Sea Pines, Stoney-Baynard Ruins, Harbour Town Lighthouse , Forest Preserve

12/3/13 Tuesday at Yemassee, SC (The Oaks at Point South-TT/MA-John and Trish at Hilton Head Island)

What with the movie, then the Seahawks game, we didn’t go to bed until midnight again. Our friends are rubbing off on us. John got up at 8 am, I managed it at 9 am. I worked on the blog while the others entertained themselves. Greg and I walked a mile and back to the Piggly Wiggly for some fresh groceries.

After lunch (grilled hamburgers) we headed out to Sea Pines, a private community at the south end of Hilton Head Island. It seemed like a sort of smaller version of Sun City- homes that blended with their natural surroundings alongside commercial enterprises like timeshares and golf courses (24 golf courses on the entire island). There is a $5 gate fee that goes towards upkeep of the infrastructure (ours was covered by our Marriot condo).

In the beginning the land was purchased from the Beaufort merchant John M Verdier and Captain John Stoney built the Stoney-Baynard house on it, around 1793. His son left it to Dr. George Stoney who gave it to his son “Saucy Jack” who lost it in a poker game to William E Baynard. Mr. Baynard planted Sea Island Cotton there (prized because these plants had 6″ staples-length of cotton strand) and did well until the Union invaded, occupying his place. The Baynard family got it back over 15 years of paying back taxes but never lived there again, thus it has gone to ruin. That area has been set aside as a preserve by the Sea Pines Community.

Stoney-Baynard Ruins:

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In 1957 Charles Fraser started building the planned community, laid out in a grid pattern. Unique for the time, he required that if you bought property there you would have to follow the rules for land use and aesthetics. Like Hilton Head, lots of trees and natural spaces placed around housing. Also this area is at the “toe” of the “foot” shape that is Hilton Head Island.

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He built the Harbour Town lighthouse, which was not built to work as a lighthouse. It’s purpose was to attract attention to the area. Unbelievably to many people, “Fraser’s Folly” worked! It does shine a light for 15 miles so many use it to find the entrance to Harbour Town harbor.

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Next we walked through their Forest Preserve, checking out the old rice field (created by building earthwork walls around an area the tide filled with water) and vanishing swamp (you can see the exposed roots of some trees in the photo). We didn’t make it to the Indian Shell Ring, but I’m including an image of the same sort of Shell Ring that I saw at Honey Horn Discovery Museum. No one really knows why the Indians left the shells like this but my theory is they sat in a circle enjoying their feast and left the shells right there, kind of like we used to do with watermelon seeds, when there were seeds in them.

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We got back to the condo to grille our marinated chicken. While the guys grilled that and some veggies (in foil) the gals prepared salads, veggies. John had baked potatoes. After dinner we enjoy another movie: “Now You See Me” about magicians. It was a big hit. John and I stayed up for “Person of Interest” even though it was a repeat. We seem to be adjusting to a later night schedule…

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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