Edgar Fripp House, "Tidalholm" – 1 Laurens Street, Beaufort SC

Built in: 1853

Edgar Fripp reportedly built this large Italianate style frame house as his summer home, when the heat and mosquitoes made life in his plantation home on St. Helena Island intolerable. His brother, James Fripp, owned the house at the time of the Civil War. During the war, the house served as Union Hospital #7. Used as a guest house from the 1930s until 1974, “Tidalholm” brought to Beaufort as guests many artists, authors, professors, and statesmen. Set high off the ground in the center of an oak shaded lot, the house is almost encircled by the Beaufort River. Extensively altered after the “great hurricane” of 1893, an original tower and grouping of gabled roof elements no longer survives. Restored in 1974 as a private residence, it has kept its air of charm and gracious living. According to Fripp family legend, when James Fripp returned after the war he arrived just as the house was being sold for taxes by the U. S. Tax Commission. Unable to bid on the house, he stood with tears coursing down his cheeks. A Frenchman, who had been living in the area and who was sympathetic to the South, purchased the house. He is said to have walked over to the former owner, presented him with the deed, kissed him upon both cheeks, and left, returning to France before Mr. Fripp had a chance to repay him.

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