Newpoint evokes a sense of timelessness and history. Designed as a traditional walking neighborhood in the manner of early coastal towns and villages, it's a relatively young community that feels mature beyond its years because of the abundance of specimen trees.
Homes have front porches that are within a conversational distance of sidewalks. Tree-lined streets lead to parks and a waterfront green with vistas of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Located directly across the water from Beaufort's historic district, Newpoint replicates the city's old-fashioned charm and sense of place. (Read Reviving Community Life from Beaufort Magazine, Summer 1992.)
To understand Newpoint, you need to first understand Beaufort.
Chartered in 1711, Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. It is located on Port Royal Island in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry — an area that prospered in the pre-Civil War era.
In those days. Beaufort was filled with mansions built by wealthy plantation owners on the surrounding countryside.
Wealthy landowners were attracted to Beaufort in the warm summer months because of its high elevation and prevailing breezes. It gained cachet as a resort town, and ultimately developed into the principal commercial and cultural center between Savannah and Charleston.
During the Civil War, it was one of the only Southern towns occupied by Union troops. As a result, it escaped destruction — and much of its impressive antebellum architecture remains. It is one of the few towns with its entire downtown designated as a National Historic Landmark District.
Newpoint is located on Lady's Island, a sea island bounded by the Coosaw River to the north, Brickyard Creek and Beaufort River to the west, Chowan Creek to the south and Lucy Point Creek to the east. The island measures about 9 miles north-south by 5.4 miles east-west.
The community replicates the feel of Beaufort's historic Point. With historically-inspired homes and narrow streets designed to slow traffic and support pedestrians, it offers a unique sense of community.
As was the case with most of the southeastern coastal region, the property on which Newpoint stands was once used for growing the famous Sea Island Cotton that brought Lowcountry planters vast wealth in the 1800s. In fact, the columns at the intersection of Newpoint Road and Waterside Drive mark the site of an old plantation house built in the 1700s and destroyed in the early part of the 21st century.
Interestingly, the large swale at the north end of the Waterside "bluff" is a man-made cut. It allowed cattle and wagons easy access to boats that ferried across the river to a landing at the foot of Laurens Street in the Point before the bridge was built between Lady's Island and the town of Beaufort.
The Newpoint Dock Pavilion was the first structure built in the neighborhood. Home construction followed in late 1992. A house at 31 Newpoint Road was the first residence built. Completed in December 1992, it was named Le Chene — which means "the oak" in French — for the large live oak in the front yard.
As the community developed, it retained the vision set forth by the developers to promote neighborliness, community and traditional Southern charm.
Many residents are drawn by a combination of factors, including the natural feel of the land and the unique architecture. But many are also impressed by the elevation. Though most land in the Lowcountry averages 8 feet above sea level, Newpoint averages 23 feet, according to data from Beaufort County. This higher elevation is rare in the Lowcountry.