Read All About It: Historical Lowcountry Books

These historical books will change how you see the Lowcountry.

“HIDDEN HISTORY OF HILTON HEAD”  By Alice E. Sink“Hidden History of Hilton Head” By Alice E. Sink

This book offers a lively array of historical tidbits and tales, focusing on people, lifeways, believe-it-or-not snippets and beloved local places. Discover the ties that Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton had to the region and learn about the lives of oyster shuckers, root doctors, debauched “Jack-ashores” and many other characters in the island’s rich history. From beautiful poems written by renowned locals to the songs that guided the slaves to freedom and time-tested regional recipes, author Alice Sink’s collection truly encompasses the spirit of the Lowcountry.


“Short & Tall Tales of Hilton Head Island” By Margaret Greer“Short & Tall Tales of Hilton Head Island” By Margaret Greer

Too often, more than twice-told tales lose more than just their accuracy. Some of the stories in this book were told to the author by native Islanders, others by “old-timers,” and a few actually happened to the author and her friends. This book is her way of passing those stories along, sprinkled amid photographs by naturalist, ornithologist, environmentalist Barry Lowes, some sketches by her husband Walter Greer, and assorted memorabilia shared by many.


“Legendary Locals of Hilton Head” By Barbara Muller“Legendary Locals of Hilton Head” By Barbara Muller

Before the Europeans came, Amerindians celebrated on Hilton Head Island with seasonal oyster feasts. Later, planters made fortunes here with Sea Island cotton. But the island came alive to the guns of the Union in 1861 and, for seven years, was host to the troops who helped former slaves even before the Emancipation Proclamation made freedom official. The forces left, and the island slept. In the pages of this book are some of the people who kept the Gullah sea island culture alive, a self-sustaining culture of mutual help and integrity, living off the sea and the land.


“A New South Hunt Club” By Richard Rankin“A New South Hunt Club” By Richard Rankin

The Hilton Head Agricultural Company, incorporated in 1917, was comprised of mill owners, bankers, physicians, and other local leaders from three communities: Gastonia, N.C.; Clover, S.C.; and Chattanooga, Tenn. Every year, those men would slough off their high-powered business concerns, pile in their cars, make the long drive to the coast, arrange for a boat to Hilton Head, and traverse the wild island to the simple hunting camp they had established here.


“Hilton Head Island in the Civil War: Department of the South” By Robert Carse“Hilton Head Island in the Civil War: Department of the South” By Robert Carse

If you are interested in Civil War history, this book is a great account especially of the Battle and Occupation of Port Royal. This part of the war is fascinating, especially for those of us who love the Lowcountry. This book has photographs and lots of other information about the period.


“Remembering The Way It Was” By Fran Heyward Marscher“Remembering The Way It Was” By Fran Heyward Marscher

In the 100 years separating the Civil War and the 1950s, the Lowcountry was a world unto itself. The big plantations were gone and for those remaining, life had to be wrenched from the soil and the creeks. But for some, these isolated barrier islands offered heaven on earth: virgin maritime forest, pristine saltwater, sand roads and plentiful wild game. This fascinating collection of stories speaks to us of life in a simpler time.


“They Served” By Nancy Burke, Patricia Burke and Susie Marquis“They Served” By Nancy Burke, Patricia Burke and Susie Marquis

This book tells the stories of Civil War soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops from Hilton Head Island, taken from their military pension record applications. The applications tell detailed and poignant stories of the lives of the soldiers and their families and the hardships they endured, both in the war and in their personal lives before and after the war. They contain many names and relationships of interest to genealogists and historians.


“The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina” By Lawrence S. Rowland, Alexander Moore and George C. Rogers, Jr.“The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina” By Lawrence S. Rowland, Alexander Moore and George C. Rogers, Jr.

Three distinguished historians of the Palmetto State recount more than three centuries of Spanish and French exploration, English and Huguenot agriculture, and African slave labor as they trace the history of one of North America’s oldest European settlements.