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First People on Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

 

Among the first part-time residents were Bill and Dixie Winter. When they built the seventh house on the island in 1965, both were still working in Aiken, Bill at the Savannah River Plant as an engineer  and administrator and Dixie as a teacher. They came to Fripp for weekends, and Dixie and their daughters came for the summer. Bill recalls that for the first few years they did not have a telephone at their Fripp house. When they would arrive on Friday evening, there would be a note tucked in their door telling them where the party would be that night. Fripp Island Real Estate

 

In few cases, the husband commuted to work while the wife established a full time residence on Fripp. This was the case this was the case with Gini and Griff Reese. When they moved to Fripp from New York in 1968, Gini retired from teaching music but Griff continued as a pilot for Pan Am Airlines. Since he had the long Asian routes, he had extended layovers on Fripp between flights. Goff, vision and the natural beauty of the island attracted them to Fripp. As often as three times a week, they would feast in the evening all seafood that they had, that day.

 

Fripp Island Real Estate

Another Sale of Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

Another Sale of Fripp Island

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

Robert Graves, a commercial shrimper and supply preacher who lives on St. Helena Island, has fond memories from his boyhood of camping in hunting Fripp. One of the most exciting experiences was being chased by a wild hog and seeking refuge in the tree. The site of oh house, which by 1950s was no longer standing, once favorite spot for pitching their tents, for it was easily accessible and somewhat protected. He recalls fighting off mosquitoes with ample supply of bug spray and use of mosquito nets. In answer to the question of whether there were ever stills on Fripp; Gray said he had never seen any on Fripp speculated that the wild hogs would have eaten up the mash before it had time to become liquor.

 

On September 9, 1954, McLean lumber company sold Fripp Island for $40,000 to the Fripp Island Corporation, which was made up a group of 16 Beaufortonians who purchase it for a private hunting and fishing preserve. The group included local leaders such as Sheriff McTeer, Claude McLeod, Harold and John Tress, GG Downing and Bradley Harvey Sr., men who over the years had been hunting, fishing and camping on Fripp, many of them since childhood.

Beginning of Fripp as a Resort

This Article was written By Page Miller

Beginning of Fripp as a Resort

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

The group of 16 never built any houses on Fripp, but they did sell timber rights. On September 3, 1957, they signed a timber deed with W H Green and EJ Schumpert. In return for $25,000, the Fripp Island Corporation sold the rights to cut all pine trees on Fripp Island having a stump dimension of 10 or more inches. The timber deed forbade cutting of any hardwood trees, place a limit on 24 months on the agreement and gave permission to cut needing roads and build a dock for the removal of the timber. Language in the deed also abolished Green and Schumpert  to use due  care to prevent damage or injury to the trees and timber not covered by the deed, encouraging them to make every effort to protect the wild game and wild life on the island. Fortunately, most of Fripp island remained a veritable jungle with a heavy growth of Saw palmetto, wax myrtle, Cedar, Oak, tall palmettos, many uncut giant pines and occasionally large Live Oak trees.

 

Within months all the 1959 termination of that timber deed, Fripp island Corporation begin the negotiations with developer Jack Kilgore for the sale of their hunting preserve. In reflecting on the years preceding the building of a bridge to Fripp, William Hardee McLeod declared, I feel I had the opportunity to enjoy the best of the last hunting and fishing in Beaufort County.

Visitors By Air Plane to Fripp Island SC

This Article was written By Page Miller

Visitors By Air Plane to Fripp Island SC

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

With the departure of the beach patrol, the abandoned barracks provided a shelter for outings to Fripp. There was kind of squatters rights system practice, whereby whoever found the barracks empty use them for lodging. Many happy and successful camping and fishing trips, Pierre McGowan wrote. We made through the use of these facilities. In addition, the end of World War II meant Hunting Island could once again become a state park with a public road, to its boat ramp. This made Fripp Island, located just one third of a mile across to the Fripp inlet, easy and assessable by boat. The combination of these, and access and the possibility of housing instead of tents increase the number of people who visit Fripp Island, particularly fishman, who considers Fripp, a paradise.

 

Visitors occasionally came to Fripp by private plane. William Hardee McLeod, who was related to the McLeod truck farming family of Seabrook and not the McLeod’s of the North Carolina lumber company, recalled boyhood memories of Fripp. McLeod’s father and jack Pollizer, who had been trail gunner during World War II, would fly to Fripp from a private airstrip located on what is now the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort. The plane would land on the beach at low tide just in time for the first hours of the incoming tide, the best time for fishing in the surf for bass. On at least one occasion, McLeod recalled, there was a hair rising departure as the high tide left little beach for getting airborne.

 

 

First Paintings of Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

 

First Paintings of Fripp Island

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

McLeod also reminisced about the annual two week summer camping trips that his family had on Fripp during the late 40s and early 50s. It took a full day, as he remembered,, for them to come in a Lighting sailboat with an outboard motor, pulling a bateau loaded with supplies, tents, fishing equipment, water and ice. They set up camp near Skull Inlet. His father would fly down several times during the week with Jack Pollitzer to fish and to check on the family. As McLeod looked back on these days of his youth, he reminisced:  “We swam, fished, ran footraces, told stories, ate and slept.” And during the whole two weeks, he noted, they never saw another boat or person except for the offshore shrimp boats.

In a delightful watercolor, local artiest Nancy Ricker Rhett captured the experience of her family camping on Fripp in the 1950s. Using old family photos as a source, she painted a cluster of picturesque canvas tents, many of which had been made by her great grandfather. A careful examination of Rhett’s painting suggests the location of the tent camp was on the beach near Skull Inter. Such a spot assured sea breezes and minimum mosquitoes. Rhett describes in her book Beaufort and the Low country the trips to Fripp and how a room sized oriental carpet was spread out on the sand as a play area for the youngest children. With an assortment of tents and cooks and nurse for the children, the family camped, as Rhett noted, the “grand style.”

Lumbering On Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

Lumbering On Fripp Island

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

In 1937, William Dorman, sold Fripp for 15,000 and made a handsome profit, having purchase it just four years earlier, for $4500. The purchasers, the company of our RL McLeod and sons, were from Robeson County, North Carolina. Their sizeable lumbering business included extensive holdings, of rich timberland in South Carolina as well as two sawmills at Ravenel and Rantowles, two small towns located on the outskirts of Charleston on the railroad line between Charleston and Savannah.

A year after purchase, RL McLeod and Sons established three sawmills on Fripp, one near the Marina, one on the south and of the island and third midway between the other two. Their interest was in Fripp’s longleaf yellow pine trees. The company built a makeshift timber loading dock where barges could tied up to load the logs. Some of the large yellow pine pilings from the old loading docks can still be seen under the Marina boathouse. Yellow pine was use at the time because it was just as effective as treated wood for discouraging the teredo worms that ate away at most wood submerge in the water. McLeod and Sons begin by cutting the tall Pines on the south and along the island perimeter. However, soon after they began the operation lumber prices fell sharply. They ceased operation hoping for better prices, which failed to materialize.

The isolation of Fripp was further reduced when the works progress administration, which had been established during the depression to provide work for the unemployed, build bridges across both the harbor River and the Johnson Creek. A plaque on the lengthy draw bridge connects St. Helena and harbor islands. Note the date as 1939, the president as Franklin D Roosevelt and the project as the St. Helena hunting Island bridges. It was the depression era project of building bridges to expand Highway 21 to the new hunting Island State Park. That set the stage for the development of Fripp Island as a resort.

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.

New Owners Fripp Island

This Article was written By Page Miller

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

New Owners Fripp Island SC

After the death of James MacLoughlins, wife in 1932, her three children inherited the island, but quickly sold it in 1933 for $4500 to William R. Dorman of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dorman, whose father had valuable real estate holdings in New York, was only 24 years old when he purchased Fripp. Bill, as he was call, learned about Fripp on a trip to Beaufort to visit Adam and Natalie Haskell, who were friends of his parents. The Haskell’s open a guesthouse in Tidalholm home, an elegant antebellum mansion, built by Edward Fripp. While at, Tidalholm, Dorman fell under the spell of the beauty of the Lowcountry and had a real estate agent show him the barrier islands. Not only did Dorman purchased Fripp, but he also bought St. Phillips, old, Prichard’s and Bay Point islands.

Fripp Island SC

Julian, Levin, a Beaufort lawyer, recalled his outings to Fripp. As a young boy with Dorman and the twin sons of the Haskett’s. Dorman usually came South around Thanksgiving. They would sail to Fripp in Dorman’s 35 foot, to mass sailing vessel for a week to 10 days, staying in camp house known as Oh House, which perhaps gave us the name of the Creek on the backside of Fripp. Although Oh House may conjure up images of a handsome antebellum home, it was a small rustic cabin. Dorman and his three boys were usually alone on Fripp to fish, swim and explore the beach and the marsh Creek’s.

 

Fripp Island SC

fripp island south carolina

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

Fripp Island Rentals

Fripp Island New Owner

This Article was written By Page Miller

Fripp Island New Owner

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee

 

In 1903 Eula Priioleau , the widow of William “Good Billy” Fripp and Sarah Harriet Reynolds’s, grandson, sold Fripp island for $2000 to James G. McLounghlin of New York for hunting preserve. A wealthy New York publisher, James was a part owner in McLounghlin brothers, a family publishing firm that specialized in children’s and religious books. McLounghlin live home 13 E. 65th St., a fashionable area in close proximity to Rockefellers home.

One can only speculate how James MacLounghlin happened to buy Fripp. During in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was considerable interest among wealthy Northerners in acquiring hunting preserves in the South. National prosperity and the expanding railroads had made it possible for the Rockefellers, Carnegie’s, Macy, Pulitzers and Morgan families to build extravagant houses on secluded barrier islands near their scenic hunting grounds. One of the most noted private preserves was the Jekyll Island club established in 1888 office coast of Georgia.

Only a few months after purchasing Fripp Island, MacLounghlin made a hunting expedition to these newly acquired preserve. In early December 1903, his handsome stream yacht, the Trionyx, arrive at Beaufort’s dock having sailed from New York. The Beaufort Gazette reported that the large yacht at only its crew aboard and that her owner is expected here in the near future with a party to enjoy hunting on his preserves, which are located on Fripp is story islands. MacLouhghlin’s hunting party included friends from New York and his two sons, as well as local guide, John Wallace, who was one of Beaufort’s most experienced sportsmen. Accompanying the party was a pack of local hunting dogs. During the stay Beaufort, theMcLoughlin party sails to Fripp aboard the Trionyx several times. They return from the first trip with eight dear, and on the next expedition shot seven more. According to the Gazette, Maclounghlin was quite a favorite with all who met him.

Following MacLounhlin’s death in 1918, his widow, Cornelia Cole MacLoughlin, inherited Fripp Island and owned it unto her death in 1932. Thus Fripp island continued, as it had during much of the post-Civil War period, to have an owner who did not live nearby and who visit infrequently, if ever. And absentee landlord allowed local folks who had the time and the seaworthy boat to treat Fripp Island as a beach and Woodland preserve for their occasional recreational use.