Top Rated Tennis Facilities. 9 Insider Tips on How To Do a Golf Trip on Hilton Head Island, Free Download: Beginner's Guide to Golf on Hilton Head Island, Splurge on Hilton Head Island’s Most Storied Courses, Hilton Head’s Most Special and Secret Spots. Over the centuries, Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty, spectacular seascapes, exceptional ecology and South Carolina historical sites have beckoned generations of explorers—with Native Americans, English, Spanish, French colonists, pirates, African-Americans and soldiers all leaving their footprints on the sands of South Carolina’s Treasured Coast. Not so long ago, Gullahs owned much of the land on the 26,880-acre isle. When Union forces took Hilton Head on November 7, 1861, in the Battle of Port Royal, more than 1,000 Hilton Head Islanders became some of the first freed slaves of the Civil War. The Federal government seized the property. Perfect for independent travelers, you create a sightseeing itinerary that suits your personal interests. And there are strict tree laws. The neighborhood once known as Gardner was home to the Aiken family, the “medicine makers,” according to Irv. I had a hard time imagining even one person having room to lie down to sleep in a space of that size — especially if there was a stove or table or any other piece of furniture, never mind if an extended family lived together. Incorporated as a town in 1983, Hilton Head Island is home to more than 40,000 residents who live year-round in our renowned environmentally planned resort and residential communities. Eleven months after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the shots fired on Fort Sumter reverberated on Hilton Head Island. We take deep dives into our subjects, infusing our articles with an always informative, sometimes irreverent, sometimes funny approach. 1959. Its original inhabitants were known for fishing and shrimping. Within two days of the Union victory on Hilton Head, Sea Island blacks began descending on the outpost. Gotta be setbacks and buffers.”. Rice cultivation needed freshwater ponds, but these bred hordes of mosquitoes, which in turn carried malaria and yellow fever. “This used to be our downtown,” Irv said. During the American Civil War, Union troops wanted to stop trade in the Confederacy, which led to an attack at Port Royal Sound, off of Hilton Head Island. Back in the day, the pavilions would have changing rooms, showers and a dance floor, all under one roof. The Gullahs of Hilton Head Island were descended from African slaves and are a key part of the history of the Civil War and Restoration. Ants! The blacks on Hilton Head Island were the very first former slaves to earn wages and actually get paid for their labor. . “The Gullah people are the descendants of the slaves who worked on the rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia,” said historian Joseph Opala. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity. They settled on the 100 Sea Islands in the Hilton Head area. “They didn’t have any opposition,” he said. Next day, what would it be covered with? However, Hilton Head Island did not gain worldwide recognition until 1790 when another planter, William Elliott, successfully raised the first crop of long-staple Sea Island cotton. Drayton's negro quarters, Hilton Head, S.C. Summary Photograph shows soldiers and slaves in front of the slave quarters on Drayton's plantation. The Civil War and the subsequent abolition of slavery altered the prosperous and patrician lifestyle of the plantation owners forever. The first of the Hilton Head family resorts—Sea Pines Plantation—became the prototype of the modern resort community, now copied around the world. This was a fantastic experience and provided excellent background history of Hilton Head. The government provided freedmen a quarter of an acre of land and the materials to build a 22-by-18-foot house. Most noteworthy, the Gullah Celebration is scheduled throughout Hilton Head and Bluffton each February for Black History Month. Categories: Show on Calendar. And it is a story about the survival of a people against seemingly insurmountable odds. “Many people realized they could move anywhere else,” Irv said. After the Civil War, more than 1,200 freed slaves remained. Describes Hilton Head Island’s involvement in the Civil War: its invasion by the Union Army, and the bustling life during the War, with Union encampments and Mitchelville, the first town established for newly-freed slaves. 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