From Beaufort Beach to Ribaut Road, how Beaufort’s changed

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By Michael Petorock
The first thing is the old Beaufort Beach.  Some called it Burkmire Beach, but we always knew it as Beaufort Beach. I suppose before the bridges were built to Hunting and Harbor Islands, there was no way for us to reach those beaches. No problem though.  We had the Beaufort Beach.  It was at the very end of Meridian Road, where Burkmire Subdivision is now. There was a winding dirt road going through the woods. Once you reached the end there were several covered open huts, with picnic tables in each one. We swam right in the edges of the Beaufort River. It was a beautiful beach area, though, no waves or surf.  But it was all we knew at that time. There were not many swimming pools so we went into the river.
Another item that I think of is when Ribaut Road was only two lanes all the way from Beaufort to Parris Island. It seemed as if it took a long time to take that trip. If cars needed to turn left, then we waited behind, and not too patiently.
The last thing that I mention is one that really describes how times have changed, not just dealing with growth or progress, but how people’s mind-sets have changed. I have a friend whose father owned a new car dealership on Boundary Street.  At that time, there was a drive-in theater where the Beaufort Town Center is located, where K-Mart is now.  The car dealership was next door to the drive-in. My friend was on a date, and was at the drive-in. She and her date got into an argument, and she got out of his car and walked next door to her father’s car dealership.  She opened the door to a car and drove herself home.  During those times, the keys to all the new cars were left in the ignition and left unlocked.  There was never a problem with theft at that time.  The keys were with the car at all times.
I don’t think that would be such a wise move now.

Beaufort Then & Now: This moment in Beaufort’s history is an excerpt from the book “Beaufort … Then and Now,” an anthology of memories compiled by Holly Kearns Lambert. Copies of this book may be purchased at Beaufort Book Store.  For information or to contribute your memory, contact Holly at lowcountrymemories@hotmail.com or beaufortmemories@gmail.com.