Page 1

FALL 2016

LOWCOUNTRY

Historical Cemeteries ’n Graveyards Santa Elena Part IV An Original Bluffton Family: 1927-2016 Our Homes and Community Deserve the Best! FALL 2016

PREMIER

®


PREMIER

FALL 2016


Residential Replacement Windows and Entry Door Systems

Vinyl Windows | Wood Windows Composite Windows Front Doors | Sliding Glass Doors | French Doors All available in Hurricane Impact

FREE ESTIMATES

n

MILITARY DISCOUNTS

n

SENIOR DISCOUNTS

843-689-2140 Hilton Head/Savannah 843-830-8419 Charleston www.hhiwindows.com FALL 2016

PREMIER


contents

18 38

12 features 12 PEOPLE

26 EXTRA

38 CHARITY

The Chisolm-Taylor-AustinWiggins-Hunter-CravensCantrell Family of Bluffton, South Carolina

Cemeteries ’n Graveyards

The King of Sports and the Sport of Kings ... Polo at Rose Hill

32 EVENT Walk To End Alzheimer’s

44 ARCHITECTURE 18 LOCATION A Largely Untold History of the Lowcountry SERIES Part 4

4

PREMIER

FALL 2016

Budget for Architecture


contents

26 48 46 departments 4,5

TABLE OF CONTENTS

8

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

22 LANDSCAPE

48

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

50

REAL ESTATE IN THE LOWCOUNTRY

24 HEALTH 46 WINE 10 CONTRIBUTORS

on our cover A view of the May River from the Harrison property, downtown Bluffton Photo courtesy of the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society

FALL 2016

PREMIER

5


FALL 2016

PUBLISHER Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC Mylene Owens

EDITOR Tamela Maxim

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jeff Gerber Annelore Harrell Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey

To receive monthly e-news go online to www.premierlowcountry.com and add your email address. And, if you are not currently receiving Premier Lowcountry magazine at your home, please provide your name and address and we’ll make sure you are added to the mailing list.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey Mylene Owens

SALES Mylene Owens

GRAPHIC DESIGN Barbara Bricker of Small Miracles

Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC P.O. Box 3480 Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 Phone: (843) 645-BEST (2378) www.premierlowcountry.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC is not responsible for any statements, services and products made by advertisers.

Printed by Martin Printing, USA 6

PREMIER

FALL 2016


FALL 2016

PREMIER


publisher’s note MYLENE OWENS

Welcome to our Fall issue of Premier. With each publication, as our readers turn the pages, we aim to inform, entertain and share opinions, but most of all, we hope to touch hearts. In previous issues, I have written about the importance of family and the value of finding your passion, but as we take you through the holiday season, I’d like to focus on the importance of experiencing JOY. Our Fall issue runs through December and includes holidays intended to be full of joy: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years’ Eve. But, please don’t confuse happiness with joy. Happiness depends on what happens. Joy is possible even when everything isn’t perfect. Not everyone feels happy during the holidays and I get that. That’s why it’s so important to remember to reach out to those who might need some extra love and encouragement. Make a little extra room at the table for those who won’t be invited to any family celebrations. Sometimes I think we need a reminder that true joy is something that can be experienced regardless of our circumstances. I wonder, where do you find your JOY? I personally find mine mostly through my family and believe it or not, through work. Reflecting on Halloweens of the past, I think of all those evenings when the children of our community “became” their favorite characters or used their imagination to dress up as someone they would like to be. I love experiencing the contagious excitement and seeing joyful expressions on children’s faces, well aware of hidden smiles behind masks, as we are greeted at our doorstep with shouts of “Trick or Treat!” Maybe children aren’t 8

PREMIER

FALL 2016

as innocent as they used to be, but I still like this door-to-door neighborhood silliness and think it’s amusing how the older kids still try to get away, as long as they can, with dressing up for candy. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days for reflection and en-JOY-ing time with family and friends. My joy flows out of appreciating all that God has brought into my life, especially

the family that I love dearly. Not all of what I call family are blood relatives. Sometimes we get to choose our relatives. I still get emotional knowing that my husband, Ron, not only chose me for his wife and life partner, but he also chose to legally adopt my daughter Caitlyn out of love for her. And, I have a “sister,” Lara Howard, who has been my best friend since we met in 6th grade and decided to be siblings. Caitlyn has her middle name (Elizabeth), and my sister’s daughter, Kayla has my middle name (Renee) – our way of connecting the branches of our own personally created family tree. Knowing that I have the love of my family, blood or not, always brings me great JOY! Christmas --- well there is so much to be said about Christmas. I was raised with the understanding that the most significant part

of that word is Christ. It seems as though many believers have lost the Christ in Christmas by placing too much emphasis on the commercialization of the holiday. Sad. I remember our family tradition of having just three gifts under our tree each year. One for each gift that baby Jesus was given on the day of his birth. For those of you who celebrate the birth of Christ, I hope that you are able to en-JOY the wonder of God’s amazing gift to the world. I remember that my heart melted with JOY when my daughter was seven and I asked her what December 25th was and she said “Jesus’s Birthday.” I knew then that I must be doing something right. I know this is not a Christian or even a religious magazine, and I don’t push my beliefs on anyone, but as publisher, I do share thoughts and opinions. Hope that you en-JOY my very non-PC transparency! Moving on to the last holiday of the season - New Year’s Eve. Did you know that New Year’s Eve was created by the Romans and was originally celebrated during the month of March? In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new solar based calendar improving the original 10-month one. In the Middle Ages, medieval Europe abolished the celebration because they felt it was too pagan only to bring it back in 1582 via the Gregorian calendar, which was adopted first by Catholics worldwide and then later by Protestants and the British. It’s a time of dropping the old and moving on to the new – another thing to be JOY-ful about! Happy Holidays from my house to yours and may all your days be filled with JOY!


FALL 2016

PREMIER

9


contributors

JEFF GERBER

ANNELORE HARRELL

GLEN McCASKEY

Nicknamed the “Wine

Born and raised in Savannah,

Glen McCaskey has been

Tamela Maxim is the

Bubba,” while at the Aqua

Georgia, Annelore Harrell,

deeply involved in the

author and illustrator

Grille & Lounge, Jeff Gerber

nee Stelljes, spent summers

evolution of Hilton Head

of Nellie Jelly and the

is the Director of the Hilton

at her parents’ cottage on

since he and wife Ginny

Jelly Well, a book for

Myrtle Island. She married

moved to the island

children. She was born in

George William Harrell, Jr., a

in 1970. He was vice

Savannah, Georgia and as

regular Army JAG officer in

president of Sea Pines for

an Army brat spent her

1953, had five children and

the years the company

growing up years living in

traveled from post to post

became internationally

Georgia, North Carolina,

for the next thirty years. A

acclaimed for its ventures

Virginia, Hawaii and 10

real estate broker by trade,

in the Caribbean and

years in Germany, where

to himself as the Certified

active in several civic and

Southeast USA. Today he

she attended both the

Specialist of Wine. He has

community organizations,

owns Community Visions,

University of Maryland in

been taking wine seriously,

she is a graduate of

LLC and has consulted

Munich and the University

serving as a wine judge for

Leadership, Bluffton,

throughout this country

of Stuttgart. She returned

almost twenty years, but

Hilton Head and South

and in Mexico, Eastern

to the United States in

tries not to take himself too

Carolina. She has appeared

Europe and Southern

1976, living in Bluffton

seriously – after all, he lives in

in numerous theatrical

Africa. He and Ginny have

and attending Armstrong

the Lowcountry.

productions, hosted a weekly

been married 42-years

in Savannah, where she

cable television program and

and have been blessed

received her Bachelor

currently writes a column

with two children and two

of Science degree in

SOMETIMES for Bluffton

grandchildren.

Elementary Education

Head Wine & Food Festival. He has run several wine programs since 2005 at CQs, Aqua Grille and Bomboras. When someone asks for the sommelier, he usually refers

Today. Living in a river house,

with a double minor in

she proclaims is ‘Not old

German and Art. She lives

enough to be historic and not

on Myrtle Island with her

new enough to be energy

husband Nicholas and

efficient,’ is just exactly

their german shepherd.

where she wants to be.

10 PREMIER FALL 2016

TAMELA MAXIM


FALL 2016

PREMIER

11


12 PREMIER FALL 2016


people TAMELA MAXIM

THE

Chisholm-Taylor-Austin Wiggins-Hunter-Cravens Cantrell ETC Family OF BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA My siblings and I spent many lazy, sun-kissed, swimming-untilour-skin-wrinkled summers on Myrtle Island in Bluffton. Nostalgic for stories of the “good old days” I asked Kirk Taylor to tell me about his family, which originated with Jesse and Mattye Chisholm from Garnett, South Carolina. Just as Kirk remembers that he, along with his siblings and cousins, often had the May River Sandbar all to themselves, there were many times when we were also the only ones there with our little boat parties - mostly from the Harrell, Stelljes, Williams, Cubbedge, Ryan, Wilson, Dunaway and Morrison families. Of course, there was always Bill Corbin, who taught all

of us to aquaplane and waterski, although he couldn’t do either. An Interview with Kirk Taylor TM: Kirk, please tell me about your family, beginning with the Chisholms. KT: The Chisholm family lived around Brighton and Garnett, South Carolina, about fifty miles inland. The family had done well by selling lumber since the early 1800s (a lot of heart pine came from the area) and they were partners in the Chisholm and Richardson store in Garnett. Their location had easy access to the railroad, a main road, the

river, plus a powerful artesian well, which spouted some fifty feet in the air when they dug it, that flows to this day. The store supplied everything from groceries to coffins, tools and seeds. I remember the gristmill behind the store, which was used into the 1960s. The Chisholms lived in a Georgian revival style house that still stands in Garnett. My great grandparents, Jesse Chisholm and his wife, Mattye Riley Chisholm, had seven children: five girls and two boys. Because of the woods and close proximity to the Savannah River, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding were among the FALL 2016

PREMIER

13


pluff mudbanks of the river and, it sounds like they hung out by the ditch privy too. So, how did your ancestors “develop” your family vacation property?

main recreational things to do. There was a large hunting club nearby called Pallachucola. Once in a while, the family would take a train to Tybee Island, where there was a large resort hotel, and spend the day at the beach or fishing. As best as I can surmise, they typically went down for the day, but would occasionally stay for a weekend. TM: How did the Chisholms end up owning summer property at Alljoy Beach in Bluffton? KT: The family decided they wanted a place of their own for many reasons. It would be less expensive than the overnight stays for such a large family. They wanted less crowds, something quiet and easy access to water for swimming and fishing. Around 1926, Thomas Lawton began to sell his riverfront property, Lawton Estates, which included Alljoy Beach and several rows back. At that time, the only access to the area was by boat from the Bluffton wharf, and you wanted to time it by the tide. Jesse Chisholm, along with his son, Fuessel, and my grandfather, Edgar Wiggins, took a rowboat down the river and picked out the spot they wanted. They bought three lots right on the water; I believe they were $100 apiece. As you probably know, the area beaches were named for wherever its owners originated. For example, Estill Beach was where the people from Estill went, and Crystal Beach was where people from the sugar 14 PREMIER FALL 2016

refinery (Dixie Crystals) in Savannah vacationed. Our beach was named Brighton, for the town near Garnett that they originally came from. Eventually, it became Alljoy. TM: I had forgotten that we used to call it Brighton Beach and I never knew why it was called that. Tell us about why it is called Alljoy. KT: The only thing standing on the river at the time was the All Joy Hotel, run by Joyce All, and it was a quiet retreat. According to John All, Joyce’s son, they enjoyed a lot of fishing, music, and they called the ditch privy behind the house, “Fiddlerville.” TM: Fiddlerville! That’s funny! For those of our readers who don’t know it, fiddlers are the ittybitty little crabs that are always scurrying sideways and zipping into fiddler holes on the sand and

KT: Starting in 1927, a few of the men would come down on weekends and camp out in tents while building a small cabin, approximately 30’ x 30’ and they dug a well. Eventually, the stays would extend from just a few days to weeks at a time. By 1933, they had a cow, a chicken coop, bunk beds and curtains for privacy. As the family grew, they added more bunkbeds and extended the porch, and put a barrel on top of the house that you would pump water into for drinking and for taking showers. One of the main things that has kept our family together for all these years was World War II. During the war, the men fought, while the women moved into the Garnett house. The women would still come to the beach house in Bluffton. My mother and Aunt Mopsy did a lot of the babysitting. Those five war years resulted in the close family ties that remain to this day. Shortly after the war, Jesse and Mattye passed away, and it was decided that the house would have seven equal shares which could only be passed down to blood relatives. My Aunt Lell and Uncle Joe passed away without an heir in the mid-70s, and the shares became six. My mother loved it down here – so much so that she named me Kirk after the original name of the town: Kirk’s Bluff. And one night, even at eight months pregnant,


and with it being mid-August, she decided to go to Bluffton. Early in the morning, she shook my dad and said, “My water broke.” Being an engineer, my dad’s sleepy response was, “I’ll fix it in the morning.” They took off from there to Orangeburg, some two hours away and stopped by Garnett on their way up. My grandmother insisted they have breakfast before they left. In 1963, to accommodate the growing family, the old house was torn down and replaced with an open design by my architect uncle, Ed Wiggins. They added a long porch upstairs, which was lined with Army surplus beds to take advantage of the evening breezes. It was more like a barracks than a sleeping area, but I always loved seeing the expression on people’s faces when they saw the long row of beds. The addition also included four bedrooms and a half bath upstairs. The most I can recall sleeping in the house at one time was thirtysix, and that was with some of us sleeping on couches. By the mid-1960s, my mom had four boys, and the second that school would let out, she would pack us up with bikes and enough peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to last through Labor Day. The first week was usually a lot of cleanup, and pretty much all we did was swim and explore all day every day for the rest of the summer. By the 1970s, we would take summer jobs on the “island” (Hilton Head) and stay at the beach house. We had a lot of responsibility, as well as a lot of freedom. The only drawback to having a job was that sometimes we would come back from work and find someone sleeping in our bed.

In the early 1980s, the house was extended slightly to increase the size of the kitchen; three bedrooms were added, including one downstairs to accommodate our growing family and anyone who could not go up the steep stairway. Fishing was the main draw, but we had picked up sailing and rafting over the years. There were many long nights of Monopoly, which later gave way to Tripoli, penny poker and “LRC.” Other things that seem to remain the same are the big dinners, the three refrigerators, the screen doors slamming, mud stockings and the children jumping on the beds. And there is no better place in the world to watch a storm than from the upstairs porch. The Chisholm Cottage continues to be used by the family, mostly for weekend fishing trips and parties. There is an occasional gathering of friends, but we especially look forward to family week. In addition to the family gatherings, the one constant has always been the view. Even in photos nearly 100 years old, the view still looks the same. The only change is the people. TM: What was usually served at your big family dinners? KT: Dinner was often the catch of the day. Depending on the time of day and the season, we would typically have black drum, red bass “spottail,” trout, or croaker. Once in awhile, we would get in a run of mackerel or cobia. My specialty was flounder. One of the great advantages of having Lowcountry aunts who love to sit around and talk all day, was that they had no problem picking crab meat while they sat around the

table and caught up with each other’s news. Unfortunately, there is no one left to pick the crabs or who knows how to make the ambrosia that Aunt Betty and Aunt Bea used to make. TM: What are some of your favorite stories? KT: As I said, the family was very close. And it was very hard to break up the conversations between the sisters. One of my favorite stories is about my Aunt Betty and Uncle George. On Sunday afternoons they would be ready to go home to Norway, South Carolina, but Aunt Betty

The Chisolm beach house, a watercolor by Kirk Taylor

would not quit talking. So Uncle George would sit at the table and start doing little shots of bourbon, which never failed to speed up the conversation. Uncle George was a high school principal, had hunting dogs, goats, and was a beekeeper. Sometimes he brought honey to the beach house, and although it had leaves and honeycombs in it, it smelled like azaleas and watermelon, and was wonderful. One of the things we liked best about Uncle George was his

FALL 2016

PREMIER

15


version of saying mealtime Grace. We would hear “Dear Heavenly Father, some low mumblings, and an Amen; the whole prayer would last approximately three seconds. Time to eat! It wasn’t unusual to have 30+ people for meals. One day, a gentleman on the beach walked in and assuming he was in a restaurant, joined us for dinner. When he went to pay – we let him eat for free. Whenever the fishing was not good, we had chicken and spaghetti, but I don’t recall many

it up.” Everyone puts their own dishes away and, like in most families, the same three or four people usually do the finishing up. TM: What about naps? KT: Very few people took naps. There was too much to do, and too much to get done. As you may recall, there was very little television. I believe we only got two Savannah channels and the highlight was Captain Sandy doing the weather. (I found out many years later that he was voted one of the worst meteorologists of all time.) TM: I used to love Captain Sandy! And, you’re right – there were only two television channels and not much to watch. I read a lot of Nancy Drew books. Our family did take naps or read books during the hottest part of the day. Tell me about meeting your wife Cherie (pronounced like Sherry). Did you meet her in Bluffton?

meals where there was no fish. In recent years, of course, the limits have become very strict, and unfortunately fish is now one of the less frequent meals. When we have family week, we typically have a member of each family take turns cooking a Lowcountry meal each night. One night is ham with mac & cheese, one night is fried chicken, sometimes we have a shrimp boil, and Saturday night is steak night. For about an hour before dinner, we start off with lime daiquiris. That has been the house drink since the invention of the blender for at least the past forty years. So simple and refreshing on a hot day! TM: What about clean up? KT: The main rule has always been “you make the mess; you clean 16 PREMIER FALL 2016

KT: Cherie was a blind date – my best friend was dating her best friend, and they put us together. I brought Cherie to Bluffton a few times and one story involves my Uncle Fuessel. If there was ever any one born to be in Bluffton, it was my uncle. He was a worldclass fisherman, golfer, swimmer, and could make anything that floated into a sailboat. Even though he passed more than twenty years ago, his sails are still stored under the rafters at the house. We just don’t have the heart to throw them away. He taught most of us how to sail. One of the peculiar things about him was that he never drank except when he was in Bluffton. The first time that Cherie ever met him, while we were dating, he had a beer sitting on the hood

of my car. We were about to go to Hilton Head for a date, and I asked him if it was okay to set his beer down on the ground. He said, “No, throw it to me!” I started to walk it down to him, but he insisted, “Throw it to me.” So, I threw it and it was a pretty good knuckleball, not spilling very much, and right at him, but he missed, and it fell between his hands into the salt water. He plucked it out, took a sip and said, “Perfect.” My future wife should have turned and run away at that moment. TM: What about swimming? KT: Everybody went swimming. I have a photo of my greatgrandmother with her two sisters swimming in the May River. What’s funny is that the background and the river look exactly the same. Probably the best story I have is for a few summers, in the early 1960s, my mother had our heads shaved, which was the fashion of the day, except we had a small strip down the middle – a mohawk. In those days, all the little bald heads looked the same bobbing in the water. But my mother would just count four stripes and know that all of her children were accounted for and go back to doing whatever she was doing. The only other thing I can remember about swimming was that we used to have a beach. In the early days, we would take a lawn mower and cut down the marsh grass. It would give us a clean beach for the summer, and then it would grow back. If you were to try that now, you would probably get shot and fined. Another thing that was kind of funny were the boating and swimming signs posted at the beach. We would get warnings


from the Sheriff’s Department because our boats, which had been anchored in the channel, had drifted over the “line.” I found out many years later that there was no legal recourse for that “crime,” because the signs were not based on any county ordinance, but rather were the result of a Cub Scout project. TM: Tell me about fishing. KT: Fishing was the highlight of Bluffton living from the 1930s until the 1980s. We used to take rowboats out on the river. The first motorboat in Bluffton was owned by Charles Fraser, who used to live in the house behind ours at Brighton Beach. He and his brother would take the boat to Hilton Head to their lumber operation every morning. My Uncle Ed was so enthralled with motorboats that he, my Uncle Jimmy, and my Uncle Bud built a boat and scrimped and saved and did odd jobs to buy a motor to put on it. One of my favorite stories is about the first motor boat race on the May River. But, it was not much of a race because the Wiggins boat was very small and very light and so it pretty much ran circles around Mr. Fraser’s boat. The ideal time to go fishing, it was determined, was around five in the morning. The standard way to wake someone up was to tug their toe. If they didn’t get up the first time, they didn’t go fishing. Breakfast was eggs and fatback. After gathering bait, we would jump around to the various secret spots that each of the uncles knew about. Generous amounts of beer and Bloody Marys were consumed in the hunt. Lunch was usually packs of crackers, Nutter Butter peanut butter sandwich cookies, and once in a while we

feasted on surf and turf – sardines and Vienna Sausages. There were a few times when I really don’t know how we got home sometimes it would be past dark. By the time we were around ten years old; we all knew how to sail, but we also had a 10-foot johnboat with a horse and a half Johnson outboard engine on it. We really didn’t go too far, mostly across the river for crabs and shrimp near Potato Island, and croaker and black fish near Pine Island.

and make a huge mess. Back then, people would just let the trash wash out. But my mom made us clean up before we left. TM: Did you waterski? KT: When we got older, we had access to my dad’s boat, but only at high tide, when they weren’t fishing. The main thing we would do was waterskiing and whoever was driving the boat, it was his duty to throw whoever was skiing so we could each get our turn. TM: Ha! We did the same thing – whoever was driving the boat had to make sharp enough turns so the skier would fall and that meant somebody else got a chance to ski. KT: The main skiers were the Taylors and the Wiggins. All of us could slalom, and we also had a sheet of plywood about two feet wide and four feet long that we would pull, and a 4-foot round disc. My brother Nick was good enough to the point where he could stand on a ladder on the disk, and once skied on a shovel. My cousin Clay could turn flips jumping the wake. 

Drawing of a musician by Kirk Taylor

TM: My sisters and I used to love going to the Sandbar (the one closest to Brighton Beach, across from Myrtle Island). What did you like to do at the Sandbar? KT: One of the real rare treats was to go to the Sandbar mainly because it was during prime fishing time. Back then, there were many times that we would have it all to ourselves. The nice thing was that you had a nice white sand beach that you could drive your boat right up to. We would usually grill hot dogs, build sandcastles,

TM: Wow! We used to ski through the slalom course that the Cubbedges created near the marsh across from the deepwater (north) side of Myrtle Island and they tried to get me to try the ski jump they built, but I was too chicken. Jackie and Kathy Cubbedge were competitive skiers and it was exciting to watch them do tricks and ski barefoot. Thank you Kirk Taylor! It’s been a pleasure reminiscing and learning about your wonderful family.

FALL 2016

PREMIER

17


location GLEN McCASKEY

A Largely Untold History of the Lowcountry SERIES Part 4 of 6

The United States of Spain? It Was Closer Than You Might Think!

18 PREMIER FALL 2016


Around 1540, the likelihood of North America being Spanish would have seemed pretty good. And the hands-down candidate for its national capitol would have been today’s Parris Island, in the heart of the Lowcountry and of Port Royal Sound. The intense European competition for control of the New World would soon be underway, but at that time, Spain had what looked like an insurmountable head-start over France, England, Portugal and some other non-world powers such as Scotland. The prospect sounds absurd today – our speaking Spanish, the name of our country being La Florida with the capitol on Santa Elena Island here in the Harbor of Santa Elena. But Spain had not only discovered the New World in 1492, but shortly thereafter, also discovered the means to finance its exceedingly ambitious plan for global empire, gold. They discovered the islands of the Caribbean were stocked with sizeable gold treasures from another land, riches they quickly dispatched to Spain while they pursued the “gold trail” and discovered South America in 1500. In less than a decade, they were harvesting gold in Mexico and in 1518, Cortez began his massive and methodic dismantling of Montezuma’s Aztec civilization and treasures. The conquest of the Inca people of Peru began in the 1520s and by 1530, as many ships as Spain could muster were sailing back and forth to Spain, laden with what the sun worshipping Inca called, “tears wept by the Sun.” With such fiscal resources, it seemed the Spanish could do as they pleased in the New World. The Militarily Strategic Lowcountry Their focus turned to the Lowcountry of South Carolina when Portuguese and English pirates began to make off with some of Spain’s gold shipments traveling along the southeast coast on the way back to Spain. At the same

time, Spanish gold shipments were being lost to hurricanes. Two leaks in the fuel line of global conquest was unacceptable. In 1526, after research expeditions had explored along the coast, Santa Elena/Parris Island, started showing up in Spanish records. Strategists had hatched a plan to unload Inca and Aztec gold shipments in south Florida and ship them overland, or via today’s Intracoastal Waterway, up to a heavily fortified Spanish port city that would be built on the second deepest natural harbor on the East coast, Port Royal Sound. There, the gold would be reloaded and safely shipped to Spain, having avoided both capture by pirates and the risky business of hurricane surprises. Spanish war ships, stationed at Santa Elena, would escort the shipments safely from Port Royal to Spain. The highway back to Iberia ran between Port Royal Sound and Spain via the “Westerlies,” the prevailing west to east wind currents originating off the coast of the Lowcountry and blowing almost straight to Spain. Spanish experts had conducted top secret navigational research of the sound, its tides, bars, tributaries and islands and had created a state-of-the-art, detailed navigational analysis and map of what was envisioned to become a significant naval base and fortress. Plans for the future capitol of La Florida at Santa Elena (Parris Island) had been drawn up as well. The town and protective fortress would be populated mostly by civilians and have a central plaza with colonial buildings uniformly built around it, churches, school, courthouse, blacksmith shop, outlying farms and 200-300 homes. And that is essentially what archaeologists studying the site on Parris Island with ground penetrating radar discovered this very summer, 2016. Santa Elena was indeed a capitol settlement, the first such

European community established in North America and the desired monument to the power, faith and wealth of Spain. We Have Met the Enemy Of course, there were obstacles besides pirates and the great Atlantic storms. The French and English were potential problems, as were the Native Americans, but the biggest problem of all might actually have been the Spanish themselves, particularly their 16th century version of an entitlement system. It was a nightmare, even by 2016 standards. Key government appointments were made by those in power and with the best jobs going to whomever was next on the pecking order, with experience or relevant aptitude for the task having little or absolutely no bearing. The management result was something akin to a vengeful Gilligan’s Island. A painful example was that Santa Elena and Port Royal Sound had been on the Spanish bucket list for settlement possibly as far back as 1526. King Phillip II, of Spain, had repeatedly instructed the Spanish bureaucrats overseeing the Americas from Cuba and Mexico, to plant a settlement and fortress on Santa Elena. Three times, the Spanish dispatched settlers to Santa Elena, but they could not find the well-mapped location of Port Royal. Hurricanes also reportedly intervened twice and, once, the Santa Elena settlement was reported as accomplished, but later it was discovered to be in the wrong place – not even on the Atlantic Ocean, but in the Gulf of Mexico. King Phillip II was beside himself and that is when he recruited Pedro Menendez to fix the mess, which he did in less than 24 months. (See the preceding summer issue article on our website)

What’s a Few Decades! Meanwhile, because of the FALL 2016

PREMIER

19


bureaucrats protecting their own interests or just plain ineptitude, the Spanish had lost at least two or three decades of the head start they had over other European powers in the New World. And while this was going on, in 1564, the hated French snuck in and claimed the prized island of Santa Elena for themselves, naming it Fort Caroline. They even planted a marble obelisk claiming all of Port Royal Sound for France at its entrance. Lacking military force in the area, Fort Caroline was destined to fail one way or another and in 1566, it became Santa Elena and Pedro Menendez made sure it was finally settled as King Phillip II had long desired. As a footnote to bureaucracy, it should be mentioned that the appointed administrator/mayor was yet another slice from the entitlement cloth, a man with virtually no people skills and little common sense who seemed set on enraging the settlers, woefully offending the Native Americans and crossing the military. It took eight years to get rid of him. But then he was replaced by an even more incompetent and corrupt son of entitlement, a public servant who immediately confiscated government provided rations sent to support the settlement, and then sold them to the settlers for the sole benefit of his own coffers. On top of that, the entitlement system then promoted the removed disgraced first mayor to become the first governor of the new Spanish Provence of La Florida. He became not only commander over his hopeless successor, but over the Spanish coastal empire that was deemed to stretch from the Florida Keys to the Canadian border. 20 PREMIER FALL 2016

Escamacu War of 1576-1579 Santa Elena’s new mayor also brought a bent towards even more atrocious Indian relations with him and it became too much for the natives, driving them to a rebellious uprising ten years after they had welcomed the Spanish settlers to their Port Royal neighborhood in 1566. The native Escamacu called in relatives from other tribes in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina and launched a dramatic 500-man flaming arrow attack which destroyed the Santa Elena settlement and drove the surviving Spanish and pirates to Havana. It should be noted that there was a rebellion within this rebellion, when the women of the fort, mostly widows of soldiers killed by the Indians, forcibly took the incompetent mayor captive and then dictated the evacuation of Santa Elena aboard a pirate ship that happened to be in port. Blinded by greed and power, the man was pitifully unable to see the reality of his peril, and that of those under him. The Spanish returned in three years with a prefabricated fort, fireproof building materials and a whole new population. It was during this time that Santa Elena would reach its high point and peak population of around 500 citizens. Things had never been better. But then a dark shadow started to loom over the peaceful island in Port Royal Sound.

The English Shadow The shadow was that of Sir

Francis Drake and by then the most formidable armada ever to cross the Atlantic with a fleet of 29 ships and hundreds of militia. In 1556, Drake demolished the poorly defended Spanish settlement and fortification at St. Augustine, leaving neither a house standing nor the fortress. Their next target was Santa Elena but either because they could not find it or were reportedly intimidated by the enormity of sandbars at low tide, they bypassed the Santa Elena plan and continued north to assist the struggling English settlement at Roanoke Island. Given the tragedy at St. Augustine and the close call at Santa Elena, the Spanish quickly decided to merge their two settlements into one, to close down Santa Elena in the more exposed north and rebuild St. Augustine with the resources and people from the former capitol of La Florida. And within the year, that is what they did, packing up Santa Elena near the height of its glory and moving it south. If Only . . . For the Spanish visionaries who, for 40 years, had been focused on what Port Royal Sound and this island could become for Spain, this must have been a particularly painful day, with a host of “What ifs” and “If onlys” hanging in the air. For example, “What if Santa Elena had been settled 20 plus years earlier, as planned?” It would have been a strong settlement with a port filled with Spanish ships of war, decades before Francis Drake ever crossed the Atlantic! And, people have to wonder what if those in charge of handling settlements were not “entitled


relatives” of important people, but experienced veterans? And what if two such blatantly incompetent mayors had not been put in charge of the very capitol of La Florida because they were relatives of military leaders? Perhaps there are still those in Spain today who look at the history and wonder, “What if …” and “If only .... that” had happened, today’s USA might well be the USS!” After Santa Elena After the consolidation of La Florida’s two major Spanish settlements, the Lowcountry and its people had a 90-year break in European-driven complications. The Escamacu and other local tribes settled into regular routines, occasionally with some new Spanish enhancements left behind, probably not missing the strange people from Europe and their bizarre and unexpected ways. A

couple of Spanish missionaries traveled back from St. Augustine on occasion and a few disliked fur traders were still hanging around, as were some infrequent explorers, such as Captain William Hilton (Hilton Head Island) who came to scout out Port Royal Sound for Barbadian sugar cane growers in 1663, just seven years before the English planted a colony up the coast at Charles Town. Like everybody else, in 1670, the Charles Town settlers had intended to settle in the much admired Port Royal Sound. But, when they arrived and found the Indians communicating with them in broken Spanish, they very quickly decided to put more distance between their planned settlement and hostile Spanish outposts in Florida. Charles Town was the result. Sixteen years later there would be one last European settlement

attempted at Santa Elena, one which also spilled over the Beaufort River into the present town of Port Royal. Founded in 1686, a Scottish community by the name of Stuart Town perpetuated the allure of Port Royal Sound, only to disappear like the others two years later when the Spanish utterly demolished it. It was the end of a fascinating era, but not of the drama and intrigue of this fascinating Lowcountry. Next Installment After having parked for awhile in this generally unknown section of the Lowcountry’s history, in the next installment we will race on to find ourselves getting into the beginning of the plantation economy here. We’ll venture into yet another remarkably successful Indian uprising and into the midst of the American Revolution, and who knows what else.

FALL 2016

PREMIER

21


landscape TAMELA MAXIM

Creating one GREEN Space at a Time Beautifully, Quietly, Responsibly We asked the owners of Shore Winds Landscape to tell us what it was like to break away from being employed by the big boys of the industry to start their own company and what makes them different from all the other landscapers out there. So, here’s the fascinating skinny on their story with all the good dirt we could dig up about why all of us should go green, quiet and responsible with our gardens. Hope you are ready to be impressed. “I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled all over from Puerto Rico to Boston and from Chicago westward to Denver and California. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and we are bringing the best practices we’ve discovered to the Lowcountry.” Rachel Partners Rachel and Brent Kelly have over 25 years in landscaping experience and have overseen major landscape installation and management projects on the Google Campus, City Center in Las Vegas, Walt Disney World, most resorts in South Beach, as well as many exclusive private estates in DC, Boston and California – the most interesting project they worked on was a retirement community in Florida (a nudist retirement community :-0 ) Wow! Brent and partner Jose Perez 22 PREMIER FALL 2016

have been joined at the hip for many years, and together they faced their most difficult challenge – working with a large contractor on the demolition of 676 homes and the construction of 630 new homes within a 250+ acre footprint on an active military base in South Carolina. Their part consisted of installing landscaping for each of those homes and more than 1,500,000 square feet of turf. Whew! Rachel told us that she has often been asked why she worked for landscape companies and why she didn’t own one. She didn’t want to be just another landscaper. She wanted the right team and the right value proposition. In January this year Rachel left her job. One month later, she found herself sitting at a table with her former teammates. They had also decided to leave and wanted to partner with her to start their own company. But, how would they be different? Dirty little secret... Landscapers aren’t that green. “It’s all about protecting our earth, air and water. Landscapers spill nearly enough gasoline every year to fill the Exxon Valdez. The increased use of synthetic chemicals has a serious negative cumulative effect on

our environment. We are paving more than we should; using non-porous materials prevents natural filtration and causes toxic run-off into our waterways. And, we all know that over-lighting the outdoors, especially near the ocean is a big no-no. As for air pollution and landscaping, gas powered lawn mowers produce eleven times the emissions of cars! Mowers can be as loud as a Harley Davidson and noise that loud has been proven to be disruptive to the natural cycles of both humans and wildlife.” Rachel FYI SHORE WINDS LANDSCAPE uses battery operated equipment that makes less noise than an average washing machine. Good landscaping doesn’t have to be noisy. And, they only use strategically placed LED lighting, which significantly reduces energy consumption and reduces light pollution. They decided to focus on being a GREENER landscape company and have developed a three tier approach: 1. Sustainable Landscape Design – Rachel: “Our goal is to conserve resources whenever possible – keep water onsite, nurture the soil, preserve existing plants and conserve material resources


by sourcing locally and reusing / repurposing whenever possible.” 2. Low Impact Installation – Rachel: “Our goal here is to be as minimalistic as possible, use the right tool for the right application and leave behind the smallest footprint possible. For example, we recently had a drainage project that would require excavation of 125’ of trench. It would have been easy to bring in a large machine and dig the trench in minutes, but this wasn’t the right call for the property. Instead, the team hand dug the trench and saved the existing material and eliminated a future compaction issue.” 3. Eco Friendly Landscape Management – Rachel: “ALL of our maintenance equipment is

battery operated. This means no fuel spills, no noxious emissions and above all, it is QUIET.” The old standard in landscaping was ‘better living through chemicals,’ but they subscribe to a least invasive approach to lawn and landscape care. Rachel: “We know that if we eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and hydrate we are less likely to become ill. That said, there are times when you do get sick and the doctor prescribes an antibiotic. We believe that if we keep the soil healthy, if plants are kept on a non-synthetic diet and properly hydrated, our landscapes are less likely to suffer insect, disease and fungal issues. But, that doesn’t mean we won’t judiciously use synthetic chemicals when necessary. The key word is judiciously.”

Shore Winds Landscape isn’t just another landscaper. Brent and Rachel Kelly have partnered with professionals who are more than friends and former business teammates – they are also FRIENDS of the fragile earth we live on. 843.815.3733 Brent and Rachel Kelly shorewindslandscape.com Shore Winds Landscape 17 May River Drive Bluffton, SC 29910 CONSERVATION PRESERVATION ECO FRIENDLY LOW IMPACT BEAUTIFUL CREATIVE EXPERT CLEAN QUIET GREEN

FALL 2016

PREMIER

23


health TAMELA MAXIM

Savannah River Site: Sick Cold War Vets Receiving Entitlement Benefit

Photo from the 1950s shows the construction of Savannah River Site’s P and R reactors, as well as activities at the reactors once they became operational that decade. Each of the reactors, which formerly produced nuclear materials, occupies more than 300,000 square feet of space.

Unfortunately, many Augustaarea “Cold War Veterans” who served their country as employees of the SRS plant, were exposed to unsafe levels of radiation and toxic chemicals, including considerable trace amounts of asbestos from some of the buildings. Due to this exposure, many SRS employees have developed certain types of 24 PREMIER FALL 2016

cancer, along with a wide range of chronic illnesses. In response to this horrible phenomenon, the Federal Government (via the Department of Labor) has compensated these individuals by providing both considerable monetary awards and no-cost healthcare (which includes up to 24/7/365 home healthcare

so as to avoid institutionalization), among other benefits, to the many former SRS workers who qualify. In 2001, The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) passed bilaterally in congress and was written into law by President Clinton. This essential piece of legislation is an entitlement


program for sick energy workers or their survivors on a national basis. Currently, the program has paid out over $10 billion in claims across over 150 eligible plants and vendors throughout the US. To Qualify: You must have worked at the Savannah River Site from January 1, 1953 through September 30, 1972 for at least a total of 250 days (work at other SEC designated sites counts towards the 250 days). Also, you must have been diagnosed with one of 22 specified forms of cancer, which can be found on the DOL website). Savannah River Site retirees are entitled to this benefit in addition to any traditional benefits they are already receiving. SRS: A “SEC-Designated” Facility: What is the significance of a

Special Exposure Cohort? This means that workers, in this case, those who struggle with illness due to radiation and or chemical exposure at the Savannah River Site can be compensated without having to prove their illness is work-related. White Card: If you apply and are approved, you will be issued a special white card, like a regular health insurance card, which you can use to receive medical care for the approved listed diagnosis on the card. The card covers many needed medical services, including FREE (no deductible/no co-pay) home nursing care. Covered Costs: Must be ordered by a physician and related to the worker’s approved diagnosis:

• • • • • • •

Chiropractic Doctor visits and co-pays Hospital stays Medication In-Home Health Care Hospice Care Housing & Vehicle Modifications • Medical Alert Systems • Medical Travel • Medical Equipment (oxygen, hospital bed, etc.) Workers can even ask for repayment for medical costs that they had to pay while they were waiting for acceptance into the program. If you are in need or know someone in need of this service call Remain At Home Workers Care for a NO Cost benefits evaluation. Remain At Home services the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina areas.

FALL 2016

PREMIER

25


extra ANNELORE HARRELL

Cemeteries

’n graveyards

‘Do you know the difference between cemeteries and graveyards?’ asked my friend Carolyn. ‘I never gave it a minute’s thought,’ I said. ‘So no, I haven’t the foggiest idea of the difference.’ ‘Well,’ she said. ‘A graveyard is attached to a church, but a cemetery stands alone.’ Interesting. 26 PREMIER FALL 2016

I don’t often think about burial sites, but after our chat, just for fun, I began making a list of cemeteries, graveyards and memorials I had visited, those that had left an indelible impression, and it grew and it grew and it grew. Arlington, Verdun, USS Arizona, Ground Zero, Dead Wood, Bluffton, Beaufort, Franklin Tennessee…

Here are some cemeteries worth a visit: Colonial Park Cemetery My earliest memory of a cemetery is of being unknowingly disrespectful. Colonial Cemetery in Savannah is only a block away on Oglethorpe Avenue from where


I lived as a child on the corner of York and Lincoln Streets. With building walls coming straight down to the sidewalks in this older part of the city, the closest “playground” was the cemetery where the above ground

tombs were a challenge for any child to climb and I loved to climb the tallest ones. At the far end of the cemetery on Liberty Street Lane was a section devoted to swings and slides and monkey bars, a regular playground overseen by a Parks and Recreation Department superintendent. The tombs were much more fun. We learned to skate on the cemetery paths and thrilled to jumping the concrete steps under the entrance archway. Benches lined the main walkway that at one time must have been Lincoln Street. It was here that nannies dressed in starched uniforms sat and visited while their charges took the air sitting in their strollers or baby buggies. Now, tourists walk around the tombs with iPhones and backpacks, flip flops and baseball caps. And no one dares climb on a tomb. Colonial Park Cemetery 201 Abercorn Street Savannah, GA 31401

Bonaventure Cemetery A rite of passage for high school seniors in Savannah was to spend the night in Bonaventure Cemetery. Actually, if you just went there and drove through after midnight, that entitled you to bragging rights. Whether or not you believed in spooks, Bonaventure, this former plantation on the Wilmington River, could be a really scary place after dark. With 160 acres of oyster shell roads, moss draped oaks and massive azaleas plus huge camellia bushes that bloom in the dead of winter, this is a beautiful but somber place on the sunniest of days. The cemetery became famous

with Berendt’s book ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,’ but if you go to look for the statue of the Bird Girl, you won’t find it at Bonaventure; it has been moved to the Telfair Art Academy Savannahians are more likely to remember this as the resting place of little Gracie Watson and of FALL 2016

PREMIER

27


Johnny Mercer, who gave us songs like Stardust and Moon River. (Some believe Mercer was inspired by the Maye River) Bonaventure Cemetery 330 Bonaventure Road Thunderbolt, GA 31404 Vicksburg Cemetery In 1946, Ginny Schenck and her parents asked me to go with them to Texas during the Christmas holidays. It was a wonderful trip, comfortable in their roomy Buick sedan. We shopped at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, ordered Cherries Jubilee at Antoine’s in New Orleans, saw oil wells in Louisiana and grapefruit trees in Texas, but most memorable of all was our stop in Mississippi and a visit to Vicksburg Cemetery where 17,000 Union troops are buried plus two Confederates, Private Reuben White of Texas and Sgt. Charles B. Brantley of Arkansas who are somehow buried there by mistake. I had never seen so many rows of graves all alike, white tombstones, one after the other lined up so neatly. I was used to the jumble of our 18th century southern cemeteries with all sorts of tombstones from insignificant markers to elaborate ones with angels perched on marble vaults. But here, these men lay beneath identical impersonal stones under and around trees, row after row and that sheer lack of identity made it that much more an attack on your heart, a representation of not only these men buried here, but all men who died fighting for their cause, whatever it was. The massive monuments that home states for the deceased had erected to honor their dead, were a distinct contrast to the simplicity of the individual graves. All to commemorate a bloody battle fought from the 18th of May to the 4th of July 1863 on this green 28 PREMIER FALL 2016

bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Vicksburg Cemetery Vicksburg National Military Park 3201 Clay Street Vicksburg, MS 39183

Sheldon Church Cemetery Just 17 miles north of Beaufort, Sheldon has always been one of my favorite places. There isn’t much of the church left. Maybe it’s the vision of what it used to be that’s so enticing. Built sometime between 1745 and 1753 as Prince William’s Parish Church Chapel of Ease, set on a slight knoll in a grove of ancient oaks, it must have been spectacular in its architectural design of massive columns and arched windows. Burned in 1779 by the British under General Prevost in the Revolutionary War, it was rebuilt 47 years later in 1826. Before it could collect cobwebs in the eaves, it was burned again in 1865 when General William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops came through the area.

This time, there was no one to put it back together. The congregation had dispersed. Nonetheless, through the years there have been many a couple married here in the ruins whose durability defies time. Whether you see Sheldon in bright sunlight, under a Carolina moon or on a foggy winter day, the ruins are haunting, beautiful, never defeated, only waiting. And it’s here in the ruins of Sheldon Church we find the graves of Colonel William Bull and his family. Born at Ashley Hall in Charleston, Bull was a great help to General James Edward Ogletho-

rpe in finding a site on the Savannah River for the newest Georgia colony. The two spent a great deal of time together scouting locations before settling on a high bluff on the river 18 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Old Sheldon Church Cemetery Old Sheldon Church Road Yemassee, SC 29945 First Scots Presbyterian Church Cemetery Ralston Lachlan Wylly was a dear friend. We had known each other since the third grade at Charles Ellis Elementary School and kept in


First Scots Presbyterian Church Cemetery 53 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29401

touch through the years. In the 6th grade, we went on the streetcar to the Saturday matinee at the Lucas and afterwards had an ice cream soda at the Theatre Soda Shop. An exciting first date. Ralston took me to my first formal dance in the Gold Room of the Desota Hotel, one of Ebba Olsen Thomson’s soirees. His mother made sure all his dates were sent a corsage of American Beauty roses no matter the color of her dress. It was with great sadness I learned of his death in 1993. He was only 61 years old. Ralston was proud of his Scottish heritage and when he married and moved to Charleston, he, his darling wife Kath and their four sons were members of First Scots Presbyterian Church on Meeting Street, the 5th oldest church building in the city, established in 1731. Ralston had a beautiful voice, sang in the choir and being the true southern gentleman that he was, had many friends. His funeral service was held one sunny day at the church. He was to

be buried in the adjacent graveyard where there were crumbly tombstones and venerable trees with gnarly, exposed roots. Both Ralston and all of his sons had graduated from the Citadel and there were strong young men to carry his casket to its final resting place. We stood quietly and watched as the dignified little entourage slowly and carefully wended its way through the graveyard. Then, whoops, one of the pallbearers tripped and for one horrific moment, I thought they were going to drop Ralston. Ah, but thank goodness, he caught his balance, and they soldiered on. Whenever I’m in Charleston and drive down Meeting Street past First Scots, I think of Ralston and how he almost got tumped in the church graveyard.

Mepkin Abbey Cemetery Mepkin Abbey on the Upper Cooper River near Moncks Corner in Berkeley County, began in 1681 as a grant to Lord Proprietor John Colleton whose family held onto the 3,000-acre plantation until they sold it in 1762 to Henry Laurens of Charleston. Slave trader, planter, merchant, statesman, who during the Revolutionary War had been held in the Tower of London until traded for Lord Cornwallis, Laurens made Mepkin a profitable rice and cotton plantation. Laurens loved Mepkin, the idyllic country life and established his family cemetery on the bluff overlooking the river. It’s a small enclave, surrounded by an iron fence, shad-

ed by overhanging limbs of oaks. The sun never makes it through. Not trusting the undertaker, believing there was a chance the coffin lid could be closed on a still living person, Laurens insisted on cremation. Under his tombstone are his ashes, not his physical remains. It’s a trek to this secluded resting place, down steps across a

FALL 2016

PREMIER

29


slough and back up to the other side. Worth it. By 1936, Mepkin was under the ownership of Clare Boothe Luce and her husband Henry. Sophisticates both, she was ambassador to Italy under Eisenhower and he was a magazine magnate responsible for Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated among others. Born in China of Presbyterian missionaries, Henry was a selfmade man. The Luces too felt the charm of Mepkin and designated gardens near the river to be their final resting place, a spacious lawn surrounded by camellias and azaleas, a garden much loved by brides for outdoor weddings. Today, Trappist monks of the Cistercian Order are at Mepkin, having received the property as a gift from the Luce family in 1949. Their modest private cemetery is next to the Mepkin’s chapel. Almost a mile away from Mepkin down a pathway through the woods is a cemetery for the slaves who were part of this former rice plantation. I have never been there, but it is my understanding that Jonathan Green, the artist, has shown interest in preserving the site and the monks of Mepkin maintain it. Mepkin Abbey 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road Moncks Corner, SC 29461 Strawberry Chapel Cemetery Childsbury, once a thriving port, the area’s link to Charleston and from there back to England was on the last deepwater stretch of the Upper Cooper River. Now, nothing remains of the town but an empty field. It is truly a ghost town. An historical marker is the only indication that Childsbury, a town 30 PREMIER FALL 2016

that once supported thousands ever existed. Strawberry Chapel with its surrounding graveyard is there to prove it. A parochial chapel of ease, meaning this church had permission to baptize, Strawberry Chapel built in 1725 as part of St John’s Berkeley Parish is the only remaining structure from the 1707 Childsbury settlement. Fortunately there are folks who care for this lovely stucco over brick church and services are being held in the charming chapel. Unhappily, the last time I walked the grounds, it was to see many tombs broken, shattered from either modern grave robbers

Little Big Horn Cemetery I stood beside the monument on a hill that overlooks miles and miles of open plains. They call it Custer’s Hill. I tried to imagine the savagery of 25 and 26 June 1876, those days written about in history books, Custer’s Last Stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn. The National Park ranger said that the horses were used as breastworks against the onslaught of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, that the loyal mounts with 263 soldiers of U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry were buried in a mass grave at the top of the hill. To one side of the hill is the Indian memorial entitled Peace Through Unity, larger than life

looking for who knows what or vandals just being destructive. The caretakers had no choice but to lock the gate, but you can still see the graveyard from behind the fence. In the springtime, daffodils bloom indiscriminately around the tombstones, grey with inscriptions worn sometimes to oblivion. So much was here, a haunting sadness remains.

metal silhouettes of braves on horseback, a reminder that they honor all of the tribes who defended their way of life at the battle. Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was buried with his men, but later his body was removed and reinterred at West Point where he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1861. So many dead far from home in this vast unforgiving landscape.

Strawberry Chapel Childsbury Town Site Moncks Corner, SC 29461

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument Crow Agency, MT 59022


FALL 2016

PREMIER

31


event TAMELA MAXIM

kheimer’s

z l A e h T s e t i v n i n o i t a i c Asso y r t n u o Lowc e t i n u o t s t n e d i s re o t t n e m e v o m a n i e r u t u f e h t m i a l c re y b s n o i l for mil n i g n i t a particip s ’ r e m i e the Alzh on i t a i c o s As d n E o t Walk ®. s ’ r e m i e Alzh

k

32 PREMIER FALL 2016


At the Alzheimer’s Association, our daily work is about people and science: supporting families and caregivers, educating our communities, and working to

Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on October 29th, 2016 in Old Town Bluffton, beginning at 110 Calhoun Street. Registration opens at 10:15 AM and the Open

advance research. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is all of those things rolled into one hope-filled morning! Whether you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or related dementia, missing a loved one that you’ve lost, or just hoping to do something to help others, Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the perfect way to get involved.

Ceremony begins at 10:45 AM. In addition to the 1.5 mile walk through lovely Old Town Bluffton, Walk to End Alzheimer›s features: A special opportunity to honor a loved one through our poignant and hopeful Promise Garden ceremony. This short program recognizes each participant›s reason for walking while uniting

the community in a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against this devastating disease.

• The chance to learn more

about Alzheimer’s disease and the resources available to both families and professionals through the Alzheimer’s Association. Unique ways to get involved through advocacy initiatives and clinical trial enrollment. FALL 2016

PREMIER

33


• The opportunity to donate •

and raise funds for the cause. Local sponsor displays and goodies.

“Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a wonderful way for the community to come together to show support for families facing Alzheimer’s, honor those we have lost to this disease, and take meaningful steps that will bring us closer to a cure, “ said Cindy Alewine, President/CEO of Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter. While there is no fee to register, participants are encouraged to donate or fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness. Each registrant who raises $100 will earn the 2016 event t-shirt. The Alzheimer’s Association makes fundraising easy with tips and tools, including a personal fundraising webpage, email templates, Facebook integration and a Walk to End Alzheimer’s app. You can start with one email. One phone call. One Facebook post asking family and friends to join you. Your efforts will equal more awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Funds raised provide programs and services for those facing Alzheimer’s and dementia here in South Carolina, including caregiver support groups and education programs, as well as a free nationwide 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) staffed by specialists and master’slevel clinicians who provide support, offer information and suggest referrals, all day, every day. Walk to End Alzheimer’s also funds global research efforts to discover better ways to diagnose, treat and potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, 34 PREMIER FALL 2016

having awarded more than $350 million to over 2,300 projects since the program’s inception. Contrary to widely held beliefs, Alzheimer’s is not normal aging. It is a progressive and fatal disease. Every 67 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s; by 2050 someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds and the numbers could reach as high as 16 million. Today, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixthleading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s more than 5 million Americans to as many as

awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year, Edward Jones joins in the fight against Alzheimer’s as a Walk to End Alzheimer’s National Presenting Sponsor. The end of Alzheimer›s starts with you! To start or join a team today, visit the Alzheimer’s Association alz.org/walk. To learn more about disease and available resources, call the toll-free Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org/sc. Alzheimer’s Association®

16 million by 2050. Today, in South Carolina alone, over 84,000 people face this disease, supported by family and friends making up over 300,000 caregivers. And the cost of care associated with this disease continues to rise exponentially, with costs estimated at much at $1.1 trillion dollars being spent annually in the U.S. in 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org® or call 800.272.3900.


FALL 2016

PREMIER

35


36 PREMIER FALL 2016


Island

FALL 2016

PREMIER

37


charity TAMELA MAXIM

The King of Sports and the Sport of Kings...

Polo at Rose Hill How did it start, this polo playing at Rose Hill Plantation in what used to be little ole’ sleepy town Bluffton, South Carolina and what’s up with the fancy hats, champagne flutes and divot stomping? If you’re planning on attending the Polo for Charity event this year and you’ve never been before – you might wonder about proper attire and the best kind of picnic to bring. After all, there will be prizes. But, don’t worry. Bluffton, being the eccentric capitol of the universe means that breaking the rules is acceptable and often admired. Enjoy the local privilege of cheerful disdain for societal Ordnung and decorum, but ladies, please do NOT wear stilettos or confuse polo with the Kentucky Derby. Yes, wear a big hat, bring the sunscreen, binoculars and sunglasses; set the table with flowers, linen, lace, china, silver and crystal. By all means, and to the limit of your pocketbook, go ahead and be a show-off, but wobbly big heels on grass will just make 38 PREMIER FALL 2016

you look silly. And, wear or bring sensible shoes (cowboy boots are very popular) for the half-time divot stomp craziness – the 2nd best reason for being there, if you ask me. As for the men, if it’s hot and humid, which it probably will be, don’t suit up in something formal or corporate; the only time we want to see you mopping your brow is at the gym. And, unless your haberdasher suits you up in some lightweight jacket in snazzy seersucker or crisp linen leave the dressy stuff in the closet and go for a casual-ish Town & Country style ensemble. It’s polo, not a garden wedding – try a crisp cotton or polo style shirt with chinos or long dress shorts.

If you want to see what celebs wear, go online for some Bing-Googling and see the Dos and Don’ts for what’s hot (or not) before you decide what’s right for you. Finally, since it’s a Bluffton affair, despite all of my sincerely given recommendations, you really can just wear whatever you please. Take lots of pictures to share on Social Media so we can thumbs up, frowny face or heart you later. Some History: Polo matches for charity at Rose Hill started on September 26, 1982 because two local polo players, Dr. Sandy Termotto and Bill Roe dropped in on Iva Welton, who was then Director of Rose Hill Plantation Public Relations. As Iva recalled, they said, “You know you have a great natural polo field here.” Encouraged by Sandy, Iva did extensive research to see if it really was a great place for polo. Sandy was right – Rose Hill was absolutely perfect: a large field with room for parking,


a horse loving community with a convenient location to draw fans from Bluffton, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Savannah. As the stars aligned over the future polo field, fans and players came together to form a Patron Club. The wellknown Limehouse family of polo players and former player (local legend) Harry Cram and many others got involved and brought the excitement of equestrian magic to Bluffton. Charities were chosen for each event and every match had a different theme from “Polo Goes Country,” to “Polo and all that Jazz,” with Teri Rini Powers and Fred German’s jazz band. Small crowds began coming to Rose Hill – many seeing polo for the first time. Iva and Sandy brought their knowledge, experience and passion to get it off to a grand start. The Okatie Rotary Club caught the vision in 2002 when Dr. Termotto, captain of the local polo team became president of Okatie Rotary and we’re glad they’re still running with it! Carloads of spectators come every year to watch the players (4

per team) gallop madly across the nearly ten-acre field (polo fields are the largest in any organized sport 160 x 360 yards or 9 football fields), whack hard plastic balls at around 110 mph (no left handers allowed) for about 1 to 2 hours in 7-minute segments called chukkers. Depending on the type of polo match, horses are changed after 1-3 chukkers during the 3-5 minute breaks between plays. Half-time traditionally lasts 10 minutes. The players at the Rose Hill Polo matches come from Bluffton and Hilton Head, nearby cities like Charleston and Aiken and as far away as Argentina. The polo ponies are in fact full-sized specially bred horses. Polo balls used to be made out of bamboo or willow root and made a whistling sound so the players could easily hear when a ball was headed their way. The new hard plastic ones don’t whistle, but have the benefit of not cracking. Seems to me that whistling warnings are better than dependable durability, but maybe

that’s part of the thrill. Not a sissy sport. Polo has its own lingo, like “whippiness.” That’s the amount of flexibility in the mallet’s shaft (also called a stick), as in --- some players like more whippiness in their “whackers.” The more “whip,” the better hitting distance, but you compromise on control up close. Some say that the polo pony carries at least 50-70% of the equation of success (or not) for each player and, of course, the strength, agility and quick thinking of the rider plays a vital role, but the third and perhaps equally important element of polo is the quality of the mallet. They are chosen with care – not too long, not too short, whippiness just right. Made from the Manau cane which grows up to 600 ft, the mallet’s shaft is cut in nine foot lengths close to the root, where it is strongest; it is then boiled in coconut and diesel oil, cleaned in a sand and water mixture, bundled, dried and heated over an open fire until properly straightened and cured. Finally, the mallet head is attached, made from FALL 2016

PREMIER

39


the wood of the Tipa tree found only in parts of Argentina, Brazil or Paraguay. Polo is played in 60 countries (professionally in 16) and watched by approximately 50 million spectators. Despite its popularity, there are few matches on television. FYI - The Triple Crown of Polo is broadcast on ESPN in March, September and October. Rose Hill Polo for Charity will be on Sunday, October 23rd. The gate opens at 12:00 and the match begins at 2:00. More important than all of the fun you’ll have, local charities depend on your support. Invite friends and neighbors. There’s always room for a crowd at a polo match. Donate if you can’t attend. Polo is not just about a game. As Chip Limehouse explained, it is also about raising money for good causes. “The Limehouse family has been involved with polo in South Carolina for 46 years – almost half a century. We’ve played polo in England, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere and collectively raised millions of dollars for various charities. We established polo in Greenville, Rose Hill, John’s Island, Charleston and many other places.” 40 PREMIER FALL 2016

Proceeds from this year’s match go to the Moss Creek Marines and their service dog program as well as to other local Rotary charities. Note: The Rotary Club of Okatie invites all local residents to consider volunteering or joining the Club to be part of the family of Rotary. All are welcome to attend a Club meeting on any Tuesday at Sigler’s Restaurant at 12 Sheridan Park Circle in Bluffton at 12 noon. For more information, contact Barbara McFadden at 843.298.3055 bmcattorney@aol.com or Bill Beltz

843.247.1234 wfbeltz@aol.com. “The tradition and history of the sport of polo makes it indeed the “Sport of Kings and the King of

Sports. I could not help but think of the Kirk family at each match and wonder what they would have thought of polo being played on their cotton fields!” Iva Welton

Want to See Your Favorite Charity Featured? If you’d like to sponsor your favorite charity in an upcoming issue of Premier Lowcountry, please email mylene@premierlowcountry.com with the name of your charity, contact information and a brief paragraph sharing why you feel the charity should be featured.


FALL 2016

PREMIER

41


42 PREMIER FALL 2016


FALL 2016

PREMIER

43


architecture JOSEPH K. HALL

Architectural

& Q A

Budgeting in Architecture

Hello everybody, Hall here. I’m back with questions about and answers to things about architecture. In this installment, Publisher Mylene has asked me to talk about money in architecture. I would prefer to talk about budgeting money in architecture. A budget is a process which involves money,

44 PREMIER FALL 2016

something we all know and procrastinate over. When budgets are done well, creatively crafted and stuck to, they make for very special places. Just remember, all successful architectural projects start with a budget.  Many of the people I have worked with feel like they need to let me know that “their budget is not coming from a bottomless pit.” That statement is like the one you make when you give your kids the car keys for the first time and say “Be careful.”  And, that is what a budget is all about - being careful.  With that

being said, here is the letter that never came with an answer that could make your life more pleasant as you are considering an architectural work. Remember:  A properly limited budget stimulates creativity. Dear Joe, I am considering an addition of a (fill in the blank) to the house because (fill in another blank).  How do I know how much money I will need to make it happen?  Sincerely, Never Done It Before (added on to the house that is) Dear Never, Start with a written description of the addition you are considering, including the size and how you want it to function. Yes, form does follow function. Next, be sure it will fit on the property.  That is another issue to be dealt with.  Now that you know both of those pieces of the project puzzle, you are ready to put together the budgets. Yes, there are a number of formats. Let’s talk about two of them.


The First: The Cost / Square Foot budget range. The Second: The Line Item budget range. Notice the word range. The high and low prices you are likely to spend for each component such as interior finishes and fixtures. The Cost / Square Foot budget is an empirical number.  It is what the going price is for the neighborhood. Everybody has their version.  The accuracy is largely determined by who you ask. Ask the people who are “in” the business. The numbers vary by location of the construction site.  Don’t forget to consider current business climates of boom or bust. It is an ever shifting number. A number to be reckoned with, nevertheless.  A check and balance against the other formats. The Line Item budget is a best guess until you make the purchase

of every item that will be included. It is a long list.  Don’t panic. Don’t forget, it is a range.   High to Low. Remember a budget is a back and forth game. It helps you decide where to put the money.  Now you see the creative part. Know when and where to splurge and where to economize.  Hint on the line item budgets: Include these items: 1. Material & Labor Cost In the building industry there are 16 categories.  The list is available on the internet.  Check it out. This is 75% to 80 % of your total budget. 2. Design & Build Management Cost 3. Permitting & Approval Costs 4. Legal & Financing Costs. All of the above = Project Cost.  An Important Number.  What you are paying for! Items 2, 3 & 4 are as important

as Item 1 and need to be included. Much of the ultimate value of the work comes from who you are paying these costs to.  Don’t skimp here. If you are an online shopper you will appreciate re-doing what you put in the cart and what you take out before you check out. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Happy budgeting.  It is an exciting part of the project.  When done correctly and attended to diligently it is the best sleeping pill ever. When done methodically, it is worth the time, effort and resources spent. Happy Designing. Happy Building. Happy Living Happily Ever After. Regards, Joe Hall Bluffton, SC

the joy of the not so big house

JKH Architect LLC Joseph K. Hall, Architect

(843) 816-1159 joehall@jkhllc.com

FALL 2016

PREMIER

45


wine JEFF GERBER

What to Bring for the Holidays When Visiting Family

I often get asked, “You are the Wine Bubba. What do you bring to people’s homes when you visit for the holidays?” There are always exceptions, but here are some pretty good guidelines I have developed over the years. First off, drink what you like! What makes you and your friends happy? It is the holidays after all. If y’all love the big, buttery, oaky Chardonnays even though some “expert” says you are not supposed to like it, drink it anyway. My first rule of thumb; bring some beer. Not everyone drinks or enjoys wine. I usually grab a 12 pack with 3-4 different styles to make as many people happy as possible. Wine: I tend to bring bottles that I love, but are lower on the cost scale - also known as “drinkers.” Let’s face it, for many holiday dinners, things are more about volume and less like one of those multi-course wine dinners where the plates are tasting sized. Also, you are likely to have friends and family who are all over the spectrum, as far as their interest in wine goes. And since the holidays are about sharing, it is hard to say no and then painful to watch your niece/nephew get a glass of really nice/expensive Pinot and then five minutes later say “That was REALLY good, may I have more please?” Next, forget about trying to pair the wine with the food. Since there is so much food overload 46 PREMIER FALL 2016

& Friends

and it is likely to be so varied, you don’t have a chance of really getting it right. Not much goes with something sweet, something spicy and something covered in gravy, etc. When people press and ask, “What pairs with everything?” my best suggestion is sparkling wines. I tend to look toward Cava for drier and Prosecco for a little sweeter and if you must have a red – try Pinot Noir. For white wines, my personal preference is something light with a decent amount of acidity. The acidity makes it refreshing and helps cut through anything heavy. Think fatty, lots of butter, gravy etc. My go to wines are usually a Picpoul de Pinet or a Sauvignon Blanc. But, there is nothing wrong with bringing a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay. Just look for a cooler climate choice as the lower temperatures will help with the acidity of both of those wines. I know there is an “ABC” movement out there (Anything But Chardonnay), but 1 in 5 bottles of wine sold in the US is still Chard, so the odds are in your favor of making people happy. Also, do not forget you can bring some Cava or Prosecco; holidays always go better with bubbles. For red wines we will look at lighter bodies and more full bodied separately. Please remember, these are generalities. For light reds I tend to look for Pinot Noirs from the US, Valpolicellas from Italy (which are

usually a blend) and Grenache (Garnacha in Spain). These also tend to have fewer tannins and many people consider them much more approachable. And then for a little bit fuller bodied wines, my tendency is to seek out Tempranillos from Spain (we are drinking a lot of these at my house lately), Red Zinfandels from the US and then for something bigger - Malbecs from South America are huge crowd pleasers. The last rule of thumb is to not forget your hosts. I try and bring something a little special and let them know that it is for them to enjoy on a different day. They have invited you into their home, done most/all of the cooking and will probably end up doing the majority of the cleanup. So of course, they deserve a thoughtful holiday reminder of your appreciation. Finally, one of the things that makes a wine truly memorable is who you drink it with, not how it tasted or how much it cost. I have been fortunate enough to be able to try some truly outstanding wines because I bought wines for a living and some were beyond what I could have afforded on my own, but the ones I remember most fondly are the ones that were enjoyed with people who I feel privileged to have as part of my life. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


Creating the Well-Mannered Dog

Fetching Manners is a mobile dog training and pet photography business based in Bluffton, South Carolina and servicing the surrounding towns of Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

• Obedience, Socialization, & Rehabilitation • Education & Behavior Modification • Therapy, Service, & Water Rescue Training • Overnight Training & Pet Photography Clients receive educated, high-end training instruction from a friendly and experienced small-town business. Rebecca Lynn Gay provides customized dog training services in a personal and positive environment. Owners are equipped with a proper understanding of how to communicate with their dog to achieve behavioral goals. Fetching Manners is an active member of the community through various local, dog-related groups, and community events.

Rebecca Lynn Gay, Owner

www.fetchingmanners.com rebecca@fetchingmanners.com (843) 304-2557 FALL 2016

PREMIER

47


Charleston:

Beaufort:

Oct. 6-23 - 40th Annual Fall Tours of Homes & Gardens Oct. 15 - Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Oct. 28 - Bonnie Raitt in Concert Nov. 11-12 - YALLfest Nov. 25 - Goo Goo Dolls in Concert Nov. 25-Jan. 9 - 8th Annual Holiday Pub Crawl Eat, Drink, Be Merry Nov. 28 - Charleston Holiday Progressive Dinner Dec. 8 - Governor Thomas Bennett House Holiday Tea and Tour Dec. 15 - Sip and Stroll Dec. 15 - The Tenors Dec. 31 - 4th Annual Charleston Rose Ball Jan. 22 - James and The Giant Peach

Oct. 1 - Run Forrest Run 5K Oct. 8 - Handmade Market at the Farmstand Oct. 8-9 - OktoPRfest! October - Exchange Club Ghost Tours Oct. 20-23 - Pat Conroy Literary Festival Oct. 22 - 8th Annual Habersham Harvest Festival Nov. 5 - 7th Annual Farmer’s Table Dinner Nov. 6 - Bourbon, Bubbles & Brew! Nov. 12 - Beaux Arts Ball Dec. 9 - Friends of Shanklin Light Up The Night

For more info: charlestoncvb.com/events

48 PREMIER FALL 2016

For more info: beaufortsc.org

Hilton Head/ Bluffton: Oct. 3 - Society of Bluffton Artists presents “12” Oct. 9 - Palmetto Bluff’s 3rd Annual Buffalo Run Oct. 12 - Birding at Pinckney Island Oct. 18 - Bluffton Ghost Walk Oct. 23 - Polo for Charity Oct. 29 - Bluffton Zombie 5K Run Oct. 29 - Walk to End Alzheimer’s Nov. 2-Dec. 31 - Comedy Magic Cabaret Nov. 3-17 - Bike Tours of Historic Squire Pope Road Nov. 4 - Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance Nov. 5 - 6th Annual Bluffton International & Craft Beer Fest Nov. 7 - Honey Horn History Walk Nov. 13-14 - Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Viva España


calendar of events FALL

Other Places: Nov. 19 - Lakeside Village Market at Hampton Lake Nov. 24 - Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Dec. 3 - Town of Bluffton Christmas Parade Jan. 28 - Hilton Head International Piano Competition Gala Benefit For more info: hiltonheadisland.org/eventcalendar

Savannah, Ga: Oct. 4 - Peppa Pig’s Big Splash at Johnny Mercer Theatre Oct. 7-9 - 33rd Annual Oktoberfest on River Street Oct. 14-15 - Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival Oct. 15 - Savannah International Festival

Nov. 5 - 5th Annual Ranger Appreciation Golf Tournament Nov. 12 - Veteran’s Day Weekend Living History Event at Forst Pulaski Nov. 12-13 - Savannah Food & Wine Festival Nov. 26 - Sailing with Santa Cruise Dec. 3 - Tybee Island Christmas Parade Dec. 10 - Holiday Tour of Homes Dec. 17 - The Twelve Bars of Christmas Charity Bar Crawl Dec. 29 - Moscow Ballet presents The Great Russian Nutcracker Dec. 31 - New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise Jan. 14 Second Saturday Art Walk

Oct. 9 - Boone Heritage Festival - Boone, NC Nov. 12 - Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders concert Columbia, SC Nov., Dec., Jan. - Nights of Lights - St. Augustine, FL Nov. 3-7 - Fort Lauderdale, FL International Boat Show Nov. 18-27 - 30th Annual Sand Sculpting Championship, Fort Myers, FL Dec. - Legoland Christmas Bricktacular - Winter Haven, FL

For more info: savannah.com/eventcalendar FALL 2016

PREMIER

49


real estate DANIELLA SQUICQUERO

Real Estate in the Lowcountry Opinion Piece: Hilton Head & Bluffton: Not Just for Retirees Let me start by saying the following: I love the fact that our home is consistently recognized as being amongst the top places in the world for retirement. Condé Nast, Travel + Leisure, and Forbes have all listed our piece of paradise as one of the most wonderful places to call home once you’ve successfully completed your stay in the world of the working. It’s certainly true — the perfect blend of worldclass golf and tennis, miles of sandy beaches, active lifestyles and plenty to see and do add up to a wonderful place to spend your golden years. But here is my question… Why wait until then? My husband and I established our home here over two years ago, he as a dentist and I as a real estate professional. Before choosing our home, we made an extensive and specific list of areas all over the country which had successfully mixed steady population growth, economic strength, natural beauty and availability of activities and entertainment. The fact is, what is now our home won on its own merits as a place with everything we were looking for as a young, professional couple. So, we arrived, began creating our life, and have been happy with our decision every day since. So why might others choose somewhere other than this blissful piece of coastline to call home, until they decide to retire here? Some say the lack of shopping. Others say that there isn’t much for young children to do. Still others say that there isn’t much in the way of industry, unless you go to Savannah or Charleston. I say: nonsense. Even since my own arrival, I have witnessed the explosive growth of business in the region, and the population still continues to rise. A friendly tax environment, beautiful weather and the enormous potential that even still remains untapped makes this a prime location for investment, development and the creation of varied and wonderful lifestyles. And, as for jobs? As with any up-and-coming area, some industries are favored and others don’t yet 50 PREMIER FALL 2016

have a stronghold. In our market, real estate, small niche businesses, building development (both residential and commercial) and the medical field take center stage. The latter is in a process of continued growth that I predict will result in the Lowcountry becoming a medical hotspot, and we are already watching as this becomes the reality. And — love it or hate it — the brand new additions of commercial giants like Walmart, Costco and Kroger are a strong indicator of what is already here, and perhaps even more importantly, what is to come. Amazing restaurants, brand new schools, constantlyexpanding shopping and entertainment options, new businesses popping up left and right, and a growing population with a dropping median age… I don’t know about you, but it sounds to me like the focus might need to shift slightly. Add to this the residential real estate segment that is currently on fire, and you can see where I am going with this. Homes in the under $350K bracket, which is effectively the cutoff for our area’s entry-level and next-step markets, are without question the most indemand. As a result, properly priced resale homes are flying off of the shelves, and new construction projects are continuing to attempt to fulfill the high demand. If you’ve been with me so far, it won’t come as a surprise that most of this development is specifically advertised for its proximity to schools, which are also seeing their own rapid expansion to cater to the young and growing populace. I don’t mean to say that Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are not excellent places to retire — they certainly are, and I am thrilled every time I see another publication letting the world know. My point, instead, is this: In rating us for “Top 5 Retirement Havens” or “The #1 Place to Retire in the US,” do not miss all of the other stages for which life here is perfectly suited, and is becoming more and more so each day. Allow me to put it this way… Don’t wait to give the Lowcountry another look. Perhaps your dreams of living here need not be as far-off as they seemed.


FALL 2016

PREMIER


Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC PO Box 3480 Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

PREMIER

FALL 2016

Presort Standard US Postage PAID Greenville SC permit 1431

Premier Lowcountry Magazine Fall 2016  

Premier Lowcountry Magazine Fall 2016

Advertisement