The Lowcountry’s deep-rooted past is comprehensive, diverse and incredibly fascinating.
When you live somewhere long enough, you expect to one day learn everything about your town’s history. Especially when your town is a small island that covers less than 70 square miles. I started coming to Hilton Head in 1969 and became a full-time resident in 1986. Even after 52 years here, I’m still discovering new areas and learning interesting new facts all the time.
The latest local learning session came during our company holiday party — a Hilton Head History Tour bus ride (that’s our kind of party!). Having worked in local publishing for 30 years, I fully expected to help tour guide Richard Thomas share the history at each stop, enlightening the younger members of our team. Little did I know, I would be the one asking most of the questions!
Rich blew us away with little-known stories and cleared up popular myths and misconceptions. You know that urban legend we’ve all heard about how Jack Stoney’s grandson lost the family land in a poker game? Not true! Think you know the story behind the lighthouse keepers’ cottages and the Great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893? I bet you don’t!
We were so fascinated with these historical discoveries, we picked up our notebooks and started paying closer attention. Then the idea hit us: What if we dedicate an entire issue to the Lowcountry’s untold history? Not the stories that have been published thousands of times; but lesser-known events and pioneers who most locals probably know little to nothing about?
We asked Rich to help us write it, and he agreed. He also introduced us to a community of local historians across Beaufort County who shared additional historical gems from Bluffton, Daufuskie, St. Helena, Beaufort and beyond. I guarantee this 200-page tome on local history, the biggest issue in LOCAL Life history, will teach you something new about this extraordinary place we call home.
Special thanks to the Heritage Library, the Coastal Discovery Museum, the Penn Center and all of the local historians who helped make it possible. And special thanks to fine art film photographer Ben Ham for allowing us to use his stunning image on our cover. Listening to him tell the story of how he took it will give you goose bumps! Watch the video at LocalLifeSC.com.
Spring is officially here, and things are slowly getting back to normal. The PGA Tour is coming back to town for the RBC Heritage, and local businesses are preparing for a huge tourist season. With all of our beautiful new parks and amenities, there has never been a better time in history to call the Lowcountry home. Hope your April is chock full of rainbows!
“History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Epic historical films
These movies are so good, we forgive any historical inaccuracies.
Braveheart: Mel Gibson may have a bad Scottish accent but he looks great on a horse!
Titanic: It cost more to make the movie ($200 million) than the ship ($7.5 million). The soundtrack is priceless.
The King’s Speech: “I have a voice!” King George’s stammer touched my heart.
Saving Private Ryan: One of the most difficult movies to watch, in a good way.
Apollo 13: Tom Hanks is always amazing. Has he been in a bad movie?
Schindler’s List: No words.
Have you seen the LOCAL Life Jeep around town?
This month, we rolled into Heritage Academy to get a picture with students Braiden McClain, Abhay Sandhu, Kyle Kessler, David Bartholomew, Ivannia Cardenas, Mia Roets and Rachel Goldstein. Learn more about the school at heritagehhi.com.