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Hunting on Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller


Hunting on Fripp Island


Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

Like Levine and Kinghorn, a number of other lifelong Beaufortonians have written about their experiences on Fripp Island when it was still undeveloped. Pierre McGowan in the Gullah mailman wrote a number of stories about his father, Sam McGowan, as well as his own adventures on Fripp. In 1924. Sam became the rural postman on St. Helena Island and his family was among the approximate 65 white residence on the island among 5000 black inhabitants. The McGowan’s lived back from seaside road in a house that overlooks several barrier islands, including Fripp. Sam loved the water and taught his three sons from early age to handle boats with great skill. To give a sense of idyllic nature of the islands, Pierre Mcgowen wrote that from the time he was about 10 years old, his mother would let him, his brothers and their black friends head out on Friday afternoon in a boat for the barrier islands for weekend of camping unaccompanied by adults. However, she would never allow her boys to play football, for she considered it too dangerous. The McGowan also stayed many nights as a boy in Oh House, which was located, as he recall, right on the edge of the second bend of the tidal creek that runs through the center of Fripp. Although we McGowan could remember what happened to Old House, he thinks it cabin simply fell into the water after the Creek slightly changed its course sometime in the 1940s.


In 1937, when Bill Dorman was planning a visit to Beaufort, he asked his friend Sam McGowan to organize a deer hunt for him and his wife. Sam arranged to have’s standers posted about the island and drivers accompanied by dogs to move the deer alone. Noting that Fripp in 1937, was much wider than now, and mostly a jungle, McGowan wrote that his father selected a place called the Narrows with the ocean on one side and the marsh the other to situate Mrs. Dorman. This location, near the current tennis courts, proved to be most dangerous spot for her to bag at eight point buck with her 12gauge double barrel shotgun.

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