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Negotiating the Purchase of Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

Negotiating the Purchase of Fripp  Island

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee


A week after seeing Fripp for the first time, Kilgore returned to Beaufort check out the owners of the island. He learned that a group of 16 Beaufortonians owned the island as a hunting preserve and that John Trask was the ringleader of the group. Kilgore made a reservation at this sea island motel that John Trask had recently built on Bay Street and call Trask to invite him for a drink. Trask arrived at 6 PM and by the time he left; Kilgore had the names and background information of all the owners. While in Beaufort, Kilgore made another trip to Fripp. This time his guide was Jack Woods, who served during War War II in the Coast Guard patrol that brought supplies to Fripp Island and was now working in real estate Company of his father-in-law, Sheriff JE McTeer. Coordinating the trip to coincide with high tide, Woods took the boat up a tributary from Old House Creek that cut through the middle off the large marsh behind the center point on the beach. The high tide assured navigators water and a docking point that was just a short walk to the beach. Kilgore’s appreciation of the beauty and potential all the island increased.


Returning to Columbia, Kilgore work quickly to create a business structure. On May 7, 1960, Kilgore and his initial two supporters, Ray Barry and Alderman Duncan, established the first security investment Corporation, which was serve as a preliminary organization for purchase and the island. They elected Kilgore president, Duncan VP and Berry treasure. With incorporation papers and an option to purchase in hand, Kilgore went back to Beaufort to see John Trask and make an initial offer all $300,000. After some deliberation to agree on the amount and Trask offered Kilgore some tips on how to proceed in gaining the signatures all the other 15 owners.

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