The Jolly Shores Story

Jolly Shores has been an important part of Daufuskie since it's beginning. It has been a resource for food, entertainment, and lodging, as well as the Post Office, the communications center, and home to some of the most well-loved Daufuskie islanders. The following historical excerpts about Jolly Shores are thanks to Billie Burn, from her book, "An Island Named Daufuskie".

"In the early 1960s, hoping to catch the riverboat trade, were beer stops that might have oyster roasts, with some providing foods like crabburgers, hamburgers, hotdogs, boiled shrimp, or chicken and dumplings... including Jolly Shores, operated by Lance Burn at the old Fuller Fripp place."

"In the early 1940s Mr. Fred H. Dierks was given a sheriff's battery-operated ship-to-shore radio, to be kept in his store on New River to insure a prompt response whould anyone get sick or hurt or if a death had occurred. When electricity came, Mr. Dierks' battery radio was exchanged for an electric one. He kept it until 1963 when he and Mrs. Dierks moved to Savannah. The radio was then turned over to Lance and Billie Burn at Jolly Shores, and was removed from their premises in 1984."

"In 1959, when Lance and Billie Burn returned to the island to operate their business, Jolly Shores, they found out that a good number of black people would like to vote but had no way to get to Beaufort (the county seat). The Burns had brought their boat "Dandy" with them when they came, so they loaded up twenty-one black women and men aboard and took them to Savannah. After arriving there, Geraldine Wheelihan and Billie Burn made several trips to Beaufort to register them to vote. Using only a two-seated car, and despite a flat tire and other delays, finally everyone was registered and back on the island before dark."

"From 1960 to 1962, Billie Burn as manager, Hinson White as clerk, and Viola Bryan and Sarah Grant as box managers supervised the voting at Jolly Shores. In 1963, when Billie was made postmaster, it was against Postal policy for her to participate in the voting process."

"Clifford Boyd accepted the responsibility as voting manager from 1964 to 1968, with Hinson, Viola, and Sarah working with him, but the precinct was held at the Mary Fields Elementary School. The radio was at Jolly Shores so when the votes were tabulated after 7 pm, Clifford would bring the results to Billie and she would phone them in to the Beaufort Sheriff's office."

History of Daufuskie Island

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina is a "sea island" - covering eight square miles. Daufuskie Island has been inhabited for 9,000 years! Remnants of native pottery dates back to 7,000 BC. These first inhabitants are said to have lived comfortably on Daufuskie's high ground. Native Indians feasted on the shellfish and marine life that thrives in the nutrient-rich salt marshes, river and ocean.

First came the peaceful Cusabo Indians, as evidenced by archeological findings, who were replaced in the early 1600s by the more aggressive Yemassee Indians, who had migrated north from the coastal regions of Florida. Spanish explorers were next, followed by English and other traders. The first known British Land Grant of Daufuskie Island was turned over to Thomas Cowte on November 15, 1707. The Spanish then began rewarding local Indian tribes for raiding English settlements. Bloody Point earned it's name during a raid on Daufuskie, where English scouts surprised and defeated raiders.

During the American Revolution, animosity grew between inhabitants of Daufuskie Island and the American patriots on nearby Hilton Head Island. In 1781, Daufuskie Tory Loyalists staged an attack on Hilton Head's Skull Creek Plantation. In retaliation, the Revolutionary War patriots of Hilton Head formed the "Bloody Legion" and ambushed numerous homes on Daufuskie Island.

"Sea Island Cotton" - a fine, silky, long stranded cotton brought fortune to the 12 working plantations of the island. This cotton was the reason for the growth of slavery in the Lowcountry, and remained the heart of the economy until 1920, it's demise caused by Boll Weevils.

In 1836, John Stoddard married Mary Mongin, granddaughter of a wealthy Daufuskie planter. In 1848, they completed construction of their home, the Melrose Mansion - located on the site of the current resort and named for the enchanting Melrose Abby in Melrose, Scotland, where the couple had honeymooned. In 1862, Union forces occupied Daufuskie Island. These northern troops chopped down 10,000 trees, which they used to build the "corduroy roads" across the wetlands to Savannah. They also tore down all of the plantation homes, except for the Melrose Mansion, which was spared by Captain John Monroe. It was later destroyed by fire.

Daufuskie has also been known for it's oyster industry, including it's own local canneries. While they caught fame because of their great taste and texture, they were temporarily wiped out from pollution in the Savannah River. The beds have recently been reopened, and are the best oysters in the area.

In 1974, the famous motion picture "Conrack" was filmed on Daufuskie Island, based on the award-winning autobiographical book "The Water is Wide" by Pat Conroy, which recounted his early days of teaching African American children at the island's one-room schoolhouse.

In 1984, International Paper purchased land at the north end of the island and named it Haig Point, a private residential community. Also in 1984, the central and southeastern portions of the island, known as Melrose and Bloody Point, were purchased by three developers and businessmen from Hilton Head, forming the Melrose Company. This area was developed as a private resort, including two championship golf courses, tennis facilities, an equestrian center, and more, and was renamed Daufuskie Island Club & Resort.

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