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Vacationing On Fripp Before The Bridge

This Article was written By Page Miller

Vacationing On Fripp Before The Bridge

 

Prior to the use of motorboats and cars and before the building of the bridges, the trip to Fripp Island from Beaufort involved a day or two of difficult sailing. Even with the introduction of motorboats around 1900, trips to Fripp Island were often up to six hours long and had to be well time to accommodate the tides. The usual plan involved leaving Beaufort about two hours before low tide to have the ebb tide assist in carrying the boats down to station Creek and flood tides for the rest of the trip. The most difficult part of the journey would be final approach to the southern end of the island against the tide in skull inlet. However, a fairly deep channel in skull inlet next to the Fripp shore facilitated the landing and unloading of boats. Fripp Island Rentals

Mills Kinghorn, a Beaufort native, recounted his first trip to Fripp and a Beaufort Gazette article: as a young boy in 1920, a travel aboard the East Wind, a large houseboat owned jointly by several Beaufort families. On this trip there were four adults and six children along with two hired hands who ran the boat and cooked. They anchored in skull inlet for a week at the beach. The following year, the Beaufort group sold the house boat because it was too expensive to maintain and jointly built a four room camp house on Fripp. They made the trip in two World War I surplus 24 foot Navy lifeboats. One was configured as a launch and powered with a two cylinder 8 hp Palmer Marine engine. It towed the second boat, which was filled with equipment, food and supplies.

Kinghorn described the rustic house as standing on the south and of Fripp Island, with a view of high sand dunes that extended 300 yards inland from the beach. Made a rough pine lumber, it stood on Palmetto post and had a wide front porch. A small kitchen extended off the rear and the back porch had a built in icebox, insulated with sawdust. An outhouse about 50 yards away. For 10 days to two weeks day, the families would bring three, 300 pound blocks of ice covered in burlap and sawdust for the trip. The vacationers also brought their own drinking water and use the rain that ran from the gutters into the cistern for washing. Kinghorn remembers cistern water contained an ample supply of mosquitos’ wigglers. While they brought along some can goods and staples, such as rice, grits, flour, sugar, and lard, Kinghorn recalls that they depended on catching fish, crabs and swim to provide the primary part of their meals.

The major entertainment on Fripp, Kinghorn wrote, was fishing in the surf, and pulling the seine, crab and walking the beach, picking up shells and articles washed up on the beach. Early in the morning, the boys would survey the beach looking for her legs, for as Kinghorn observed, this was long before the word conservation and entered the vocabulary. One time they found nest of 212 eggs. Kinghorn noted that when the eggs were cooks the whites never got a hard and the yoke had the consistency of sand; however, turtle eggs were useful in making biscuits. Some days they would row over to the beach on Preachers Island and drag the seine in the large holes and tidal pools there. In the evenings, they would sit on the porch with a marsh grass fire to repel mosquitoes. Unfortunately, after some years of using the camp house burned to the ground.

The bridge over the Beaufort River connecting Beaufort too Lady’s island built in 1927. Reduce Fripp’s isolation. Before the Civil War, Cowan Creek Causeway provided land transportation between Lady’s Island and St. Helena Island’s, but prior to the Beaufort River Bridge only a ferry connected Beaufort and St. Helena Island. The new bridge made it possible for cars to pull a boat from Beaufort to the south end of St. Helena for much quicker trip Fripp Island.

 

 

Vacationing On Fripp Before The Bridge

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