps from local dining, shopping, the waterfront park & the downtown Marina.