Squire Pope is the largest Gullah neighborhood on the island. Armed with vision, energy, modern air conditioning and investment dollars, he created a master plan for a resort community. The chapel was completed in 1788 and the Baynard Mausoleum was built in 1846. It is the oldest structure still standing on the island, and more Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in this coastal cemetery than anywhere else on the coast other than Charleston. Drayton's negro quarters, Hilton Head, S.C. Summary Photograph shows soldiers and slaves in front of the slave quarters on Drayton's plantation. November 11: “Slavery – the Cornerstone of the Plantation Society and the Confederacy,” at the Coastal Discovery Museum, at 3 p.m. John Monkaitis will present a lecture on the role that slavery played as the cornerstone of the Planter Society in the Lowcountry. The Island fell into the hands of Federal troops, forcing Island families to evacuate their plantation homes. Next day, what would it be covered with? I had a hard time imagining even one person having room to lie down to sleep in a space of that size — especially if there was a stove or table or any other piece of furniture, never mind if an extended family lived together. Irv drove us past the ruins of part of a plantation owner’s home — that of William Pope, known as “Squire” because he had so many properties. We stopped at Driessen Beach Park and headed down the boardwalk to take photos by the water. Missionaries, teachers, doctors and ministers came from New York and Pennsylvania to educate and help shape the African-American community. The Gullah Heritage Tour was a part of our Alternative Spring Break Program while visiting Hilton Head. They settled on the 100 Sea Islands in the Hilton Head area. When the Union Army occupied South Carolina’s Sea Islands, including Hilton Head, on November 7, 1861, it freed about 10,000 slaves. Standing architectural ruins associated with the plantation include portions of the main house, a chimney footing for what may be an overseer’s house, and a slave house associated with slaves working in … Consequently, Hilton Head Island lapsed into obscurity, remaining isolated for over 80 years. THE BIRTH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND. On November 7, 1861, the Island became the scene of the largest amphibious landing by U.S forces until D-Day, as more than 12,000 Union soldiers landed on the Island. If you’re spending some time on Hilton Head, there’s much more to do than play golf and go to the beach. After assuming command in September of 1862, General Ormsby Mitchel was upset at the living conditions of the former slaves. “That’s when families started locking their doors” (which comes out sounding like doe), Irv told us. After the war, the Island made a healthy recovery. Former slaves from Hilton Head and the surrounding plantations made their way to the encampment where many found employment. Consider hopping on the bus for an insightful tour of the island’s fascinating Gullah heritage. It means “living by the water,” according to Irv. Hilton Head Island Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries, Infographic: How to Enjoy a Shell-icious Raw Oyster, Everything You Need to Know About Hilton Head Island's Sea Turtles, Pet-Friendly Accommodations, Restaurants & Services, Make the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Promise. Skip the stress of highway traffic and parking on a full-day boat tour to Savannah from Hilton Head Island. This was because people kept chopped wood underneath so they’d always have some dry wood to cook with and keep them warm. The Gullahs of Hilton Head Island were descended from African slaves and are a key part of the history of the Civil War and Restoration. It was a 45-hour journey — and sometimes the winds weren’t favorable, so they couldn’t make it Savannah, and the perishable goods would be lost. ——— ©2020 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) Visit The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) at www.islandpacket.com. It didn’t take Union troops long to gain control of the island, according to Irv. Origin of name – Legend says Honey Horn got its name from the … Tickets cost $32 for adults; $15 for kids 12 and under. Brought to the New World and forced to work on the plantations of coastal South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, Gullah/Geechee people have retained many aspects of their African heritage due to the geographic barriers of the … Eleven months after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the shots fired on Fort Sumter reverberated on Hilton Head Island. In 1861, nearly all of Hilton Head Island was covered by plantations worked by slaves, according to maps from The Heritage Library and Beaufort County historians. Mr. Campbell was an excellent tour guide and took the time to connect with our group personally. Many Gullah families purchased acreages, and for nearly a century, they farmed their land. Today, you can view these artifacts of Hilton Head Island history at Sea Pines Forest Preserve and on the north end of the Island, off Squire Pope Road in Green Shell Park. Hilton Head’s social and cultural history dates back to the early 1700s, and from the beginning, the Gullah people were central to the story. And there are strict tree laws. When Union forces took Hilton Head on November 7, 1861, in the Battle of Port Royal, more than 1,000 Hilton Head Islanders became some of the first freed slaves of the Civil War. In 1698, the Lord Proprietors granted several islands and some of the Lowcountry’s mainland to John Bayley. Hilton Head Island Publishing Company, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In less than five hours, the Union fleet captured both Fort Beauregard on St. Philips Island and Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island. Finally, the main house ruins are the only tabby mansion built on Hilton Head Island. The Civil War changed the lives of both planters and slaves on Hilton Head Island. “People come to the island and complain they can’t find anything!” Irv said. When the Union Army occupied South Carolina’s Sea Islands, including Hilton Head, on November 7, 1861, it freed about 10,000 slaves. My great-grandfather was a slave,” he said. The Hilton Head story is about war and peace and slavery and freedom. The Confederate Army and the white plantation owners hightailed it out of there, and the Union Army found itself in possession of a region famous for growing cotton. Consequently, Hilton Head Island lapsed into obscurity, remaining isolated for over 80 years. Describes Hilton Head Island’s involvement in the Civil War: its invasion by the Union Army, and the bustling life during the War, with Union encampments and Mitchelville, the first town established for newly-freed slaves. 1959. Remnants of mysterious shell rings, measuring up to 240 feet across and nine feet high, can still be found on the Island. I thought that was the coolest thing — a town telling a huge company like Mickey D’s to follow their rules or shove it. “On Hilton Head, we believe in setbacks and buffers. It details the steps taken by Hilton to aid in the prevention of modern slavery and human trafficking in any part of its business and supply chains during the Financial Year 2016. The first of the Hilton Head family resorts—Sea Pines Plantation—became the prototype of the modern resort community, now copied around the world. There were four Gullah general stores that sold gas, along with a vast assortment of other goods. “We’d drive right on the beach. And it is a story about the survival of a people against seemingly insurmountable odds. To fully appreciate the places you explore, you should have a better understanding of its history, food, religion, folklore, arts and crafts — and of course the weird and wonderful customs and subcultures found around the world. the famous Underground Railroad freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman. Although the Island is home to many world-class golf courses and resorts, much of the landscape remains as it was when sighted from William Hilton’s ship more than 300 years ago. Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. 9 Insider Tips on How To Do a Golf Trip on Hilton Head Island, Free Download: Beginner's Guide to Golf on Hilton Head Island, Splurge on Hilton Head Island’s Most Storied Courses, Hilton Head’s Most Special and Secret Spots. Storytelling, crafts and music accompany an impressive art exhibit and culinary events. Union troops quickly took over Hilton Head Island from the Confederacy during the Battle of Port Royal. That's not the case any longer, he added. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country. Venue: Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. In 1965, Ike and Tina Turner were here. He confiscated some land on Confederate General Thomas Fenwick Drayton’s Fish Haul Plantation, laid put streets and lots, and provided lumber for the former slaves to build their homes in a town that would be called Mitchelville. Irv’s involved in a project to restore Mitchelville. One Union soldier stationed on Hilton Head at the time recounted: negro slaves came flocking into our camp by the hundreds, escaping from their masters when they knew of the landing of "Linkum sojers," as they called us . Today, they own less than 1,000, Irv informed us. My mom had suggested we take the Gullah Heritage Tour, a two-hour bus ride around Hilton Head Island, South Carolina that highlights a vibrant African-American community. Origin of name – Named for Captain David Cutler Braddock, commander of the colonial half-galley Beaufort in 1742.. Other names – Braddock Cove, Calibogue Point, Stoney-Baynard Hall Location – Jarvis Creek (part of the Calibogue Sound), Hilton Head Island, St Helena Parish, Beaufort County Original plantation lands were located off US 278 in the vicinity of Honey Horn Plantation Road. When I first came to the island as a kid, I learned that McDonald’s had to build a brick restaurant to fit in with the Hilton Head aesthetic, and that they weren’t allowed to put up their trademark golden arches. Hilton is publishing this statement in compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. During the Revolution, the British frequently raided Hilton Head Island and hostilities continued for weeks after Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. One of the oldest structures on the island, the Queen Chapel, A.M.E. Church is located on Beach City Road. He also encountered the native Escamacus Indians, but little is known of the earlier native civilization that inhabited the Island as far back as 4,000 years ago. We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. This was a fantastic experience and provided excellent background history of Hilton Head. “You could get anything at these stores, from penny candy to a piece of equipment for your horse harness,” he told us. The government gave former slaves the material to build small houses and a plot of land to farm on in Mitchelville on Hilton Head Island. In the Gullah communities that developed on Hilton Head, everything was shared, and everyone knew each other. In the 1920s to the ’50s, Gullahs would trade fruit, veggies and wild game on the Simmons family’s property in Spanish Wells. –Wally, Tagged: south carolina, gullah, usa, africa, hilton head. “We’d catch enough fish to feed those families who didn’t have a boat. It was the first self-governing town of formerly enslaved African Americans. Keep in mind that this was all near the beginning of the Civil War. Welcome to Gullah Heritage Hilton Head Island, S.C. An Authentic Culture of the Sea Islands. Event Details. Thing is, only the whites were affected; because South Carolina has a similar semitropical environment to Africa, and the Gullahs had sickle cell immunity, slaves didn’t get sick, Irv told us. Within two days of the Union victory on Hilton Head, Sea Island blacks began descending on the outpost. Search for activities, restaurants, and attractions, get travel deals, view trip ideas, and create your own personalized itinerary. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity. We’d take that candy to the water pump, wash off those ants and start sucking on it again!”. After the Civil War, more than 1,200 freed slaves remained. Negro Universities Press, New York (reprint of 1862 edition). Top Rated Hilton Head Island Hotels & Resorts, How To Plan a Family Vacation That Pleases Everyone, Find Luxury Accommodations in Hilton Head Island, How to Plan a Family Vacation That Pleases Everyone, How To Inject Lowcountry Style Into Your Home, Five Fun Facts About Hilton Head Island Wildlife. 1969. “You could buy all-day jawbreakers there. Beaufort County, which includes the island of Hilton Head, was founded in 1711. Their Gullah culture and language survive today as a living legacy of their strength and perseverance. In 1860, fourteen prominent families and their slaves lived on Hilton Head and most spent their time off the island. Gullah of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In what is now called Fish Haul Creek Park on the “heel” of the island, the community of Mitchelville was created. It was the first freedman’s community after the American Civil War. But long before Hilton Head’s resorts arrived, the island had been home to cotton, indigo and rice plantations that relied on slave labor. ©2020 Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce & Visitor and Convention Bureau. However, Hilton Head Island did not gain worldwide recognition until 1790 when another planter, William Elliott, successfully raised the first crop of long-staple Sea Island cotton. Gotta be setbacks and buffers.”. Basic Information. The antebellum Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery and Baynard Mausoleum, situated among ancient moss draped oaks and facing the waters of Broad Creek, is the burial place of several of Hilton Head Island’s original colonial families. We passed a small cemetery, which Irv points out is atypical, as it’s situated inland. The word is synonymous with Gullah. Between Skull Creek and Jarvis Creek “In fact, the reports of the success of Mitchelville were so glowing, that the famous Underground Railroad freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman, was sent to Hilton Head to see this bustling town, so she could share the story of Mitchelville’s self-governed success with future freedmen towns.”. A Mitchelville family poses with a Union soldier. Yet, like the enigmatic rocks of Stonehenge and the carvings of Easter Island, their secrets remain hidden. The Gullah/Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans from various ethnic groups of west and central Africa. Perfect for independent travelers, you create a sightseeing itinerary that suits your personal interests. There weren’t proper doctors on Hilton Head, and this father and son handled medical cases — at least the ones the midwives didn’t attend to. During the American Civil War, Union troops wanted to stop trade in the Confederacy, which led to an attack at Port Royal Sound, off of Hilton Head Island. It's the law on Hilton Head that nothing can be built to the curb. But once the bridge that connected the island to mainland was built in 1956, there was an influx of people to the island. Incorporated as a town in 1983, Hilton Head Island is home to more than 40,000 residents who live year-round in our renowned environmentally planned resort and residential communities. In Hilton Head, S.C., efforts to change the names of gated communities and resorts are unequivocally about Black people. “But Mr. William Aiken took his recipes with him when he died,” Irv said. 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