Hilton Head Island said goodbye to historian Lou Benfante on March 9. Benfante was best known for his efforts to preserve, protect and showcase the history of Hilton Head at the Heritage Library’s History & Ancestry Research Center. As board president of the nonprofit group, he helped create the Revolutionary War History Park planned for the land around St Luke’s Parish Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery, scheduled to break ground in 2026.
Benfante often could be found leading tours of Fort Mitchel while dressed in period costume as explorer William Hilton or Civil War Gen. Ormsby Mitchel. He also served on the board of the Mitchelville Preservation Project and was an active member of the VanLandingham Rotary Club and the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head Island. He is survived by his wife, Laurette.