Page 1

the bluff

Spring/Summer 2017


WHEN ART MOVES IN Palmetto Bluff debuts its yearlong Artist in Residence program in partnership with magazine; take a peek inside the recently completed Moreland Village cottage, designed specifically for the artisans of the Artist in Residence program.


BAKED WITH LOVE Back in the Day Bakery of Savannah, Georgia, takes homemade goodness to a whole new level.


BUSHCRAFT: THE ART OF WILDERNESS SURVIVAL Learn the ancient practice of surviving in the wilderness with nothing but a few tools and a lot of creativity.


Y’ALLSOME: HONORING THE SOUTH WHILE GIVING BACK TO SOUTHERNERS Meet Southern brand Y’allsome, a great clothing and retail company that gives back to those who need it most.



The Garvin House, a historic home in Old Town Bluffton, underwent a major structural renovation.

Made from quality, locally sourced ingredients, Jeni’s Ice Cream serves up some of the most delicious ice cream in the South.



WETLANDS AND WATERWAYS OF MORELAND VILLAGE Learn about the intricate aquatic environments in Palmetto Bluff’s newest village, Moreland.


RETAIL THERAPY Stop by the Ship’s Store at Palmetto Bluff to be outfitted for your next fishing expedition.


TWO JEWELS IN THE CROWN Pour yourself a mint julep and take a step back in time to the rich equestrian history of the Bluff.




Shooting instructor Sarah Sanford of the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club is enthusiastic, entertaining and always ready for a good laugh.

Quality, custom design and expert craftsmanship come together at Cole Custom Guns.




BEHIND THE CANVAS Dive into the vision and art in Lowcountry artist West Fraser’s latest book,


THE BAND OF BLUFFTON Meet local band Lowcountry Boil, one of our favorite musical groups in the Lowcountry.


A VOW OF STEWARDSHIP The Bluff’s Conservancy director Jay Walea talks about our continued commitment to this sacred land.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS So many great events are at the Bluff this time of year, here’s the full rundown so you won’t miss a beat.

Created by & for those who love this special Lowcountry idyll Publisher Courtney Hampson Editor Anna Jones Photography/Illustrations Back in the Day Bakery

Josh Gibson

Keith Lanpher

Jona Cole

Christine Hall

Krisztian Lonyai

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Rob Kaufman


West Fraser

Allen Kennedy writers

Amanda Baran Cutrer

Justin Hardy

Dr. Mary Socci

Sarah Grubbs

Anna Jones

Jay Walea

Courtney Hampson

Barry Kaufman

Tim Wood

Troy Lucas



Amanda Lax

Sally Auguston

Shawn Kelley

Lauren Dixon

Real Estate Sales

800.501.7405 montage palmetto bluff Reservations




th e b l u f f

PALMETTO BLUFF REAL ESTATE COMPANY 800.501.7405 | palmettobluff.com

s p r i n g / s u m m er 2 0 1 7


AN AR TF UL A P P R OAC H TO I NT ER I O R DES IG N . Fresh, thoughtful design inspired by creative collaboration. At 501 South Studio our palette reflects your vision.


courtatkins.com 29 Plantation Park Drive, Bluffton 843.815.2557 NOW OPEN Hilton Head Island Studio, 2 Corpus Christi 843.842.6009 5

th e b l u f f

Written by Courtney Hampson | Photos by Josh Gibson

s p r i n g / s u m m er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f


One of the things I am most proud of at Palmetto Bluff is that while we

community programming with the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy’s now

believe it is indeed the best place to experience the Lowcountry of South

standing-room-only First Friday Lecture Series. The event was held

Carolina, we also don’t endeavor to provide those experiences on our own.

in the Wilson Village Chapel, and three people attended: Don Osteen

The value comes in the partnerships we curate and the relationships we

(a member), Patty Kennedy (who was director of the Conservancy at

grow with guides, educators, artisans, makers and sometimes media.

the time) and I. The topic was dragonflies, and I can still remember the speaker getting the dragonfly to land on my nose. Despite that moment of delight, the evening was kind of a bust. Patty and I commiserated over a glass of wine afterward, but agreed that the only way to create a tradition and build something meaningful was to keep doing it. And we did. Now, the Conservancy hosts more than 100 events each year including 12 First Friday Lectures. As Jay Walea, director of the Conservancy, recently said to a visiting member of the media, “As the community has grown, we have become more engaged in education and experiential opportunities – getting our residents and guests involved in exploring the environment and thinking about ways they can protect it. People get really excited about the ecology and history here. We’ve grown from a handful of programs each year to more than 100, to sellout crowds. We’re like Tim McGraw.”

Moreland Village and Palmetto Bluff both are rooted in the unique natural environment and landscape that we are so fortunate to have surrounding us. The historical and cultural resources that make this place so special guide the development of the community and thus the place-making. Those same values fill the pages of Garden & Gun magazine and are at the core of what its passionate, engaged readers expect in every issue. Therefore, a partnership with this publication was organic to say the least. Our Artist in Residence program was a decade in the making as we have brainstormed with our friends at Garden & Gun for just as long to find the perfect fit for a partnership. And like all good things, age has only made our relationship richer and stronger. The Artist in Residence program was designed collaboratively to celebrate the arts, foster creativity and offer a hands-on education for our members and

So as the Moreland Village Outfitters and Boundary neared completion,

guests. The inaugural program invites notable guests, including winners

the team was tasked with bringing the Village to life. Certainly, moving

of G&G’s Made in the South Awards, to stay in the dedicated (and

the Conservancy headquarters (and its myriad events) to Moreland

spectacular) Artist Cottage in Moreland Village.

creates immediate body heat and activity. The Canteen will serve as an obvious pit stop pre, mid and post hike, boat ride or trail run. The Boundary’s pool, fitness, game room (bowling anyone?) and comfortable restaurant serving up Southern staples (think oyster stew, fried pickles, brisket and brussels sprout salad to name a few) will quickly become a member and guest hangout. But, we wanted to take it one step further.

Here, the artists will relax, revitalize and continue to hone their craft while also hosting workshops for Palmetto Bluff residents and guests, teaching classes in everything from cooking and cocktailing to jewelry, paddleboard and knife-making. This program will explore the world of Southern art and ingenuity, and will set the tone for the many exceptional experiences to come in Moreland Village.

s p r i n g / s u m m er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


february 6-12





Bill Oyster is a bamboo fly rod maker

Charleston-based milliner, Leigh

engraved fly rods. In the Southern

of Magar Hatworks. Leigh is known

specializing in custom designed, handmountain town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, Bill leads fly rod making courses

that attract fishermen from as far as England and Scotland. Bill Oyster

won in the Sporting category in G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.

march 27 – april 2

JOE & MAR I E LE NA RA Y A B ITTERMILK Joe and MariElena Raya of Bittermilk sought to simplify the process of

making craft cocktails at home so

they created a line of mixers made for cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders

with real ingredients. Bittermilk was

the Drink category winner in G&G’s 4th Made in the South Awards.

april 24-30

C H R I S H AS T I NG S AR TIS AN, OWNE R A N D E X E CU TI VE C H EF AT H OT A N D H OT F I S H CLU B Owner and executive chef of Hot

and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama, (and winner of the James

th e b l u f f

Magar, is the founder and lead designer for creating beautiful pieces ranging from the simple fedora to elaborate

and theatrical Derby hats. Leigh was a runner-up in the Style category for

G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.

June 5-11

R .J. M UR R A Y T HR E E B R O T HE R S B O A R D S Established in 2009 after a sudden loss

of their younger brother, R.J. and Justin Murray set out to make their lifelong

dream of opening a surf shop a reality. Three Brothers Boards specializes in handmade wooden stand-up

paddleboards inspired by the classic

boards of the 1950s and 1960s and are

made with planks of oak, redwood and Hawaiian koa. Three Brothers Boards was a runner-up in the Outdoors

category of the 2012 Made in the South Awards.

july 10-16


Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South

Preserving Place is a unique “farm-

decorated chef and avid outdoorsman.

preserving food in true Southern

woodcook feather lapel and hat pins

company to keep her family recipes and

around the world. Chris Hastings was

runner-up in the Food category of the

2012 award), Chris Hastings is a

to-store” retail concept focused on

As a side gig, Chris handcrafts

fashion. Martha McMillan founded the

from his hunts in Nova Scotia and

traditions alive. Preserving Place was a

a runner-up in the Style category in

2015 Made in the South Awards.

G&G’s 2010 Made in the South Awards.


May 15-28

August 6-13






Southern Craft Creamery specializes

On any sunny afternoon you can find

of flavors. Lauren and Zach O’Bryan

Gullah Grub, sitting in her favorite

in handcrafted ice cream in a variety make fresh-churned ice cream using local ingredients like tupelo honey

and strawberries, making each of their flavors unique and fresh. Southern Craft Creamery was the overall

winner of the 2013 Made in the South Awards.

September 5-11


Mrs. Jery on the front porch of the

rocker, sewing and weaving her famous baskets, something she has been doing since her grandmother taught her at the tender age of five. She sits alone crafting her baskets and speaking

to different tourists about her work, sharing her history and educating

people daily. Taking the time to speak

with her for just five minutes will have

you walking away feeling so much more enlightened about her world.

CEDAR MOUN TA I N B A N J OS Lo Gordon, a passionate woodworker who played in his family band

alongside his son, Tim Gardner,

founded the Brevard, North Carolina,



based company Cedar Mountain

Jerry is an avid waterfowler and carver

to maintain CMB as an industry leader

focusing mainly on the time-honored

Banjos. In 2003, Tim joined his father for fine design, craftsmanship and

customer service. CMB won in the

Style & Design category for G&G’s 2013 Made in the South Awards.

October 16-22

C H R I S WI L LI A M S WILLIAMS KNI F E CO. Avid sportsman Chris Williams

founded Williams Knife Company

in 2009 after trading in his 13-year

career in corporate America to pursue his dream of opening a small shop in John’s Island. It began with an oyster

knife and has grown into four different

who makes traditional duck decoys, methods and materials of the Core

Sound area. His decoy carving evolved from a one-time love for shaping

surfboards, which began at an early

age. His decoys are influenced greatly by the simplistic elegance of working

decoys from coastal North Carolina to

Long Island, New York. In addition to the carving, Jerry paints all the decoys using the finest available artists’ oils. Jerry does not limit his carving to

ducks alone. He also makes shorebirds, fish and the occasional whimsical folk art-inspired piece. Jerry was the 2017 Made in the South winner in the Outdoors category.

lines of handcrafted knives. Chris was

the Overall Winner of the 2011 Made in the South Awards.


artist . palmettobluff . com

for the full schedule of artist in residence events throughout the year.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


STAYING TRUE TO THE OUTDOOR LIVING FOCUS IN MORELAND VILLAGE, the Artist Cottage captures natural sunlight through its banks of windows and provides additional living space on its outdoor porch and firepit. Designed with Denver, Coloradobased architecture firm 4240 and built by Shoreline Construction, the Artist Cottage features an open floorplan and cozy living spaces, making our artisans feel right at home. Interior designers Deb Vanplew and Adrienne Werner from Court Atkin’s 501 South Studio set out to create a fresh take on the Lowcountry cottage aesthetic for our Artist in Residence cottage, creating rooms that are inviting, interesting, inspiring and unpretentious. The duo created a space that is decidedly contemporary through the use of unique architectural elements and furnishings like natural blonde oak floors, white painted nickel-joint wood walls, exposed brick and open trusses – design details that unify the spaces with the color white to create a blank canvas, so to speak. The next step was to install the “art” in the Artist Cottage by layering compelling finishes such as the powder room tile floor with the fine art collection curated through The Red Piano Art Gallery, featuring some of the best known Southern artists working today including Jonathan Green, Betty Anglin Smith, Mandy Johnson, Addison Palmer and Mark Stewart. The modern design aesthetic of the cottage serves as the perfect backdrop to the art displayed in the cottage, a nod to the craftsmanship that our artisans will hone and explore in this cottage in the coming months.


th e b l u f f

great room Here, we create interest in the main living space with the use of unexpected furnishing choices and textures. Acrylic game table chairs with a sheepskin throw; the double cocktail table configuration; vintage-inspired leather lounge chairs and unconventional art over the fireplace give the room a sense of luxury, but the mix of textural fabrics keep the vibe relaxed and friendly. A library of Southern authors recognizes the literary artists of our region.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


dining room Juxtaposing antique with contemporary furnishings keeps the dining room from feeling too formal or fussy while still retaining an elegant aesthetic. An antique French farm table and buffet plus contemporary lighting (one of our favorite pieces in the cottage) and leather-fringed benches equals a dramatic ensemble. Add the vibrant artwork of Betty Anglin Smith, and wow.


th e b l u f f

kitchen Easy material finishes keep things simple and understated in the cottage’s kitchen. Stainless appliances (a Wolf range is not just aesthetically pleasing, but it inspires culinary art), concrete-esque Caesarstone countertops mean carefree maintenance, and natural blonde wood and white slab cabinetry show modern, clean lines.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


mudroom Art is not always serious business. We love the penny tile floor and the play on words in the mudroom. A work of art in itself, the tile floor makes what normally would be a room you just pass through into one you may sit and stay a spell in.


th e b l u f f

study Thinking about the artists who will reside here, we actually made the traditional master into the study. Here, we envisioned the artists showing off the Jonathan Green painting (another of our favorite pieces in the cottage) that commands the room, as they host visitors during gallery hours. The 66-inch by 101-inch stunner is the superstar, and therefore everything else in the room had to complement it. We made out-of-the-box choices of furniture and mixed textures to give the room a cool, eclectic, relaxed vibe – a vintage-inspired high desk, industrial desk lamp and glazed pottery table lamps, a cowhide rug and custom-Ebonized wood slatted side tables.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

bedroom The bedroom reflects a simple, fresh, serene color story. Varied textures and thoughtful details provide a cozy feeling – a hand-painted accent pillow, embroidered accent tape on window panels, a plush wool rug and mini-flange on settee cushion and duvet cover. The iron bed is an updated interpretation of a classic profile. And the vintage carving table is the perfect “personality piece” for the bedside table.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


powder room Painted concrete floor tiles and contemporary plumbing fixtures paired with industrial lighting and a leather-framed mirror add up to big style in this tiny room.


th e b l u f f

Exceptional Elegance... Designed for Listening Our Bowers & Wilkins CM Series loudspeakers are capable of gracing any room with their clean lines and highquality finishes. But more importantly, they produce a pristine, clear sound thanks to the Decoupled Double Domes and tweeter-on-top technology. You won’t believe how beautiful your music can look and sound.

(843) 815-5130 |


48 PENNINGTON DR. SUITE B | BLUFFTON, SC 29910 s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

Written by Anna Jones | Photos courtesy of Back in the Day Bakery + Christine Hall

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

alk into Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah,

As she sits in the corner of her bakery, Cheryl begins to gently massage her

Georgia, and you’ll take a step back in time.

forearms as she talks. She’s wearing an apron over her button-down, and her

Women in denim button-downs walk briskly back

horn-rimmed glasses frame her chestnut-brown eyes. She rotates her left arm and

and forth between the kitchen, their hair kept out of

glances down at her elbow – she has dashes of red down her arm, and she tries to

their faces by red handkerchiefs like Rosey the Riveter of We Can Do It! poster fame. The women carefully balance sheet pan upon sheet pan of freshly baked goodies – cookies, cupcakes, pies, breads, scones, you name it, they’ve got it – and arrange them in the glass display cases for hungry customers to eagerly gobble up. If, by chance, you stop by on a Saturday morning, you’ll likely wait in a line that snakes around the display cases and sometimes bumps into tables of guests; don’t worry though, no one ever seems to mind. The line never takes long, and you’ll likely see someone you know, or perhaps meet the person behind you. Nothing brings people together like baked goods. When you arrive at the display cases, you’ll understand why the glass partition is there – to catch the drool, of course. A confectioner’s cornucopia awaits you behind that glass, and you haven’t even seen the best part yet. The line will edge closer and closer to the register, and right before you arrive to pay, you will spot them – the biscuits. Fluffy little leaning Towers of Pisa, these soft, cylindrical pillows of carbohydrate nirvana are so perfect they’ll have you calling home to mama. Or, waxing poetic about their heavenliness in the pages of The Bluff magazine. Either way, you must eat one. And soon. Opening its doors to the Hostess City more than 15 years ago, Back in the Day Bakery began as a passion project for its owners, Cheryl and Griffin Day. “Griff and I are self-taught bakers. We’ve always loved to bake, and after 9/11, we decided to do something we were really passionate about,” Cheryl said. “[Griffin] was changing careers, and we were just tired of doing something that didn’t have much love in it.”

rub the marks away. Growing up in Los Angeles, Cheryl developed her love of Southern food and baking from her maternal grandmother, a born-and-bred Southerner from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Every summer Cheryl visited her grandmother in Tuscaloosa, and that’s where Cheryl’s baking education began, when she was just eight years old. “I learned everything from her – from the basics of baking, to how to put time and care into everything you do, to the science of baking. But, most important, to put love into everything you do,” Cheryl said. In her grandmother’s kitchen, Cheryl and her grandmother made cakes and pies together, creating each confection by hand, with heart. It was here that Cheryl also learned to find beauty in the imperfect, in the homemade, in the roughhewn. “My aesthetic is kind of wabi-sabi – a Japanese phrase that means appreciating imperfections. Like texture; it may look odd, but to me, it’s perfect,” Cheryl said, rubbing her arm again and then crossing her hands on the table. “I like to see my hands in the cakes; I like people to see that someone handcrafted this.” Cheryl uses the appeal of homemade in all that she does, from the white pastry boxes tied with red-and-white butcher string to handwritten tags on her homemade marshmallows. Every baked good, whether sweet or savory, is made from scratch in-house by Cheryl, Griffin or one of their bakers. “We don’t do ‘fast.’ That’s just not something we do. We make everything from scratch,” Cheryl said. “I make everything in big batches, but it’s still timeconsuming. It’s a process. I do everything from scratch, by hand.”

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


And the results speak for themselves. Besides establishing one of the most popular bakeries in the Savannah area, the Days have received attention and recognition from the big leagues, too. Cheryl and Griffin have penned two cookbooks, both of which are New York Times best sellers, and have been sold on the popular QVC television channel. The first time the couple sold their books on QVC, they sold 30,000 copies in the first six minutes. So they did it two more times, each with great success. Then, in 2015, the couple was nominated for a James Beard Award in the Baking category. “That was the first year that [the James Beard Awards] included bakers, so it was kind of cool to be nominated that year,” Cheryl remembered. Her thoughts were interrupted as a smiling customer approached the table. “Cheryl!” the customer exclaimed. “When are you going to bring back bingo?”

the bakery. Twelve years ago, the couple had made grand plans to wed, but when Griffin’s father fell ill, the wedding took a back seat. Not long after, a Savannah judge visited the bakery on a Saturday afternoon when Cheryl was working the counter.

need to bring back bingo,” she agreed. “We used to do all kinds of things like that

He asked her about married life, and when she told him they hadn’t tied the knot

– pizza night, bingo night, cupcake happy hour. In the early days we had a very

yet, the judge insisted he perform the ceremony right then and there.

small budget, so we would do innovative things to get people to come in.”

“He said, ‘How about we just do it right now? I have the vows and my robe in

When they opened the bakery in 2002, Cheryl and Griffin had a bigger

the car,’ because he was headed to [perform] a wedding at Tybee,” Cheryl said

mountain to climb than just opening a small business. They had to attract

smiling. So she went back in the kitchen to get Griffin, and the judge married

customers to an area most people were afraid to visit.

them in the front of the bakery.

“Fifteen years ago this neighborhood was a bit rough around the edges,” Cheryl

“We got married in our aprons right over there,” Cheryl pointed to the front

laughed. “People thought we had lost our minds. It’s hard for people to imagine,

windows overlooking the street. “For two people who work all the time, it was

but 16 years ago this building was completely by itself, so we’ve seen growth

very convenient. It’s given a fun life to the bakery.” She laughed again at the

literally all around us. We were kind of pioneers for this neighborhood. But it’s

memory and turned over her left forearm again to look at the red marks. “I’m

got legs [now], and a lot of people are moving here.”

making Christmas cookies today, which is not my favorite,” she said. And the marks are, in fact, food coloring stains. The sign of a true baker.

provided the location that allowed them to become the true mom-and-pop

As for what’s next, Cheryl and Griffin are planning a third cookbook that

bakery they are so passionate about.

focuses on baking in the South. They are also planning an expansion of their

“This is a place where people gather and build relationships. We want people to come here for the experience, so that they’ll sit at the community table, and before the end of lunch, they are fast friends,” Cheryl said. “That’s the kind of connections we want to foster.”

th e b l u f f

marriage of its owners. Cheryl and Griffin were actually married right in

“Hi Lorraine,” Cheryl replied. “Oh bingo, I’d forgotten about that! Yes, we do

Besides being financially feasible for their small budget, the neighborhood


Indeed, Back in the Day Bakery has fostered many relationships, even the

kitchen to be able to create more savory items, namely, those divine biscuits, of which Cheryl estimates they make 100 of each day, and several hundred on Fridays and Saturdays. So many biscuits that Cheryl exclaimed, “I have carpel tunnel [syndrome]!”

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


But maintaining their foundation as a neighborhood bakery is paramount to

Cheryl then turned to greet a customer. “Hey Emily!” she said. Emily waved and

their future, and one that Cheryl and Griffin are determined to see through.

sat down with her latte and piece of cake.

“We are going to continue to be grounded in being a neighborhood bakery

Though humble and modest, Cheryl is a baker who gets what she wants.

because it’s what we started out to do,” Cheryl said. “We’re not the place where people pick something up and leave. I want people to sit down and eat a piece of pie and have a coffee.”

C hocolate C hip C ookies AKA cookie most likely to cause a riot if we run out

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks Fleur de sel for sprinkling

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Use a large ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measuring cup to form the cookies and

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies to

Sift together the flour, baking soda and sea salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream together the butter, vanilla and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, and mix for no more than 1 minute; the eggs will not be fully incorporated. Turn the speed down to low and add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating until just combined, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chunks, beating until just combined, about 1 minute.


th e b l u f f

allow for spreading. Lightly tap each cookie with the palm of your hand and sprinkle the cookies with fleur de sel. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness. The cookies should be golden brown around the edges but still light in the centers. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Written by Justin Hardy

The world is a new and different place. Technology has found its way into

new camp stove refuses to ignite. After attempting to sleep in a tent filled

nearly every aspect of human life over the last 100 years. Seemingly every

with materials that swish at every move, they get up, break down all of their

device or tool in our modern lives comes equipped with a touchscreen and

disappointing gear, and return home to their text messaging refrigerator with

internet access. In 2017, it is possible to send and receive a text message from

an overpowering feeling of being kicked in the rear end.

a Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerator. There is no end to the beeping and buzzing that has become something that many people crave. It is not a stretch of the imagination to assume that the next person you interact with will check their phone at least once before your conversation is over.

skills can delve into the natural world in a way that most never do. Bushcraft is a body of knowledge that allows this. It is the art of wilderness survival and self-reliance. Prehistoric people were experts in this field. They had to

technological advancements have found their way into the natural world,

be in order to live. Early American frontiersmen learned these skills from

too. Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing and nearly any other outdoor activity

Native Americans and were able to improve upon them with the utilization

now have a host of electronics or apps that are required for a pleasurable

of metal tools like axes and the almighty knife. Over time and largely due

experience. Technology doesn’t always come in the form of electronics,

to technology, life for the average person became easier, and many of

however. A short stroll through a sporting goods store can discombobulate

these skills and techniques were forgotten. Also forgotten was the sense of

even the most avid of outdoorsmen. Equipment is now made of incredibly

pride and self-worth one feels when they have the capability to provide for

expensive synthetic materials with names that don’t actually mean anything.

themselves and make the things they need from raw materials found in the

UltraLite, Versatrack, seam-sealed poly with the connecter tek zipper

natural environment.

These are some of the “advancements” and “features” one might find on otherwise simple equipment.

th e b l u f f

way. A person armed with simple tools, some ingenuity and a few wilderness

As such, it becomes increasingly more difficult to detach, since many of these

configuration, flex-boil technology with fully integrated switch-lock packaging.


Fear not! This nonsensical outlook on wilderness enjoyment is not the only

Though it is no longer necessary to hone one’s wilderness survival skills, much enjoyment can be taken from practicing bushcraft as a hobby. Entering the world of bushcraft is easily accomplished. It is as simple as walking

After you drop several thousand dollars on the basics, it is then time to go

outside and waiting. After a bit of time has passed, the human body will begin

into the woods. Upon arrival, campers experience a feeling of helplessness

to need things on the most basic level. The mind of this body must then ask a

as they attempt to set up a tent that requires an advanced degree in physics.

tough question: how do I get the things I need like food, water and shelter?

They leave camp and head back to town for dinner because their brand

A simple kit will provide the answer.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Top: Kephart-style knife, produced by Ontario Knife Company. Bottom left: A fire is started using flint. Bottom right: A hand-forged hatchet.


th e b l u f f

The perfect bushcraft kit is not set in stone. In fact, it varies from person

time living among the “hillbillies” of the Great Smoky Mountains during the

to person and is often a topic of long conversations that may evolve into

early 1900s. If anyone is responsible for keeping bushcraft alive through the

friendly arguments. One may argue that another’s kit is too involved and

development of modern society, it is this man.

heavy. Others may argue that a kit is too light and may not cover all the bases. One item, however, is found in all kits and is revered in the bushcrafting community. It is the belt knife. The importance of this item cannot be overstated. Processing wood, starting fires, hunting, digging, cordage production, and so many more survival basics are made possible with this tool alone. A suitable belt knife must be heavy-duty, with a fixed blade. This blade must have a full tang, which provides rigidity and durability. Also, the blade must be forged from high-carbon steel and have no coating. This allows the knife to be used in flint-and-steel methods of fire-making. It also allows the knife to hold a sharp edge and be easily sharpened when required. A bushcrafter’s skills are often judged on knife sharpness alone. If a perfect bushcraft knife exists, it is a style known as the Kephart

Knife. This American classic has a blade length of four-and-one-half inches. The handle is the same length and must be made of wood. This ensures that a new handle can be fashioned if the original is broken. (Synthetics, in all aspects of bushcraft, are frowned upon due to their lack of availability in nature.) A blade width of one inch is required to allow the blade to stand up to repeated abuse. It must also have a drop point so that skinning and processing game can be undertaken. This knife is named for the famed outdoorsman, Horace Kephart (September 8, 1862 – April 2, 1931). Horace spent most of his life in the bush, but is famed for his writing abilities and his career as a rough-and-tumble librarian at Yale University. Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers in the Wilderness is his finest work. It is an all-encompassing guide to the way of the bush. Our Southern Highlanders is another one of his books that sums up his

Back to the kit previously mentioned. There are several other items that find their way into the packs of the average bushcrafter. An ax/tomahawk/hatchet is one of these items. Much like the knife, there are endless varieties of these tools, and each has its own merit. A heavy-felling ax is good for processing large logs into lumber. The tomahawk is optimal for use as a hunting weapon. The most popular, however, is the hatchet. The hatchet is a hybrid of an ax and a tomahawk. No matter which variety is chosen, a wooden handle is a requirement so that another may be fashioned if the first ever fails. Sturdy woods are required for handle-making as they will receive repetitive, high energy impacts. As with baseball bats, hickory and ash are the best fit for the job at hand. There should also be a variety of ways to start a fire. Fire has countless uses in bushcrafting. Other than the obvious benefits of warmth, cooking and boiling water for consumption, it acts as a morale booster, which can prove to be almost as valuable. The steady, flickering light of a fire can provide companionship, and it has an almost hypnotic effect that leads to good ol’ fashioned relaxation. There’s nothing like a quiet night by a campfire. This mellowing of the mind will be welcomed because building fire with primitive techniques can sometimes prove to be challenging. Within the bushcraft realm, predominant methods of starting a fire include using the bow drill, flint and steel or ferrocerium rods. Yes, a regular Bic lighter will save you some time, but where is the fun in that? After all, the whole point of this hobby is to leave behind the conveniences of home and push the limits of what one can devise.

The Conservancy shares many of the same values found in bushcraft. Appreciation for nature, historical skills our ancestors developed, and hard work can be found in both entities. Over the years, the Conservancy has hosted “Girls Gone Wild,” a wilderness survival class geared toward the women on Palmetto Bluff. These events are wildly popular, and the Conservancy intends to expand on this in 2017 with a variety of survival and bushcraft classes. Keep an eye open for opportunities.

Horace Kephart

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Several other items are acceptable but not

to sit on while working or relaxing. Aside from

required. Cordage of some kind is always

comfort, a wool blanket can also be used to form

worth its weight. Paracord, or 550 cord, is

a satchel to carry all of the other necessities.

very strong for its size. It is also cheap and easy to get your hands on. It can be found at the nearest Walmart in a variety of colors and lengths. Tarred nylon rope or string is also exceptionally handy. This type of rope is much better than paracord when it comes to knots. The tar coating also forms a weatherproof seal, and the string will last much longer than paracord. A stainless steel cup or pot will

and maintain tools is as valuable as the tool itself. Just as in most hobbies, reading and practice are required for mastery. Reading, however, is useless without practice and vice versa. Think of the average man. He often attempts to build things without reading the instructions. He only refers to the instructions after he is completely frustrated with the project at hand. Going into bushcraft with this mindset will not work. A plethora of literature is available for reference. After learning about

steel is optimal because it is lightweight, rust-

the skills necessary for the bush, one can then go out and practice. Some

resistant and works nicely over an open flame.

recommended literature includes the previously mentioned works of Horace

This cup or pot will serve as a vessel to boil water

Kephart. In addition, Dave Canterbury has written three books that pertain to

when fresh spring water cannot be found. It is good

bushcraft. Bushcraft 101, Advanced Bushcraft and The Bushcraft Field Guide

practice to always boil water before consumption

to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking are all exceptional reference material.

in order to kill harmful bacteria. The cup is also the

Canterbury’s and Kephart’s works cover much of the same ground. In fact,

enjoyed. There are countless bush recipes that can tickle the fancy of the most enthusiastic food connoisseur. There are, however, many meals that will not. Bushcraft as a hobby can afford one the leisure to go home and have dinner. Bushcraft as a way to survive will often lead to a soup du jour containing whatever nature made available on that particular day. Further discussion on this topic can be left to the imagination. Processing sustenance is not the cup’s only use. It can also be used to process medicines, oils, waxes and many other things from plant materials.

most publications on bushcraft have very similar subject matter, but different points of view are always valuable. The deeper one looks into the world of bushcraft, the more one will begin to notice that no two bushmen are the same. Each has their own quirks and preferences. This differentiation in knowledge and skill is the reason many refer to bushcraft as the art of survival; it truly is an art. Begin looking at the different tools, furniture, shelters, traps and clothing people make from their trusty knife and things collected from the natural world, and it becomes perfectly obvious that there is beauty and uniqueness here. Bushcraft can be

Wool blankets are a wonderful addition.

frustratingly hard work, but what it gives back is priceless: accomplishment,

True wool will hold in body heat even when wet. It is

confidence and feeling of full immersion in the outdoors. There are very

also flame-resistant and durable. Seek a blanket

few hobbies, skill sets or bodies of knowledge that can provide so much

that is long enough for the entire body and wide

from so very little.

enough to lay on half and cover the body with the other half. This will form a human taco of sorts. This blanket can also be folded in half several times to form a pad

th e b l u f f

the skills to put it to work. Learning to properly wield

certainly earn its keep within the kit. Stainless

kitchen in the bush. It is where meals can be cooked and


The kit, as important as it may be, is useless without

“The Nationals” Silver Award • 398 LightHouse & Finalist Awards • Pinnacle Award Finalist & Merit Winner • Small Business of the Year • Multiple “Best Builder” awards

20 YEARS OF BUILDING EXCELLENCE H2BUILDERS.COM 843.815.GOH2 (4642) s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Banjo 18" x 24" $45.00


th e b l u f f

HONORING THE SOUTH WHILE GIVING BACK TO SOUTHERNERS Written by Tim Wood | Photos courtesy of Y'allsome

I am a geographically displaced Southerner. My birth certificate and current

Their work had them shuttling between New York and Los Angeles, feeling

address might say New England, but my true hometown – the first and only

more and more disconnected from their Southern roots.

place that ever felt like home – is Bluffton, South Carolina.

“I don’t know if we would have ever started this if we hadn’t left the South,”

There are millions more like me. There are online support groups for

Craig said. “After you step out of it, you see all the things that make it unique

Southerners who are (unfortunately) no longer located in the South, and there

– the customs and traditions. So Megan and I decided to combine our talents

are hundreds of different t-shirt designs out there that attempt to capture

and reconnect with our heritage.”

Southern pride, but end up looking like a stale Jeff Foxworthy joke.

What began as a cathartic creative exercise quickly blossomed into a viable

That’s what makes Y’allsome – a line of clothing including graphic tees and

business model as the Evanses realized there were many more Southern expats

such made by (and for) Southerners – stand out. When I directed my fellow

living coastal-elite lives but thirsting for a legitimate glass of sweet tea.

expatriates to the Y’allsome website, their initial reaction was much like mine.

“I heard from them the same thing that I was feeling. I grew up embarrassed

“Ahh, that’s adorable,” said one friend. “A baby in a onesie with a boiled

of the South. It represented so much backward thinking and a checkered, very

peanut on it. Awesome. Y’allsome. Nice word play.”

ugly past. The Confederate flag represents racism to so many,” Evans said.

When you take a look around the site, you quickly realize that founders Craig and Megan Evans not only manage to truly represent Southern culture with a classy edge, but they’re doing it with a charitable touch. “We found everything out there to be either country boy or country club. We wanted to create a Southern brand more representative of us,” Craig said. “And we knew if we started this, we wanted to find a way to give back at the same time.” The Evanses know what it’s like to be yearning for a taste of home. The vision for Y’allsome began in a garage in Los Angeles three years ago. Craig, a Charlotte native, works in the advertising world and has helped create iconic

“There’s a reconciliation that we all go through, and in the end, many of us didn’t have a way to show that Southern pride.” Evans knows there are plenty of stereotypes out there for typical Southern attire, bow-tie t-shirts and weathered jean jackets adorned in NASCAR patches, just to name a couple. But the goal of the Y’allsome aesthetic was to evoke a memory, to take people back to all that is wonderful about the South. “We’re trying to be a very tiny example of what I feel is a loving, caring, giving-back South,” he said. “There’s a next generation here, a new South in places like Charleston and Nashville, that is really eager to show that their upbringing is a source of honor and cherished memories.”

commercials for big-name brands such as ESPN and Major League Baseball.

Even in today’s tech-heavy world, getting the word out about Y’allsome

Megan, a Charlestonian, is a wardrobe stylist by trade, inspiring celebrities

proved challenging at first with the Evanses based on the west coast.

and soccer moms alike to find their inner supermodel.

So the couple connected with a Charleston-based public relations firm that

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


represents high-end clients based in the South, and it was through this

worth,” Evans said. “We ask for $20, the cost of the bag and shipping. That

connection that Y’allsome came to Palmetto Bluff’s Music To Your Mouth.

delivers to one child a durable duffle bag with a luggage tag where they can

The company participated in the Artisan Market at Music To Your Mouth, and

write their name and email address and at least move with dignity.”

it sold dozens of its unique t-shirts, hats and prints. The same result followed soon after its participation in the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, and a small, but growing, fan base was born. The company’s motto “Southern Goods That Do Good” has resonated with its audience. But those words aren’t just a slogan, they are the very essence of what drives the Evanses to grow their business. “We want to celebrate the South and give back to it, plain and simple,” Craig said. “We want Y’allsome to stand for much more than a throw-away hat, t-shirt or print. When people display it, it’s a badge that says, ‘I support the South way beyond this t-shirt.’”

The donations and the duffle bag project are just the beginning of what the Evanses hope the Y’allsome brand will become. “We want Y’allsome to be synonymous with charitable acts, so that you know every time you’re associating yourself with the brand, you’re giving back to the South,” Craig said. “That’s when it really starts to have legs. We’ve begun with t-shirts, hats and prints, but we want to evolve to a whole line of artisan and quality goods with a purpose behind every purchase.” More than a year ago, the couple moved back east and stationed themselves in Nashville, where they can be closer to their target audience and the trade shows that attract so many store owners who buy products for their shelves.

That philosophy is clear with each click on the Y’allsome site. You see that the products are not just produced in the U.S., they are produced in cooperation with Southern businesses. When you buy a t-shirt, you see that North Carolina cotton farmer Ronnie Burleson has provided the cotton and that Nashville printer Andy Bird has printed your t-shirt using only environmentally friendly inks. When you buy a hat, you’ll read the story of Monroe, Georgia, embroiderer Ginny Givens who has stitched your custom-made chapeau. In addition, 15 percent of all company profits are earmarked for helping Southern foster kids. There are more than 100,000 foster kids in the Southern U.S. alone, and it is a plight that the Evanses are passionate about. While in grad school, Craig began working with Atlanta-based Adoption Discovery, an agency that educates families who want to adopt foster kids. “There are 10,000 foster kids in Atlanta alone,” Craig said. “We’re talking about wonderful kids who are often mislabeled as troubled youth when in reality, these kids just got a raw deal and are amazing human beings who deserve love.” Y’allsome also donates to Heart Gallery, an organization that travels the region to take pictures and video of prospective foster kids, putting names and stories to kids who are so often just labeled with case numbers.

th e b l u f f

said. “They are part of a new breed of Southerner who respects traditions while at the same time is forward-thinking and seeks to create their own way of doing things. The result is something familiar yet entirely new. You see it all over the place now with Southern entrepreneurs springing up in all lines of work, from restaurants to designers to fashion. It’s almost like the South, reinterpreted. “There are 50 Southern brands out there, but we’re unique in that we strive to give back to the very thing we celebrate,” he said. “People connect with our personal view. Sometimes it’s creating something entirely new like a bourbon

The Evanses have donated more than $10,000 to these two agencies to date.

cannon, or simply presenting something familiar like the Tennessee flag in a

“We’ve been so blessed to find two great partners, but we want to do so much

new way, which I do with the banjo design.”

more,” Craig said. “We live the business right now, traveling to trade shows

That personal view of the South is taking hold. To date, Y’allsome products

and getting the product into as many hands as possible. So cutting checks is

are sold in more than 70 stores, with measured expansion ahead for 2017.

where we are in terms of giving back, but we want to be so much more.”


“We see it firsthand in Nashville, especially, this idea of the new South,” Evans

“I’m still working in advertising; Megan’s still going full-time as a stylist,

The couple has also launched the Duffle Donation program to give foster kids

but we’re hitting a tipping point,” Evans said. “We know we’re gaining

more than just a plastic bag in which to transport their possessions as they

traction, and we know this is evolving quickly into more than something we

are moved from place to place.

can do into the wee hours of the night after our day jobs. The jury’s still out

“Each year, foster kids are moved from home to home with their belongings in

regarding how far we can take this mission, but we’re sure having fun making

a trash bag. It is absolutely degrading and does so much damage to their self-

a difference and seeing how much we can make this brand grow.”

Script Trucker $30.00

Hushpuppy $30.00

Boiled Peanut Onesie $28.00

Muscle Shoals 18" x 24" $45.00

Bragging Rights 13" x 19" $30.00

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Local Character : Sarah Sanford Written by Amanda Baran Cutrer | Photo by Krisztian Lonyai


th e b l u f f

Interesting, charming, enthusiastic, adventurous, smart, witty – all descriptors that immediately come to mind when you meet Sarah Sanford. As an impressive outdoorswoman who grew up with three brothers on a quail plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, Sarah learned early to appreciate friendly competition and outdoor



A: Being anywhere with my family. I covet my time

A: Do you consider reading out loud to my kids?!

with family and friends, specifically in a kitchen with

We just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

lots of noise, wagging tails and slamming doors.


Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE “SUPER POWER,” WHAT WOULD IT BE? HOW WOULD YOU USE IT AT WORK? A: Well, I don’t need to worry about walking through

A: It’s almost like a feeling of coming home. It’s very

walls since I work in a tent, and we have no walls!

similar to the land I grew up on. I just get it. I’m really

Bionic vision would make my shot better … but I’m

dress up and host a cocktail party, too.

a part of the land here. I mean, I work out of a tent!

still going to hold onto being able to fly home.

After graduating from Furman University



A: How can I fly from here so I don’t have to drive all

A: A lot of work on the farm. We find all kinds of

the way back to Beaufort?

artifacts out there, and there’s always more to explore.



A: Traveling. We go on an adventure every year. In

A: Around my kids, “No.” Anywhere else, “Sure, we

August 2016, we went to Cody, Wyoming, through

can make that happen.”

explorations of all sorts. While dirt and mud never bothered her, she has always liked to

where she studied English, Sarah went on to embark upon numerous once-in-alifetime trips and accomplishments. In no particular order, she received her Masters degree from the American Graduate School of International Management, traveled the world as a guide for fly fishing and shooting, was part of the media coverage team for the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 2000, covered the Iditarod Trail sled dog races for five consecutive years in Alaska, was hired by ESPN2 as the first female correspondent, was part of the launch team for the Outdoor

Yellowstone National Park and on to Jackson Hole and then stayed at Montage Deer Valley in Utah.

Q: WHAT MOVIE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS? A: Bowfinger with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.

Q: WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? A: The absurdities of life on a daily basis can make you mad, sad or anxious, but I choose to laugh.



A: “Fight Song” by Katy Perry would be one (it

Beaufort Mayor Bill Rauch, and became the

A: I’d love to have a great answer, but the truth is,

star!). I usually listen to country music in the car.

mother to two boys, Nick and Sandy.

I’m probably made for reality TV more than for

In my ear buds, especially while running, I listen to

movies. Think about it, I live on a Southern plantation

“Dancing with Wolves” radio on Pandora, and I have

with two boys, uncountable dogs, a barn full of

so much fun listening to it. I find it inspiring! Music

horses, umpteen nephews, a New Yorker husband, my

has really helped me get through a lot in life.

Life Network (now NBC Sports Network or NBCSN), married the love of her life,

Sarah is now a shooting instructor for the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, where she played a huge role in launching the course and club structure. The course currently consists of 13 sporting clay stations, an elevated and covered five-stand plus a separate oscillating wobble deck. She still lives on the land she grew up on and has turned it into a working plantation with seasonal hunting as well as a timber operation. Sarah and her two sons also actively collect historical artifacts from around their property and plan to display their collection in one of the property’s old smokehouses. To say the least, Sarah is an inspiring person with an inviting and kind demeanor. She has learned that following your true passions will lead to a life of fulfillment and happiness.

92-year-old mom ... and I'm a shooting instructor! You can’t make that up.


makes me want to punch the air and feel like a rock

Q: FAVORITE SPOT ON THE BLUFF? A: Anywhere along the May River. Although, it’s also very special to be in Moreland in the morning as the sun comes up. And there’s also this little dirt road

A: Every mother says their kids are their greatest

toward the back of the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club

achievements, and mine are certainly remarkable and

that has a cathedral of trees that’s beautiful.

definitely my greatest achievements, but aside from that, I did everything I wanted to do in a television


career before I had kids and then created life-after-

A: This is a hard one because there have been so

kids. I’m really happy with my life!

Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC? A: That I genuinely like people and have a great sense

many great moments. The Palmetto Bluff experience in general is so special, connecting with the land and the people. I interact with a lot of remarkable people out here.

of humor about myself and my life.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


A HOUSE. A HOME. A HISTORY. Restoration Efforts Wrap on Bluffton’s Garvin House, One of the Town’s Largely Unknown Historical Treasures

Written by Barry Kaufman | Photos by Rob Kaufman


th e b l u f f

Fresh paint applied to the shutters of the Garvin house breathes new

life into the historical home. s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


To understand the immeasurable historical role Bluffton’s Garvin House plays in our nation’s story, you must put yourself for a moment in the shoes of its original builder, Cyrus Garvin. As far as which moment to choose, perhaps none

“I wouldn’t mind waking up to that view,”

age have been damaged or destroyed, like the 1890

would sum up the experience better than one that

said Melanie Marks, whose firm, CT House

U.S. Census that was lost to a Washington, D.C.

has been lost to history, but came on a date in 1870.

Histories, recently wrapped up an exhaustive

fire. There’s also the fact that Cyrus Garvin would

The moment is more than its date however; what’s

eight-month historical survey of the house.

sometimes go by Cyrus Garvey, vacillating between

important is that it came in the morning, when

“I’d move in right now.”

the two names across various documents.

Of course, at the time she said that the home was

Which makes what Marks was able to compile that

not quite ready for habitation. By the time you read

much more impressive.

Cyrus Garvin began his day much like you do, by greeting the sun’s first rays over the May River, watching them paint her gentle sways and eddies in rich luminous gold.

this, it will be a different story entirely. That’s thanks to an extensive and long-delayed restoration effort

It could even be that Cyrus Garvin himself didn’t

that is planned for a January 2017 wrap-up as of

know the importance of the moment as it was

this writing.

happening. Regardless, it would mark the first time that he watched that majestic sunrise from the sanctuary of a house, a home, that he could call his own.

house he built on the May River, but also paints a

subsequently used as a storage building by the

planters, Savannah businessmen and Palmetto Bluff

nearby Bluffton Oyster Factory, the house had been

farmers who would have been in his world.

on a long slow crawl back to the earth from whence

Garvin had watched countless sunrises from

it in 2009. Held aloft by two massive steel

someone else’s land, under someone else’s rule.

beams running down its center, the Garvin

He’d been freed in June of 1863 when Union

House was given a stay of execution but

torches choked the night air with smoke, taking

continued to decay. Until six months ago, when Charleston-based

She traces ownership of the land on which the

Construction Consultants won a bid for a full

house now sits through various families during

restoration of the house. Now, plank by plank, brick

their rise and fall with the fortunes of the booming

But still, real freedom wouldn’t come until that

by brick, the shambling pile of termite-infested

South. Along with the land, she traces ownership

unknown moment in 1870, on the porch he had

shingles at Oyster Factory Park is slowly returning

of Garvin himself. While the widely held belief is

hewn from the very forest around him, as Cyrus

to its former glory.

that Garvin was owned by a Joseph Scott Baynard,

It was the moment that slave became a free man.

Garvin would watch the first rays of sunlight hit his home.

“It’s coming back to life,” said Construction Consultants principal Mike Riffert.

To date, that home remains the only example of the freedmen’s cottages that sprang up around the May River as slaves staked their claims to lands they’d been born into while in bondage. The house, more or less, still stands. Perched on the rounded bluff beside the Bluffton Oyster Company, it commands a May River view that would probably still be considered one of the best, despite the proliferation of riverside homes in the 140 years since it was built.

th e b l u f f

not only the history behind Cyrus Garvin and the picture of the intertwining stories of rich Bluffton

it came when steps were finally taken to stabilize

where historians agree Garvin most likely toiled.


paper “The Journey of a Freedman’s Family” details

Sold by the Garvin family in the ’60s and

Born into slavery sometime around 1820, Cyrus

with them the plantation home of Joseph Baynard

Prepared on behalf of the Town of Bluffton, her

Who Was Cyrus Garvin? As one can imagine, records of a freed slave in Reconstruction-era South Carolina can be a little tricky to come by. There’s the not-insurmountable fact that Cyrus Garvin could neither read nor write, something that didn’t hamper him from making an astonishingly successful life as a freed man. There’s also the fact that many historical records of that

the name indicates that Cyrus would have been owned by James Garvey, the owner of Garvey Hall Plantation (whose location has been lost to history). However, Cyrus had extensive dealings with Baynard after the war. The wealthy Palmetto Bluff planter owned the land on which the Garvin House now sits, which he’d set aside for his summer residence. It was Baynard who sold Garvin the land, and it was Baynard who employed Garvin to help run his farm while he managed his affairs in Savannah.

Construction Consultants

principal, Mike Riffert, on

the construction site.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Restoration in progress at the Garvin house in old town Bluffton.

INSET: Garvin house prior to its extensive restoration.


th e b l u f f

This employment not only allowed Garvin to build his own home, it helped him give back to the community, as he helped purchase land to build St. Matthew’s Church. It also, intriguingly, helped him purchase 54 acres of land on May 10, 1878. No one knows exactly where Garvey Hall Plantation was, but the research hints at the possibility that eight years after building his own home, Garvin bought the plantation where he’d been born a slave. The house would pass to his son Isaac and grandson Paul before being sold in 1961. From there, the house fell into disrepair and ruin as it was slowly reclaimed by the forest. Pictures from as recently as the 1980s still show the house standing, if beginning to sag somewhat. By the turn of the century, it was just a shell. “You basically just had a roof laying on the ground,” said Riffert. “It was trashed.”

Rebuilding Riffert has made quite a name for himself as the guy you call when you have a house in a condition like this. Most recently, he was tasked with restoring the famed Seashore Farmers’ Lodge on James Island for the show “Flip This House.” “[The Garvin House] was in a lot worse shape,” he said with a laugh. “It was toast.” Indeed, on a recent visit, while walking around the bustling construction site the property has become, it was hard to fathom that just six months ago, this aged cabin was little more than boards and weeds. But despite the terribly advanced state of decay, Riffert was able to upcycle and salvage a tremendous amount of material to use in the home’s rebuilding. “I’d say we have about 55 to 58 percent of the original structure still in here,” he said. To make that happen, Riffert pulled up floorboards and, when a piece was too rotten or infested with termites to reuse, cut it down to emulate the original trim and baseboards. Digging around the property unearthed hundreds of bricks that were used to

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


carefully rebuild the existing chimneys. Some of the

home isn’t being rebuilt, but restored to a time when

shoes between the floors,” said Riffert. “As time

original shutters were still, impossibly, clinging to

it was still a home.

progressed we started finding things like a tin full of

the structure’s shell. Those he couldn’t reuse served as a template for replacements hand-milled onsite. “We really didn’t throw anything away,” he said. And when he simply could not use existing materials, Riffert used some ingenious methods

His workers even used the sand and shells onsite to mix masonry, just as Cyrus would have, as they

And through his efforts, what had been an eyesore

with concrete and steel, but their expertise is such

beside Bluffton’s biggest park for festivals and

that one would never notice.

sunsets is slowly re-emerging as a house built in

It’s all part of restoring something that has stood

original cabin. The original hand-split shake roof

the test of time, as are the unexpected surprises

had been covered with corrugated steel sometime

along the way.

added everything needed to bring it up to hurricane standards, then put the steel roof on top. An acid wash on the steel sheets even evokes a sense that the

the ’40s, engine parts from an old Johnson motor …”

rebuilt the chimneys. Of course, they stabilized it

to maintain that authentic look of Cyrus Garvin’s

in the 1930s, so Riffert rebuilt the original roof,

oyster factory covers from the ’30s, a carburetor from

freedom and placed before some of the finest views in the world. “Everybody knows the house. But it was more than

“When we started lifting the floors, no one had been under there for 100-plus years. So we’d find everything from bullet shots and buttons to old

a house. It was a home,” said Marks. “I would like to think Cyrus Garvin is looking down on all of this and saying ‘Wow.’”

Planks of wood, both old and new, stand at the ready-to-reconstruct Garvin house.


th e b l u f f

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

Written by Troy Lucas | Photos by Rob Kaufman Just behind the new home of the Palmetto

If you look closely at a topography map of

Bluff Conservancy in Moreland Village is one

Palmetto Bluff, you’ll notice that the land

of those special places on property where an

seems to undulate, with parallel lines of high

ancient beach evolved into a modern wetland.

ground running from northeast to southwest.

I am particularly drawn to this landscape and

These lines are archaic dunes, the remnants

its subtleties, where mere inches in elevation

of prehistoric beaches formed long before the

result in dramatically different habitats and

first human set foot in North America. Between

give us an opportunity to explore the Bluff’s

these dune lines are low spots, some of which

unique ecology and history.

are now wetlands that are some of the richest ecological areas of Palmetto Bluff.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Wetlands of Wonder As you stand on the boardwalk near the Outfitters in Moreland Village looking out over maples and sweetgums and listening to a chorus of frogs, it’s hard to imagine that these wetlands need more than just preservation, but they do. In many places on the Bluff, including Moreland, the Conservancy is overseeing a project of environmental restoration to help preserve these unique environments. As in other areas in the Lowcountry, this work centers around repairing the consequences of those who came before us. For example, behind the new Conservancy headquarters is a wetland that, during the Antebellum era, was used as a rice field, and then after the Civil War, was a place for cattle to graze, and later was used for turpentine and timber production. Over the next few years, the Conservancy team will begin the process of reclaiming and enhancing this wetland area by restoring drainage features, removing invasive species and replanting native plants. One of the biggest threats to wetlands at the Bluff is the Chinese tallow, a tree species brought over by European settlers that was used for making candles and soap. Unfortunately, the Chinese tallow tree thrives in the South, and it chokes out native species as it soaks up water and nutrients in marshes, along rivers or in wetlands. Left unchecked, the Chinese tallow soon becomes the dominant plant in an ecosystem; native plants are edged out, and animals follow. Removal of the tallow is difficult but not impossible, and it involves hand-clearing as well as chemical treatments. Perseverance is the key to success, however, and the Conservancy is committed to eliminating this invader. Drainage patterns leading to and from the marsh will also be restored, which will allow for more salt-tolerant species to creep into the landscape and create a new, more diverse edge than what is there today. Finally, native plants such as buttonbush and grasses will be returned to the wetlands, providing important filtration of surface water as well as food and cover for a variety of creatures that call the Bluff home.

The Transitional Zone

Rice Crop

At the edge of this wetland lies a transitional zone that leads to the upland

As you walk along the wetland edge at the Outfitters in Moreland, behind

ecosystem. This is where a second project is necessary: the restoration

the Conservancy’s classroom, you’ll notice that a tall grass is growing

of the wetland buffer. Every wetland in Palmetto Bluff is surrounded by a

in rectangular plots. This is Carolina Gold rice, a crop that at one time

protected area of gradually increasing elevation. These areas vary in size,

provided prosperity to a few and caused enslavement for thousands in

but each is large enough to slow down and filter surface water as it enters

South Carolina. Historically, rice was grown in two different ecosystems at

the wetland. In many cases, the buffer consists of pine forests left behind

Palmetto Bluff: in the interior freshwater wetlands and along marsh edges

from intensive forest management, and such is the case for the Moreland

where freshwater wetlands drained into the tidal estuaries. Along the marsh

Village wetland.

edges, dikes were built to prevent the fresh water from draining away. (After you go through the entrance gate of Palmetto Bluff, you drive

The Conservancy’s goal here is to bring this transitional zone back to its native state and to apply what we learn here to other areas at Palmetto Bluff.

across an old dike of one such impoundment.)

Virginia sweetspire and coastal doghobble, as well as other species, will be

Antebellum rice cultivation was backbreaking and dangerous work:

planted and studied, helping the team better understand how to maintain

venomous snakes and disease-carrying mosquitoes thrived in fields that

a healthy ecosystem in these vital buffer areas. Wetland edges are also

were partially flooded to control weeds. Here at the Bluff, rice was grown as a

important wildlife travel corridors, and we hope to learn which plant species

staple rather than a major cash crop (Sea Island cotton was more lucrative),

provide the best forage and cover.

but rice still demanded the arduous labor of enslaved people. The small plots of rice outside the Conservancy are intended as an educational resource and as an opening into a discussion of our history and ecology.


th e b l u f f

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea Virginica)

Coastal Doghobble (Leucothoe axillaris)

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Waterways of the Bluff The wetland and transitional zone behind the Outfitters gives way to one of the most exciting features of the Conservancy complex: the interpretive pond (and the best fishing hole on property). In addition to the recreational opportunities our ponds and waterways provide, their primary purpose is to catch and treat the surface water flowing from natural environments as well as developed areas. These bodies of water capture runoff and slow it down so that particulates can settle out of the water column, allowing clean water to flow out or be filtered through the soil. The ponds also create an additional edge for wildlife and plants providing cover and allowing safer access to water. The interpretative pond at Moreland proves that protecting our ecosystems from runoff can provide opportunities for fun and discovery. Come down and find out more about the freshwater fish (and maybe reel one in), about how the plants growing at the water’s edge form the littoral shelf habitat, and about how the Conservancy is experimenting to find new ways of conserving and enhancing our natural world. We do not know who will inherit this property from us or what their needs will be; we can only act with respect and listen to the land, restoring what we can and embracing our history while making environmentally responsible decisions. Our hope is that you will allow the landscape to reveal its story to you and that you will come to love it as much as we do.


th e b l u f f

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Rediscovering Carolina Gold One of Palmetto Bluff’s property owners, Dr. Richard Schulze, is responsible for reviving the production of Carolina Gold rice. Schulze tracked down seeds of Carolina Gold rice in Houston, Texas, in 1985 and started growing it on his land. He documented the history of the crop in Carolina Gold Rice: The Ebb and Flow History of a Lowcountry Cash Crop. Pick up a copy for a fascinating read on an important piece of history.


th e b l u f f

Where every moment of your spa experience is take-your-breath-away beautiful.

Introducing Spa Montage Palmetto Bluff. set amidst the majestic coast of south carolina, spa montage palmetto Bluff provides the ideal environment for inspiration, discovery and wellness year-round. rooted in classical spa therapies, the 13,000-squarefoot indoor/outdoor retreat combines highly personalized services with elements of this rich and abundant setting. Whether you are seeking a relaxing escape, invigorating rejuvenation or preparing for a special event, this soulful lowcountry sanctuary will inspire a deeper connection to your own personal wellbeing. (866) 706-6565

mon tag e h o t e l s . c om

B e v e r ly H i l l s | D e e r va l l e y | K a pa l u a B ay | l a g u n a B e a c H pa l m e t t o B l u f f | l o s c a B o s

(Opening Early 2018) s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


RETAIL THERAPY: Written by Anna Jones / Photos by Rob Kaufman

One of the best ways to truly understand and explore the natural majesty of the Bluff is from the wide, open waters of the May River. Driven by the rise and fall of the tides, the May River is one of the cleanest, most beautiful rivers in the Lowcountry. And it is brimming with fish ripe for the catching, along with being the home for many other animal species and natural habitats not found anywhere else in the world. Cobia, red fish and flounder are all abundant in the area’s waterways this time of year, providing not only a thrilling way to spend the afternoon, but a potentially delicious dinner as well. To equip yourself for that fishing excursion on the May, first stop by the Ship’s Store at Palmetto Bluff ’s Wilson Landing to ensure you have what you’ll need for a full day of exploration. From sun-protecting hats to waterproof pants to a needlepointed flask, you’ll find everything you need to make sure you look the part. (After all, isn’t that half the battle?) And don’t forget to pack a cooler with some snacks and beverages – after you fall under the May River’s enchantment, you may be out on the water a little longer than you thought.


th e b l u f f


Smathers & Branson Needlepoint hat $38.00 Costa Del Mar Sunglasses $149.00-$249.00 Fish Hippie Corkscrew with wooden box $70.00


Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Flasks $65.00 Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Key Fob $28.50 Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Can Cooler $29.50


UV Buff $23.00


Greenbug All Natural insect repellent $8.95

LifeProof iPhone 6/6S waterproof case $89.99

NEBO Redline Select LED Rechargeable Flashlight $69.99 Sea To Summit Waterproof storage sack 4 liter $15.00



YETI Hopper 20 Cooler $299.99

Arc’teryx Beta SL super light GORE-TEX shell jacket $299.00

YETI Flip 12 Cooler $279.99

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f


On May 13, 1922, a man climbed to the top of the Members’ Clubhouse at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and painted the jockey on the weather vane in the green and gold of Richard T. Wilson, Jr.’s racing silks. For an entire year, until the next running of the Preakness Stakes when a new winner would be declared, the jockey on the weather vane would sport the 56-year-old Wilson’s colors.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Born in 1866, the youngest son of a self-made millionaire, Richard T.

In 1922, like today, the pinnacle of American horse racing consisted of three

Wilson, Jr. had the finances, and therefore the freedom, to pursue his love of

events: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes,

thoroughbred horse racing. He was also smart enough to know that success on

the latter two often simply referred to as “the Preakness” and “the Belmont.”

the turf required a top-notch trainer in the stable. In the 1890s, Wilson hired

In 1919, the chestnut thoroughbred Sir Barton was the first horse to win

Thomas J. Healey, then a young thoroughbred trainer who was just beginning

all three races, but it wasn’t until after 1930, when Gallant Fox repeated

to enjoy some recognition for his skill, to oversee the conditioning of Wilson’s

the achievement, that the term “Triple Crown” came into widespread use.

horses. Under Healey’s care, Wilson’s horses excelled consistently, running

According to racing historian Bennett Liebman, in 1923 The New York

in top races around the country and bringing home some of the sport’s

Times was the first to refer to the three races as the “Triple Crown,” but the

largest purses. In 1916, Wilson’s horse Campfire was the top money-winner in

moniker didn’t catch on until Gallant Fox’s win seven years later (Bennett

American racing. (Healey would work for Wilson for more than 30 years and

Liebman, “Origins of Triple Crown,” The New York Times, April 24, 2008).

eventually be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame for his achievements.)

In fact, the name was not original; The Times had borrowed the term from

Having his racehorses in Healey’s charge meant that Wilson didn’t have to worry about his racing string in the off-season, and he could relax. In other words, it meant that he and his family could spend the winter at


th e b l u f f

England, where a trio of important races, the 2000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger Stakes, had been known as the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing since 1853.

their Southern home, the coastal South Carolina property that Wilson had

The order of the American Triple Crown events was established in 1931:

purchased in 1902 and named “Palmetto Bluff.” With acres of gardens and

the first race is the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, followed by the

a magnificent mansion overlooking the May River, the idyllic estate was a

Preakness at Pimlico Race Course, and then the Belmont at Belmont Park.

beloved retreat for Wilson. Here, he enjoyed the saddle horses that he kept for

And nowadays the schedule is standardized: the Kentucky Derby occurs

riding and hunting, not for the track, and he could indulge in the lifestyle of

on the first Saturday in May, the Preakness comes two weeks later, and the

a country gentleman. Yet, as much as Wilson loved Palmetto Bluff, the family

Belmont is held three weeks after the Preakness. Before 1931, though, the

would leave in early spring as the racing season in the North got underway.

order of the races changed regularly. So on the morning of May 13, 1922, as

a little


When Pillory won the Preakness in 1922, it wasn’t the first time that one of Wilson’s horses had won the race (Wilson’s The Parader won in 1901), but it was the first time that the colors of Wilson’s Montpelier Stable were on the WEATHER VANE. The tradition of painting the weather vane didn’t begin until 1909, eight years after The Parader won, and the tradition arose from a bolt of lightning. When the simple, directional weather vane atop the members’ clubhouse at the Pimlico race track in Baltimore was destroyed during a thunderstorm, the Maryland Jockey Club commissioned a new weather vane with a jockey on a horse. In 1909, after the Preakness, the new weather vane was painted the winner’s colors, and a tradition was born. Fiftyseven years later, the clubhouse was destroyed in a fire, but the tradition of painting the weather vane did not end: a replica of the old clubhouse’s cupola, complete with iron horse-and-rider weather vane was erected in the infield of the track, and the jockey continues to don new silks every spring.

t i m e fo r a


MINT JULEPS have been the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938, but they have been part of American history for much longer. Throughout the 1800s, the mix of whiskey, sugar and mint (and ice, when available) was extraordinarily popular; so popular that in 1866 when The New York Times ran an article on the drinks associated with various countries, it suggested that in the United States the “next approach to a national beverage consists of that delicious American compound, the ‘mint julep’.” (July 4, pp. 4-5).



1 scant ounce minted simple syrup

To highball glass or silver Julep cup, add

2 cups crushed ice

minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed

2 ounces good quality bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)

ice, bourbon and splash of water. Add

Fresh mint sprig, for garnish

Stir well and garnish with mint sprig.

enough of remaining ice to almost fill glass.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


a pa r a d e o f a


THE PARADER by Henry Stull depicts R.T. Wilson's horse, The Parader, who won the Preakness in 1901.


th e b l u f f

Wilson watched his horse Pillory warm up at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby had not yet been run. Healey and Wilson were confident in Pillory’s abilities, yet few others thought that the horse had a serious chance of winning against the strong field. The favorites were Miss Joy, a filly that had had considerable success the previous year as a two-year-old, and Hephaistos, holder of the Pimlico track record. Several others also appeared to be better candidates for the winner’s circle, and Pillory’s odds were 11-1 when the starting gun was fired. From the back of the field Pillory headed to the outside and began overtaking the leaders. Entering the final turn, he muscled into first place and pulled ahead. He seemed to have a commanding lead as the horses rounded into the final stretch. But Pillory’s breathing room rapidly narrowed as Hea broke from the pack and charged for the finish. Pillory’s jockey pushed his horse harder as Hea closed in and just managed to hang on to victory, crossing the line a head in front of Hea. Wilson was showered with congratulations and received a check for $50,000. As he watched the clubhouse’s weather vane jockey don his colors, he knew that he had some time to savor his victory; the Belmont Stakes, next in the series, was four weeks away. He also knew that Healey needed those four weeks to work with Pillory. Hea had nearly closed the gap and snatched the Preakness away, and he was entered in the Belmont as well. Not only had Hea shown a burst of speed in the final stretch at Pimlico, the horse had also gotten off to a bad start, having been bumped by Miss Joy in the jostle for position after the gun. But Hea was not Healey’s only worry. As the Belmont Stakes neared, another threat loomed: Snob II, a French-bred horse, appeared on the scene. On June 1, nine days before the Belmont Stakes, Snob II easily beat Pillory in the one-mile Withers Stakes, also held at Belmont Park in Queens, New York. And as if to emphasize his ability, Snob II, who never even seemed challenged in the race, came within 1/5 of a second of the record for that distance. Pillory’s prospects for the Belmont Stakes looked bleak.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


In fact, as the horses lined up at the starting gate, Snob II was by far the

Wilson was elated; Pillory had won two of the three most prestigious races

favorite to win. Hea was seen as the strongest challenger to Snob II, and

in the country and a place in racing history. But Wilson would never know if

Pillory entered with odds of 7-1. As the race began, Snob II took an early lead,

Pillory could have won the third, the Kentucky Derby, because in 1922, it was

and Pillory looked as if he were fulfilling the oddsmakers’ expectations. At the

impossible for Pillory to have done so. That year, for only the second time in

first turn, Snob II was three lengths ahead of his closest rival, and Pillory was

the history of the three events, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness were

in last place by two lengths. But Pillory was undaunted. As Snob II held off a

run on the same day.

challenge from Hea, Pillory worked up toward the front. By the final stretch, Pillory was breathing down Snob II’s neck and then shot past, racing across the finish two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Snob II, with Hea in third.

w h at ’ s i n a


PALMETTO BLUFF STREET NAMES OF LONGFIELD AND HAYFIELDS Have you ever wondered why gallivant is spelled “Gallavant” on the street in Hayfields? Or what “Sunfire” is? The names of the streets in Palmetto Bluff’s equestrian sections, Longfield and Hayfields, are links to Richard T. Wilson, Jr.’s ownership of Palmetto Bluff and his love of thoroughbred racing. The streets, with the exception of Healey Road (named for Wilson’s trainer), are named after the horses that were in Wilson’s stables. But then where is Pillory Road, you may ask? Some names, even if they were the names of champion horses, just wouldn’t make good names for streets! By definition, a pillory, a wooden frame with holes for someone’s head and arms, once stood in village squares as punishment for those who had committed petty crimes or social offenses. The verb “to pillory” means to expose to scorn or ridicule.


th e b l u f f

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Your Life, Your Style!


J. B A N K S D E S I G N

35 N. Main Street | Hilton Head Island, SC 29926 | jbanksdesign.com | 843.681.5122 69

th e b l u f f

Ballad Rich Cole: A Man, His Bench and a Tireless Pursuit of Excellence

Written by

photos by

Tim Wood

Jona Cole

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


There is a primeval passion buried in most children’s DNA. Forty-some years later, I still remember the first time I saw a gun fired during a sporting clays competition near my hometown in Maine and the reaction it engendered. Before it was politically incorrect, kids grew up playing cops-and-robbers and cowboys-and-Indians. Ralphie’s tireless pursuit of the Red Ryder in A Christmas Story is the core nostalgic hook that has made it a holiday classic. BB guns may have evolved into Nerf guns, an Xbox controller and a Call of Duty® game. But the emotion is the same: “I must feel that rush.” Rich Cole was one of those kids. But as so many of us discarded our toy weapons for the next obsession, Cole took those guns apart to see what was inside. “I was blessed in that I had a childhood dream. I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life the first time I picked up a gun,” said the owner of one of the most revered gunsmithing shops in the country. “I immediately felt this connection. As I took the guns apart and put them back together again, that fascination only grew. I was always taking things apart, and they rarely went back together at first. I kept at it; I learned; I was energized with every step forward I took. There was the mechanical part of it and the precision, but there was also the beauty behind the craftsmanship.” Now, grown-ups travel thousands of miles to visit Cole’s Naples, Florida, workshop to play in his sandbox and share in the fruits of that childhood fascination. His custom guns have become the weapons of choice for countless Olympians and marksmen. And his four-decade pursuit of the perfect blend of artistry and engineering has helped spawn a legacy. The Coles grew up outside of Washington, D.C. Rich’s father, an engineer and rocket scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, fostered his

still knew that they knew nothing. I fit that bill. They paid me $5 an hour, a $7 per-hour pay cut from my construction job. Hell, if they had given me a tent behind the building, I would have taken it. I had my truck, my dog and a shot to fulfill my passion. The plant’s technical manager, Birger Boggild, saw that fire thankfully. He marched me into the GM’s office and said I was their guy.” Cole spent the next six years learning the trade the Beretta way, at the bench with a file and a vernier. He worked an assembly line, then became the spare parts guy. But Boggild and head gunsmith Pete Valentine saw Cole’s potential. They sent him back and forth to Italy for shotgun training. “(During) my time in Gardone Val Trompia, my skills got better with every trip. I was in the center of where gunsmithing began,” Cole said. “North of Brescia, this area was extremely rich in iron ore. Five hundred years ago, the river provided the power to work the ore. All the makers of the Milanese armor, they all came from that region. The highest-quality gun makers like Ferlach, they all came from there. Every trip, it was hard training, but it was amazing hands-on learning, like studying with Michelangelo.” An American in Italy at a time without Rosetta Stone. The language barrier was tough, but he learned by watching. The Polis, a brother-and-brother team of gunsmiths, spoke English and helped him pick up the language, but more than anything, he absorbed the knowledge. As much as he loved Beretta, he knew he was destined to branch out on his own. “I didn’t want to go into sales, and I was destined to be in the repair shop working on specific guns. While that was fulfilling, I wanted more,” he said. So Cole headed to Maine, where he had family, and started to work his plan. “Leaving Beretta, I had contacts, but it wasn’t easy,” he said. “I got my federal license

rose through the ranks in the Boy Scouts in the early 1970s with his father as

and did a lot of contract work bluing shotguns.” Cole worked re-laying ribs and rust

troop leader, and Cole spent countless hours in his high school’s 50-foot rifle

bluing barrels on older guns. “I worked as a brick mason tender, an offshore fisherman

range, testing out his early creations.

on shrimp and lobster boats, and in a machine shop. I did my gunsmithing at night and slowly built a clientele, first in Harpswell and then the entire region.”

that engineering,” Cole said. “He was nervous though; [he] didn’t want me to

He continued to subcontract with Beretta, specializing in over/under shotguns

pursue gunsmithing. He saw the way the world was headed and the increased

like the 680 series, a gun he says has exquisite design and one that he still uses as

gun restrictions and … push for gun control at the time, and he didn’t want me

the backbone for so many of his custom guns.

caught up in the politics. He passed away in 1978, but he helped set the wheels in motion for a wonderful life.”

While Cole developed many of the contacts to be able to import and sell the finest collector-level guns in the U.S., he was always more interested in the

That began by instilling a tireless work ethic in his son. Cole worked from the

process of making them. The gun sales business has become so competitive, so

moment he was allowed, and when he wasn’t working on a construction job, he

dominated by cookie-cutter outfits like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, the mom-

was studying the history of gunsmithing. As a teen in 1979, he got word that

and-pops have slowly been squeezed out. Cole has stayed relevant by studying

legendary gunmaker Beretta was opening a plant in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.

and evolving his process, and thus making a more personal product that stands

“I got in my truck and drove down to the plant they were setting up. I slept in

th e b l u f f

precursor skill set to be useful and teachable. Someone who had knowledge but

son’s passion by crafting gun stocks in their home workshop together. Rich Cole

“He saw my love of the engineering and being able to apply an artistic bent to


people, and they were especially looking for an apprentice, someone with a

out in contrast to the generic, big-box offerings.

front of the locked gate, and I put my name on a list to see the human resources

“Who was making the stocks? Who supplied this amazing Turkish walnut?

folks,” Cole said. “It was wonderful timing. They were looking to hire a few

How have the Italians perfected bluing? What is their soldering process?

Cole works on one of

his custom gun designs. s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

Learning this and creating those relationships with these local Gardone masters was more important to me than any sale I could ever make,” Cole said. One of the relationships he values most is with the folks at Caesar Guerini and Perazzi. While Cole Gunsmithing is currently just one of five Beretta warranty service centers in the U.S., he and his family have become equally skilled at servicing the other Italian masterpieces. They have become the sole U.S. importer for Zoli and added another high-end maker, Kolar, to their inventory. As Cole’s reputation began to grow, so did his family. He passed on his love of gunsmithing to his two sons, Brandon and Larry, who were equally intrigued and fascinated with the workmanship behind the weapons. They learned at the bench in Cole’s shop, but also spent plenty of time on weekend hunts and Sundays in front of the TV watching the New England Patriots with their dad. “Both of them worked with me until it was time for them to go find their own way, but we have been extremely fortunate to come back together,” Cole said. That plan took shape in 2010 when he and his wife, Jona, took their first vacation in a long time, along the southwest coast of Florida. “Maine winters are harsh. We needed a better climate. We just fell in love with the region and decided it was time to expand the business,” Cole said. The couple bought a garage and workshop in Naples and began Cole-South, an operation that has since expanded to a 5,000-square-foot facility. The family spends nine months of the year in Naples and summers in Harpswell, where they maintain a thriving business thanks to long-time friends and staffers like gunsmiths Bob Guyton and Jim Bellegarde and store manager Kelly Field. As Cole’s Southern operation took shape, his sons came back into the fold. Dad focuses on the old-school mastery of his craft, still taking frequent trips to Italy to foster relationships and continue his never-ending apprenticeship. It’s part of what has led publications like Sporting Clays USA to call Cole Gunsmithing the “go-to shop” for custom shotguns and Beretta repairs. “A good writer pulls you in, and the story flows; you don’t have to look at every word; you feel the characters and the plot development, pick up the imagery. It’s the same with a great gun,” he said. “The actual process of gunsmithing hasn’t changed much through the centuries. It’s the attention to detail and precision that differentiates for the consumer. The personal relationships with the customer, their measurements and the way the gun feels on the shoulder and in their hands, that’s what matters.” Cole said he has seen many come and go in the business, expecting a quick payoff, but that’s just not his business model. “If you don’t make this your life’s purpose, you’re never going to have the tools to truly deliver for the customer,” he said. “Millennials are always looking for that quick payoff without the maximum effort, but that’s just not the deal here. So unfortunately we don’t have as much new blood coming into the gunsmithing business. We have what we need to be comfortable and to live a fulfilling life, but we are constantly reinvesting in the business.”

Intricate detailing and

artistry goes into each

of Cole's custom guns. s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Wood stands at the ready to be delicately carved and

fashioned into Cole's guns. 75

th e b l u f f

As much as Cole believes in learning at the bench, he has also tried to combine the personal touch with modern technology. “We invested $100,000 in digital scanning and sophisticated manufacturing equipment,” he said. It allows them to put his son Larry’s expertise in machinery and laser measuring systems (CNC) to practical use. “We used to bring clients down for a fitting, and then it would be a time-consuming process to have them back down to test out their custom [gun]. The human hand build-out is nowhere near as exact, as much as I will always advocate for handmade. Modern machine tool technology operated by pros far outplays the skill of the human hand and in far less time. These machines are working to precision measured in tenthousandths of an inch versus thousandths of an inch by hand. “Plus, we can modify an existing stock, make a custom model out of that stock that’s like a tailor-made suit. This equipment now lets us take that customer’s specifications and make a pattern stock so he or she will not need a measurement with each order. We can take an existing stock, scan it and render a perfect replica. It gives us more time to do the engraving and the personalization we thrive with,” Cole said. The result: the Coles are able to use an industrialized barreled action like a Zoli or Beretta and deliver the feel of a $50,000 bespoke English or Italian gun for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it can stay precise for 125,000 rounds, so you’re getting longer life for your investment. “It may take me a long time to see the return on the machinery investment; others might look at me and say I’m crazy,” he said. “But I know that I’m setting up my sons and my family for the long run, to be able to compete using modern technology with a personalized touch.” Cole celebrated his 60th birthday in 2016, and has no plans to slow down. “Listen, I feel that with my family by my side, we’re just hitting stride here,” he said. “I’m an introvert. I work very hard to be socially fluid because I have to be. We’re in the entertainment business. No one needs a sporting clays shotgun; it’s a disposable income product, so it comes down to inspiring that want and taking an interest in every client. Those who know me know I’m happiest when I’m hidden away in the back at the bench. I talk to the wood as I coax it, more out of frustration. It would make for something for ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ at times, but it’s what gets the job done and what makes it so much fun for me. “I try not to get ahead of myself. Sometimes I look around at what we’ve built, and I stare at the ceiling and ask, ‘What have you gotten yourself into?’ But I wouldn’t have this any other way,” he said. “My sons show all the signs of that work ethic and passion for the business, so maybe we’re building a legacy here. Time will tell. I can only control my time on earth, and as long as I have my family nearby and they allow me to throw on an apron and putter around in the back, I’ll be a happy man.”

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

Written by Sarah Grubbs | Photos courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

My love of ice cream is deep. Growing up, nothing was better than spending a day swimming in the salty waters of the York River in eastern Virginia from the moment we woke up. As lunchtime came, our parents would drag us out of the water for some much-needed fuel. To this day, lunch at the river is always followed by dessert, and, if we are lucky, it is Mom’s homemade ice cream. You see, for me, ice cream brings back memories. Memories of sitting around the porch on hot summer days with my whole family by the river. Each time I enjoy a bowl (or a pint) of ice cream, I long to be back with everyone, laughing and swapping stories. I recently met Jeni Britton Bauer, whose goal is just that: to bring people together, share memories and make “really great ice cream.”

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Jeni’s journey began at Ohio State University where she studied art and worked at a local bakery. After college, Jeni thought to herself, ‘What would American pastries be if they were made to French standards?’ Jeni also had a love of scents. She spent her free time blending beautiful perfumes and collecting essential oils. Combining her love of baking with high standards and her love of beautiful aromas, Jeni set out on her next adventure. In 2002, Jeni founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

The Science I telephoned Jeni to discover more. I asked what her goal is as she develops her ice creams, and she said, “To make the best ice cream the world has ever known.” Jeni explained that the three main types of flavor are sweet, bitter and salty, but there are endless scents – cue Jeni’s love of perfumes and essential oils. “American ice cream

look too far, though. Fewer than 200 miles from her kitchen, Jeni found Smith’s, a 110-year-old dairy in Orrville, Ohio. Smith’s works with small family farms to source milk and raw cream from grass-grazed cattle – this was a strong start for Jeni’s ice cream. And it doesn’t stop there. Lulu Sturdy’s fair-trade

takes longer to eat than others. This gives you

and organic-certified farm in Africa provides

more time to enjoy the scent.”

the vanilla. Jeni’s claims it’s the “finest vanilla on earth,” and that it “exudes a heady scent with

The Taste Test

With her goal in mind, Jeni set out to make

With my passion for ice cream, I could not miss an

the world’s best ice cream, combining quality

opportunity for a taste test. I headed to RT’s Market

ingredients, culinary creativity and intoxicating

with one goal in mind: to get some ice cream. As

aromas. But making American ice cream with high

I searched the freezer, I saw Jeni’s Splendid Ice

standards takes research, practice and finding the

Creams. With a handwritten design on the white

right resources. Jeni is proud of herself, her team

Drive just an hour south of Jeni’s kitchen, and you

paper containers, it just had that homemade feel. I

and the way they have come together. “When

will run into Hirsch Fruit Farm. This family farm

grabbed three pints – Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream,

people work together, we become better,” Jeni said.

has been growing fresh produce for more than

Watermelon Frozen Yogurt and Riesling Poached

That’s why Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams follows

125 years. Dive into a pint of Roasted Strawberry

Pear Sorbet – and I headed back to the office.

what they call The Fellowship Model.

Buttermilk, Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry or

“Anna, ice cream party in Courtney’s office. Now.”

According to Jeni, The Fellowship Model is based

notes of jasmine and vanilla.” This vanilla favorite is used to create Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean, which Jeni’s describes as “a voluptuous vanilla ice cream like no other.”

Roasted Pumpkin 5-spice Ice Cream, and you’ll taste some of the finest produce Jeni could find.

As the three of us dug in, we talked about our day.

good food world with tools from the 21st century.”

We laughed, discussed deadlines and laughed

This means using the best ingredients, knowing

The Creativity

some more. And then the ice cream hit.

the suppliers and buying products directly from

From her team, to her suppliers, to her customers,

the source whenever possible. “It requires more

Jeni credits 21 years of success to her community.

work, but it is worth it,” Jeni said.

“You grow a great company as a community of

“This is the best chocolate ice cream ever.” “This smells just like watermelon.” “This texture is like you are eating a pear.”

th e b l u f f

creating the best ice cream. Jeni didn’t have to

is harder, [and] slowly melts on your tongue and

on one simple rule: “Combining values from the


sourcing the best of the best was essential in

people,” she said. With a keen attention to detail, As one can imagine, dairy is the foundation of everything Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams does, and

Jeni brought her ice cream to the top of the market

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


with the help of every hand along the way, but it

And, of course, to make the best recipes, one must

environment for ice cream in order to help

wasn’t without the requisite good ol’ hard work.

use the best resources. Jeni’s team goes to work

connect people and create memories. All of this

finding the best of the best for each recipe. Giving

begins with the creative, yet simple, flavors that

time for the ingredients to meld to perfection, the

go into each season’s collection.

It all begins in Jeni’s office. As I spoke with Jeni in December, she was drumming up new holiday flavors for the next winter. Putting pen to paper and thinking outside of the box while staying true to simplicity, Jeni brainstorms each and every flavor before passing her ideas to the test kitchen, where recipes are developed to bring the creative flavors to life.


th e b l u f f

process of developing a new ice cream takes a year from start to finish.

The Art “Service is an art,” Jeni said. “Those are true words,” I responded.

When you enter one of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams stores, you will see scoops of different colors, and you will smell scents from across the globe. And most importantly, you’ll see people making memories. Whether it’s a first date, friends catching up, children getting their lick of a summer treat or

From the people they work with to the stores they

even a couple getting married, Jeni’s brings people

open, Jeni’s team aims to provide the best

together, the way ice cream should.

Montage Palmetto Bluff

Montage Palmetto Bluff

Montage Palmetto Bluff Montage Palmetto Bluff

www.pscottarch.com // 843.837.5700 // Bluffton, South Carolina s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



th e b l u f f

Painting the Southern Coast Writen by Anna Jones | Artwork by West Fraser

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Renowned artist and painter West Fraser has deep ties to the Lowcountry. Not only was he born and raised in the area, his father Joseph Fraser and uncle Charles Fraser are revered as two of the founding fathers of Hilton Head Island, and West has watched his beloved home grow up right before his very eyes. Specializing in plein air painting, in which the artist paints outdoors, capturing natural light and landscapes in the natural element, West’s work is lauded for its hauntingly beautiful depictions of sunlight and accurate portrayal of movement in the natural world. West recently published his second book, Painting the Southern Coast, a collection of his works of art chronicling the changes in and development of the Lowcountry. “Though subtle, there are messages and seeds for thought that will hopefully prompt investigation of the extremely important coastal zone featured in the book,” West said. “I think the journey the viewer can take in the book, with maps and anecdotes on ecology, history and culture, might lead to a ‘journey of discovery’ of this region, learning the importance of this place for the global health of the oceans and our region.” The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, is exhibiting an exclusive selection of Fraser’s paintings now through the end of April. The collection shares the same title as his book: Painting the Southern Coast. We recently caught up with the artist to learn more about his new book and the vision for his art, both in the publication and in real life.


th e b l u f f

B&M Bait & Tackle s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


1. What inspired you most to create this book? This book, Painting the Southern Coast, is my second with the University of South Carolina Press. The first book, Charleston In My Time, in 2001, focused on the Charleston area only. I wanted to share the work I have created in the southeastern coastal region as a whole – the place of my heritage – and make a book that reflected a complete picture of me as an artist and show that an artist’s role can be more than art. In 2012 I was honored with a solo exhibition at the Telfair Academy Museum in Savannah, Georgia. The 60 paintings

what motivates me as an artist. The book is actually a platform to subtly communicate a message and homage to the region of my birthright and the place where I have found some of my strongest inspiration. It is a journey in painted images through one of the world’s most dynamic ecologies which is rapidly being threatened by poisonous chemicals of everyday life, chemicals that are unseen yet transformative to the water systems of this beautiful place of global oceanic importance.

2. What emotions do you want to

exhibited represented four distinct aspects of my work:

evoke when people look at this

cityscapes, travel, friends and family, and the landscape.

collection of paintings?

The exhibition showed the diverse scope of my work, and from that, I decided to create a book that expanded on what might be assumed to be my only genre or purpose. A cornerstone of my new book is the geographical context of a historical drama occurring in the region during the age of discovery; the history of the earliest European contact in the United States, that of French and Spanish conquest and dominance. The geography set the scope and jumping off point, and I used some of my paintings from my earliest career to 2014 for the imagery. You may get the idea that my new book is an art

Golden Rail

book, but I have no lessons included, only insights into

I think my paintings will evoke a sense of familiarity, discovery of place, and sometimes a sentimental feeling of times gone by. Perhaps also a feeling of appreciation for this place and the role this unique environment plays on a global scale, or the reality of a culture of seafood harvest that can be sustainable if it is nurtured and protected. I want the reader to find new insights into a world that may be new to them or familiar to them and take away an awareness meriting appreciation, concern and activism.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


3. Tell us about the process of picking this collection of paintings to create the book. How did you pick one over the other? The context determined the choice of paintings, but culling through the hundreds of paintings became a chore and was disappointing at times because of the many favored paintings that ended up on the chopping block due to manuscript requirements. The book starts from the northern portion of the [Lowcountry] geography and goes south. It is organized into seven sections of color plates that were in certain map sections of the coast of the Georgia Bight. To achieve a continuity of theme, the pairing of paintings on each spread often determined the choice I made.

4. Besides your signature landscapes, what other subjects do you love to paint? In this book you will find nocturnes, street scenes, paintings from Europe and Maine for instance, as well as a painting of my wife Helena, reading in bed. I enjoy painting unscripted or posed paintings, preferring to capture a natural subject in time and place. I like to travel and find new inspiration, and sometimes I paint the odd still life pieces.

5. Tell me one thing about yourself that would surprise your fans. Painting is rewarding spiritually and psychically. I get into a meditative groove that allows my intuitive instincts to flow, while solutions to painting and life’s problems are being processed subconsciously. My art has never been about “me” as an individual. I believe that at some point, the artist’s role can be bigger than imagery. It may be surprising that after 35 years of painting all the time, I prefer to read, to become informed and study subjects of interest. This, I believe, is one of life’s great luxuries, though I will never stop painting! I really don’t like to discuss my art when I am socializing. I prefer to discuss travel experiences, environmental issues, new technology, politics, history, inspired development design, gardening and the dynamics of living in a changing global economy.


th e b l u f f

Easy Lady


The Yellow Door th e b l u f f

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


“Are you Sarah?” “Yes. Jevon?” He doesn’t answer. He just points inside.

“Yeah, my Dad,” Jevon answers with admiration

seriously, viewing each gig as a workshop – a

in his eyes, and then he adjusts his red Coca-Cola

chance to test a new song, a chance to make a

trucker hat.

change, and a chance to work out their musically gifted minds.

We walk into Corner Perk in Old Town Bluffton, and as we approach the counter, I notice his reusable coffee cup has an old sticker still on it that says, “Be excited, like Jevon,” confirming that I am indeed talking to the right person. He rapid-fires questions. “Where are you from?” “North Carolina, but I live in Sa-” and before I could finish my sentence he jumps in again. “Where did you go to school?”

“We play a lot of songs we wrote.” A wave of music has hit local folks with the bluegrass style, but with a modern twist. Using humor and Southern drawls, Lowcountry Boil creates songs that keep the crowd moving, entertained and coming back for more. With three roots – harmony, the people and the crowd – Lowcountry Boil stays true to the band’s identity to keep the fans happy. There is a tongue-in-cheek humor in much of their writing, as one could

I rush the letters of my alma mater out faster than

imagine from a band that wrote a song titled

a Southerner is ever supposed to speak.

“Heinie in the Moonlight.”

“Have you ever heard us play before?”

“There’s a template for what we do. You know, like

“Yes, yes I have.”

marketing for a company. The company wants you

Walk into a Lowcountry Boil show and you’ll find gentlemen of multiple generations, playing

to use certain images, colors. What’s the word?” Jevon asks.

then, Bluffton had a population of 973 people. Andy Pitts joined the band in 1999, and Gary Pratt followed suit in 2008. With Mike on the banjo, Jevon on the fiddle, Andy strumming his guitar and Gary bringing power on the bass, Lowcountry Boil isn’t the only thing they’ve been up to. Being in just one band isn’t enough for these talents. Andy began at age 14 with First Daly Planet, another local band. Then there is Silicone Sister, their sister band, that may be like that older sibling who

“A brand,” I reply.

You’ll notice a guitar and a bass. Someone singing

“That’s it. It’s our brand.”

who you can’t help but love. And

Hop onto the Lowcountry Boil’s Facebook page,

that’s when they started talking about

and you will find pictures from crowds at their

Lowcountry Boil again. “She’s like our

shows, tracks to their latest albums and their most

baby,” Gary said. For more than

recent endeavor, “Slowcountry Tunes,” a stream of

20 years, they poured themselves into her –

short clip videos. The band’s original music fills

created her, rooted her and helped her grow.

the page with songs like “Best I’ve Ever Been” and

Today, Lowcountry Boil has quite the following.

“Don’t Spill My Beer.” Don’t miss the photos of

You can find them playing at anniversary parties,

local concerts from their fans grinning ear-to-ear.

at Hudson’s in the summer, at an oyster roast

fiddle and a banjo. I remember the first time I heard Lowcountry Boil playing at Palmetto Bluff. As I walked up the staircase of the River House, there were the distinct sounds of a fiddle and banjo. The band’s intentional efforts to create the perfect three-tone harmonies were evident, producing the toe-tapping music that is bluegrass. And I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this is going to

As I sit down with band members Gary Pratt and Jevon Daly to chat about all things Lowcountry Boil, they take a swan dive into it. A switch occurs from rapid-fire questions to rapid-fire facts. They speak with such passion for the band that was started in 1997 ‘as a spoof.’ Nearly 20 years ago it was still all about the harmonies, guitar, fiddle ‘and Dad.’ “Dad?” I ask.

always caused a little trouble, but

in the winter and, of course, at Palmetto Bluff.

be good.’

Over the past decade some things have changed: “Mike is the patriarch,” Gary says. That must be

Bluffton transformed from a sleepy little Southern

‘Dad,’ I think to myself.

town of 973 people to a sleepy Southern town of

Mike leads the way with the band that his son loves so much. They didn’t grow up listening to bluegrass music, they listened to “hippy and hipster” music, as Jevon describes it, but the instruments and childhood music combined to create the unique sound that Lowcountry Boil is today. And while they don’t want people to take them too seriously, they take their band very

th e b l u f f

from its humble beginnings back in 1997. Back

a variety of music, each with his own instrument.

on a microphone. Then the icing on the cake, a


Mike and Jevon Daly were with Lowcountry Boil

12,530 people. But many things have remained the same. Bluffton is still the little Southern town that brings people home. Lowcountry Boil is still the band that passionately sings “Heinie in the Moonlight” and “I Love You Maria Sharapova.” Some things will never change.

Mike Daly performs in Moreland Village.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7



Stewardship Written by Jay Walea | Photos by Allen Kennedy


th e b l u f f

With the opening of Moreland Village and the Conservancy’s move to its new offices and outdoor lecture classrooms, these are exciting times here on the Bluff. The commitment of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy to this land is as strong as it’s ever been. We take our responsibility to this property and all who inhabit it very seriously, and we make it our life’s work to be good environmental stewards of the Bluff to ensure it is preserved for years to come.

With this in mind, you can imagine my thrill when Crescent Communities

The wildlife in these habitats is plentiful, to say the least. Raccoons and

decided to donate 90 acres of land to the managed forest of Palmetto Bluff.

opossums can be found foraging in and out of all of the habitats within

The managed forest is made up of several different natural habitats, some of which are environmentally sensitive and species-rich. The transitions leading into the lower areas of the land are a mix of maritime forest and upland pine hardwood habitat types. The maritime forest edge is made up of predominantly live oak over-story with a mix of southern magnolias, several different red oak tree species, and the fragrant eastern red cedar. The understory is a mix of wax myrtle and yaupon holly trees, both of which provide a fresh punch of greenery throughout the seasons. The upland pine mixed hardwood areas on the perimeter of the managed forest consist of old loblolly pines with a slash pine in the lower reaches of the transitional zones. Southern red oaks, laurel oaks and water oaks are

the managed forest. The white-tailed deer is a permanent resident of this environment, making a cozy home in all of the natural habitat types on the land. The eastern wild turkey frequents the transitional edges of the forest, scratching and foraging for protein such as grasshoppers and beetles. Many different species of birds can be found throughout: from our visiting neotropical migratory songbirds to an array of wading birds like the white ibis and great blue heron. Mink is also a resident along the marsh edges of the managed forest. Not only is there amazing beauty within this piece of land, there is also historic significance as well. Remnants of old rice fields can be found within the forest as well as intact dike systems that bordered these rice fields.

intermingled with these pine species. Within the true wetland bottom you can

One day very soon boardwalks will cross the River Road Preserve, providing the

find beautiful red maples, black gums, sweet gums and several red oak species

Conservancy with an outdoor classroom unlike any other. Lectures exploring

of water oak and laurel oak. Blue stem palmetto trees dot this landscape and

the flora and fauna of this remarkable landscape as well as historic features will

become the predominant over-story tree in the old abandoned rice fields

be weekly events. The dedication of this beautiful land is just another step in

within this area. These storied rice fields look prehistoric with the abundance

Palmetto Bluff’s commitment to be good stewards of the land and to preserve

of large palms intertwined with live oaks and ancient muscadine grape vines

precious habitats and green space for our current and future inhabitants.

throughout the forest’s canopy.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


RIVER ROAD PRESERVE To walk the trails in the River Road Preserve is to take a step

be heard on any night in the Preserve, and these owls live in all

back in time. The maritime forest edge, with its draping live oaks,

the other habitats of the Bluff as well.

majestic southern red oaks, water oaks and loblolly pines, hosts many of Palmetto Bluff’s animal species. The white-tailed deer feed alongside furbearers such as the raccoon and opossum that frequent the edge. The wax myrtle and cedar mid-story make an excellent nesting habitat for the painted bunting. The southern magnolia is found throughout this habitat, scenting the forest with an amazing perfume from its massive white blossoms.

Fresh water is the reason that this area is so species-rich, and most animal species visit this area daily, but some animals do make it their permanent home. Salamanders and amphiumas (aquatic salamanders) frequent the fishless wetlands, and the wood duck lays her eggs in the cavities of the oaks that are found in this habitat. She will then raise her young in these shallow water areas

Preserve have an over-story of predominantly loblolly pine trees

until they can fend for themselves.

found here are southern red oak, water oak, white oak and live oak. This habitat is great for viewing the eastern wild turkey foraging for protein on the forest floor. This more open woodland area has a host of raptors that also call it home, too. At night, the great horned owl and barred owl make their presence known to other owls by their calls between pairs as they hunt silently through the landscape. The haunting call of the screech owl can

th e b l u f f

Preserve are home to the most concentrated number of species.

The upland pine hardwood stands found in the River Road with slash pine trees in the lower transitions. The oak species


Among all of the habitats, the evergreen wetlands within the

The over-story trees that make up this habitat are slash pine, sweetgum and sweet bay magnolia, red maple, loblolly bay and an occasional live oak. The mid-story consists of sparkleberry, wax myrtle, red bay and swamp bay trees. The under-story is made up of river cane, blueberry bushes and saw palmetto trees. Any of the animal species can be seen in the Preserve on quiet walks all throughout the day. Pay close attention, and River Road Preserve will come alive.

SANDHILL LOOP TRAIL The Sandhill Loop Trail is located off the longer walking trail on

grow as large as other red oak species and is found only on

Old Palmetto Bluff Road between the eastern gate of the May

the highest sandy sites.

River Forest neighborhood in Palmetto Bluff and the fifth hole on the May River Golf Course. This trail is unique because of the habitat it protects: a true sandhill habitat. Found on the top of an ancient dune system from the prehistoric era when the ocean receded from Palmetto Bluff, this amazing natural environment can only be found in one other area on the property.

The mid-story of this unique habitat consists of a plant species that is threatened throughout its range here in South Carolina. Rusty lyonia grows in abundance within this habitat type and can actually be found in other areas on Palmetto Bluff too. Thanks to our land management techniques, this species, although threatened in much of the state, grows in

Within this habitat the over-story trees consist of sand live

abundance here. Along with this species you can also find the

oak, post oak and turkey oak. The sand live oak, a miniature of

highbush blueberry and saw palmetto trees, as well as yaupon

the majestic live oak, is a true live oak, but will not grow larger

holly and sparkleberry trees throughout this trail system. The

than its current height, never reaching the size of the live oaks

aromatic sassafras tree and witch hazel, both with healing

found elsewhere on the property. The post oak is in the white

powers, can be found in this environment.

oak family and is only found on the highest sand hills. Its shaggy bark resembles the white oak (quercus alba), but the leaf is completely different. The turkey oak is in the red oak family, and although the leaves look similar to the southern red oak, they are two different species. The turkey oak doesn’t

Many animal species call this preserved area home, such as the white-tailed deer and the eastern wild turkey along with many species of songbirds. Bobcats and the grey fox can be found here chasing after their prey. To see this wildlife in action, it is best to hit this trail at daylight or right at dark.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


HEADWATERS TRAIL The Headwaters trail system is located at the west entry to the

Mature pine mixed hardwood upland is another habitat type

Headwaters neighborhood in Palmetto Bluff, meandering by the

found along the trail. The predominant over-story consists of

banks of Lake Haynes and eventually ending under an osprey

loblolly and slash pines with an under-story of wax myrtle and

nest. The nest is larger than normal for ospreys and is in the top

saw palmetto trees, and an overabundance of highbush blueberry

of an ancient longleaf pine.

and dwarf shiny blueberry bushes. The mid-story in this habitat

If visitors hike or even bike this trail during the early morning hours, they will see a bounty of wildlife, from neotropical migratory songbirds in the spring to the eastern wild turkey and white-tailed deer in the fall. Many raccoons and opossums call this trail system home, and Lake Haynes is teeming with largemouth bass and bluegill that can be fished only from the trail bank.

and species-rich. The over-story tree species within these wetland areas consist of southern magnolia on the transitions with loblolly bay and red maple in the lowest regions. The under-story consists of river cane and fetterbush, which forms impenetrable thickets that most animals utilize for escape cover. Under-story species found in this habitat are Virginia sweetspire, dog hobble and gallberry, along with an array of fern species, making these

Headwaters Trail, such as the longleaf pine habitat, which is close to

areas resemble a scene from a prehistoric era.

habitat type, spanning just a bit under an acre. Within this habitat one will find an over-story of longleaf pine trees with a mixture of gallberry and wax myrtle trees as the predominant under-story species. Highbush blueberries can be found in this habitat and can make for a great snack during the early summer months.

th e b l u f f

evergreen wetlands found within this trail system are beautiful

There are several different natural habitat types found along the the osprey nest on the eastern side of the trail. This is a very small


type is predominantly sparkleberry and sweetleaf trees. The

This trail system has placards that teach hikers about the flora along the way. One can learn not only the biology of any given species, but also fun facts such as what the species is used for and if it is edible. This is a great place to spend an hour or two walking with the family or alone to collect one’s thoughts and get back to the nature that is Palmetto Bluff.

COurteSy Of MOntage PalMettO Bluff

PO Box 1928 | Bluffton, SC 29910 | (843) 247-5452 | csthomasconstruction.com

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7





27-APRIL 2




Joe and MariElena Raya of Bittermilk, a line of handcrafted cocktail mixers, will host a series of cocktailing events at the Artist Cottage.

Come to the Conservancy and enjoy a lecture by the Bluff’s very own Lindsey Thomas about the longleaf pine ecosystem and how its importance to the young United States was the key to its near destruction. The history of this species is fascinating, and you’ll also learn the role fire plays in its lifecycle and what is being done to replenish the longleaf pine to the Southern United States. No RSVP required.


7 FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE SERIES: COFFEE Our very own Paul Fisher shares his knowledge on the history, cultivation and preparation of coffee at the Conservancy from 6 to 7 p.m. Paul spent most of his career as a coffee buyer for several large companies, and he knows the secrets to brewing a delicious cup. No RSVP required.

8 TASTE OF BLUFFTON The 6th annual Taste of Bluffton food festival offers delicious food and drinks from some of the best local restaurants in town.

Come and taste the delicious food of Beaufort at the 18th annual Taste of Beaufort event. Located in the historic district of Beaufort, bring your friends and sample delicious Southern food from local restaurants.




24-30 CHRIS HASTINGS RESIDENCE AT THE ARTIST COTTAGE Owner and Executive Chef of Hot and Hot Fish Club, Chris Hastings, will explore his side-gig of making woodcock feather lapel and hat pins during his residence at the Artist Cottage.

29-30 THE ART MARKET AT HISTORIC HONEY HORN Coastal Discovery Museum’s 17th annual Juried Fine Art & Craft Show returns for another year to showcase the talented artists of the Lowcountry.

th e b l u f f


A favorite among locals, this annual outdoor festival (in its 39th year!) in Old Town Bluffton features art, music, food, and the famous Ugly Dog and pie-eating contests.

Bring your lunch and meet Jay Walea at the Conservancy from 12 to 1 p.m. for a fun-filled talk on his experiences in the turkey woods. Learn the biology of this amazing creature and the tales that go along with the pursuit of this game species. No RSVP required.



MADAME MAGAR RESIDENCE AT THE ARTIST COTTAGE Leigh Magar, creator of small-batch label Madame Magar, will host a series of events during her Artist in Residence in Moreland Village.

16 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Grab a lawn chair and your favorite mid-week date to enjoy a concert at the Crossroads in Moreland Village. Proceeds benefit Family Promise of Beaufort County, a local Bluffton charity.

17 BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: HURRICANES With hurricane season just around the corner, Bluff resident Carole Longmeyer is here to share what she has learned while researching her new book, . No RSVP required.

27-28 HILTON HEAD ISLAND ART FESTIVAL WITH CRAFT MARKETPLACE The 9th annual Hilton Head Island Art Festival with Craft Marketplace hosts more than 150 artists from around the U.S., showcasing paintings, jewelry, sculpture, photography, pottery and much more.


2 FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE SERIES: WOODS TO TABLE At the Conservancy from 6 to 7 p.m., chef Brandon Carter from Bluffton’s restaurant FARM explains how woods-to-table (and farm-to-table) is changing the way restaurants work. No RSVP required.











Bring the entire family – and your camp chairs – to the lawn at RT’s Market to hear Tony Mills, Spring Island naturalist, and the Conservancy’s director, Jay Walea, discuss the native snakes of Palmetto Bluff. And of course, there will be live snakes! No RSVP required.

When we think of marsh, gooey “pluff” mud comes to mind. Hard marsh is different, and as its name indicates, it is hard (hard enough to walk on without sinking). We’ll discuss this unique ecosystem as we walk to the hammocks, which are small islands in the marsh with their own flora and fauna that are considered little gems in an otherwise harsh environment. Closed-toed shoes and long pants required. RSVP to info@ pbconservancy.org.

Creativity and competitive spirit reign supreme in this annual Bluff event. Decorate your golf cart and take it for a spin in Wilson Village to show your patriotic spirit.

7 FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE SERIES: FISH ACOUSTICS Join Dr. Eric Montie from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Conservancy for a fascinating lecture on fish acoustics. We’ll discuss and learn how fish communicate with each other and the effects pollutants are having on these species. No RSVP required.

10-16 MARTHA MCMILLAN RESIDENCE AT THE ARTIST COTTAGE Martha McMillan will teach the art of preserving and canning food during her Artist in Residence.


R.J. Murray of Three Brothers Boards, a handmade wooden paddleboard company, will take up residence in the Artist Cottage and host educational programming around his craftsmanship.




SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Enjoy a mid-summer concert on the Village Green in Wilson Village.

14 BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: FROM WOLF TO DOG Join us at the Conservancy from 12 to 1 p.m. as we take an in-depth look into the life of our favorite pet, the dog. Learn the history of how this once-wild creature was tamed over centuries. No RSVP required.

20 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Enjoy a mid-summer concert at the Crossroads in Moreland Village.

Enjoy a mid-summer concert on the Village Green in Wilson Village.

14 Come out with the Conservancy team for a hike along the Sandhill Loop Trail from 9 to 11:30 a.m. This hike follows the ridge of an ancient sand dune through a beautiful longleaf pine ecosystem. We’ll also look for rusty lyonia, a rare plant considered critically imperiled in South Carolina that thrives along this winding trail.

21 EXPLORE PBC: HEADWATERS TRAIL From nesting ospreys to sparkleberry, the Headwaters Trail provides a chance to see a variety of animals and plants in a spectacular setting. Bring your binoculars to spot some early migrants. Closed-toed shoes and long pants required. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

25 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Enjoy a mid-summer concert at the Crossroads in Moreland Village.

6-13 SOUTHERN CRAFT CREAMERY RESIDENCE AT THE ARTIST COTTAGE Bring your sweet tooth to the Artist Cottage as Lauren O’Bryan, owner and maker of Southern Craft Creamery, creates a deliciously sweet and creamy series of events during her stay.



Tim Gardner of Cedar Mountain Banjos will join the Artist in Residence program to share his passion for creating handmade banjos.

Enjoy a mid-summer concert on the Village Green at Wilson Village.



16 BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: BAT RESEARCH Bring a lunch to the Conservancy and listen to biologist Jason Robinson update us on the northern yellow bat research. We’ve caught and tracked northern yellow bats, and you might be surprised to find out where they like to spend their days. No RSVP required.

18 EXPLORE PBC: ARTIFACT HUNT Our archaeologist, Dr. Mary Socci, will be taking us out to look for artifacts in one of the old fields of Palmetto Bluff. Mary will try to identify everything we discover, and she will use the artifacts to help tell the story of Palmetto Bluff. (No, we can’t keep what we find, but it will be fun anyway!) Closed-toed shoes and long pants required. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: STREET NAMES OF PALMETTO BLUFF Ever wonder about our street names? Like, what is the “Blue Willow” or where is the fishing on “Trout Hole?” Dr. Mary Socci and Jay Walea are here to explain the street names for this month’s Conservancy Brown Bag Lunch. No RSVP required.

22 EXPLORE PBC: RIVER ROAD PRESERVE Join the Conservancy’s team of wildlife experts for a hike along one of the Bluff’s prettiest trails. We’ll see the habitats of the maritime forest, and we’ll discuss the flora and fauna of these ecosystems. Closed-toed shoes and long pants required. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

25 EXPLORE PBC: VILLAGE CEMETERY WALK Join Bluff archaeologist Dr. Mary Socci and the rest of the Conservancy team for a walk to some of the Bluff’s historic cemeteries. Closed-toed shoes and long pants required. RSVP to info@ pbconservancy.org.

s p r i n g / s u mm er 2 0 1 7


Profile for Palmetto Bluff

The Bluff magazine Spring/Summer 2017  

The Bluff magazine Spring/Summer 2017