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Fripp First Contractor

Many early property owners were as enthusiastic about the island as Kilgore and Krell and helped spread the word. From his first visit to Fripp in 1965, Ron Yaw, director and executive vice president of the Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, envisioned retiring to Fripp permanently. In the interviewing years he used the Fripp house as a family retreat and rented it at other Times through the Fripp Island Resort. As president of the American College of Hospital Administrators, he had contact with many health professionals whom he told about Fripp. During a lunch conversation at a hospital management conference in San Francisco, Yaw glowingly described the island to Bill Robinson and George Allen, two executives with the Hospital Association of New York State. They both subsequently visited Fripp and bought property. The Robinsons eventually retired on the island. Yaw also recruited future residents Zack Thomas, CEP of Charlotte Memorial Hospital, and Ray Brown, director of the graduated program in hospital management at Duke University. This pattern of business associates, friend and family extolling the virtues of a special place called Fripp Island began early and continues to this day.

Although the first two houses on Fripp, those on the resort management, appeared more suited to a suburban neighborhood that barrier island, most of the early residence blended with the environment and reflected low country styles. Jim Rentz, president of Beaufort’s coastal contractors, opened an office in 1966 on Fripp and built a reasonably priced custom homes as well as homes from a set of plans drawn by Charlie Johnson, a local architect. Several of these featured modified low country designs with some Polynesian features, such as the clipped gable resembles a Ship’s prow and standard supporting beams remiss of Outrigger canoes. The owner of many of these houses included those seeking a weekend and summer vacation plays as well as respected retirees planning ahead for a future home