City honors visionary

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 Beaufort honors Chambers with sign in Waterfront Park 

From staff reports
Photos by Bob Sofaly 

As the City pointed out in its media release last week, the Waterfront Park is Beaufort’s crown jewel – a place for residents and visitors to dine, play, gather, and immerse themselves in the beauty of the riverfront. 

On Friday, the City of Beaufort honored the man whose vision made the park happen, dedicating a new sign to former Mayor Henry C. Chambers in Waterfront Park. 

Former Beaufort mayor Henry Chambers waves to the crowd during Beaufort’s 2014 Tricentennial Parade in Beaufort.

Former Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling and the current mayor, Stephen Murray, unveiled the sign, which reads “Henry C. Chambers Park,” leaving “Waterfront” out of the title. 

The sign is far more prominent than the plaque erected when the 7-acre park opened in 1979. 

Chamber’s son, Bill, an architect, designed the bronze lettering that is affixed to the wall. The cost of the memorial is approximately $10,000, and was funded through the City’s Beaufort Pride of Place program. Pride of Place is funded through donations rather than tax money. 

Joining Keyserling (2008-2020) and Murray (2020-present) were David Taub (1990-1999) and Bill Rauch (1999-2008), meaning the four mayors who have held the office in the 31 years since Chambers were all in attendance. Chambers died in 2018 at the age of 89. 

Beaufort mayors during the last 31 years posed for a picture at the sea wall prior to the unveiling of the new sign Friday at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. From left are David Taub, 1990-1999; Billy Keyserling, 2008-2020; current mayor Stephen Murray and Bill Rauch, 1997-2008.

“Henry C. Chambers had the vision and tenacity to ‘bring back’ a dying downtown Beaufort by creating an environmental and commercial destination to draw people from the greater Beaufort area and from across the region to enjoy our natural resources in what was then the center of commerce for the region,” Keyserling said last week.

Top photo: Former Mayor Billy Keyserling and current Mayor Stephen Murray on Friday
draw back the cover Friday of the new signage welcoming visitors to Henry C.
Chambers Waterfront Park during a brief ceremony. Mayor Murray said the
waterfront park was Chambers’ vision, calling it “a physical gem that has and will
have generational impact.”