Hilton Head Island
Everything You Should Know

Hilton Head Island, in some cases referred to as just Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town as well as a barrier island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and 95 miles (153 km) southwest of Charleston. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663 found a headland near the entryway to Port Royal Sound, which he called “Hilton’s Head” after himself. The island features 12 miles (19 km) of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and is a famous getaway destination. In 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors pumped over $1.5 billion into the local economy. The year-round population was 37,099, although, during the height of summer vacation period, the population can swell to 150,000. In the last decade, the island’s population development rate was 32%. Hilton Head Island is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metropolitan area, which actually had an approximated population of 207,413 in 2015.

Hilton Head Island-Rich in History

The island has a rich past that began with seasonal occupation by Native Americans countless years ago followed by the European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade. It ended up being an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. As soon as the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to numerous “native islanders”, a number of whom are descendants of released slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hang on to much of their ethnic and also cultural identity.

The Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a town in 1983 and is well known for its green growth. The community’s Natural Resources Division implements the Land Management Ordinance which decreases the influence of growth as well as regulates the style of structures as well as how they are positioned amongst existing trees. Because of this, Hilton Head Island enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development. Approximately 70% of the island, including the majority of the tourist locations, lies inside gated areas. The town maintains a number of public beach access points, consisting of one for the exclusive use of citizens, who have authorized several multimillion-dollar land-buying bond referendums to manage commercial development.

Hilton Head Island provides an unusual number of social opportunities for a community its size, including plays at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the 120-member full chorus of the Hilton Head Choral Society, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, an annual outdoor, tented wine sampling occasion on the east coast, and a variety of other yearly community festivals. It additionally holds the Heritage Golf Classic, a PGA Tour event played on the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort.

The Sea Pines shell ring can be seen near the east entryway to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The ring, among just 20 in existence, is 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and is believed to be over 4,000 years old. Archeologists believe that the ring was a refuse heap, produced by Indians who lived in the interior of the ring, which was kept clear and utilized as a common. Two other shell rings on Hilton Head were damaged when the shells were removed and used to make tabby for roadways and buildings. The Green’s Shell Enclosure, Sea Pines, and also Skull Creek shell rings are noted in the National Register of Historic Places and are protected by law.

From the beginning of recorded history in the New World, the waters around Hilton Head Island have been known, occupied, and fought for in turn by the English, Spanish, French, and Scots.

A Spanish exploration led by Francisco Cordillo explored the location in 1521, starting European contact with local tribes. In 1663, Captain William Hilton cruised on the Adventure from Barbados to discover lands approved by King Charles II of England to the eight Lords Proprietor. In his trips, he found a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound. He called it “Hilton’s Head” after himself. He stayed for a number of days, making note of the trees, crops, “sweet water”, and “clear pleasant air”.

In 1698, Hilton Head Island was granted as part of a barony to John Bayley of Ballingclough, County of Tipperary, Kingdom of Ireland. A different John Bayley, son of the first, appointed Alexander Trench as the island’s very first retail representative. For a time, Hilton Head was referred to as Trench’s Island. In 1729, Trench sold some land to John Gascoine which Gascoine named “John’s Island” after himself. The land later was called Jenkin’s Island after another proprietor.

In the mid-1740s, the South Carolina provincial half-galley Beaufort was based in a cove at the southern tip of Hilton Head to defend against breaches by the Spanish of St. Augustine. The point and cove are named after Captain David Cutler Braddock, commander of the Beaufort. Captain Braddock was a seafarer and a privateer of note in Colonial times. Earlier, he had been put in command of the Georgia schooner Norfolk by James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, and helped go after the Spanish back to St. Augustine after their failure in the 1742 intrusion of St. Simons Island. After transferring to Savannah in 1746, he offered two terms in the Georgia Commons House of Assembly while earning money as a very active privateer. He drew a popular chart of the Florida Keys while on a privateering venture in 1756. The chart is kept in the Library of Congress.

In 1788, a small Episcopal church called the Zion Chapel of Ease was created for plantation owners. The church’s old cemetery, situated near the edge of William Hilton Parkway and Mathews Drive (Folly Field), is all that is left. Charles Davant, a popular island planter during the Revolutionary War, is laid to rest there. Davant was shot by Captain Martinangel of Daufuskie Island in 1781. This place is also house to the earliest intact structure on Hilton Head Island, the Baynard Mausoleum, which was constructed in 1846.

William Elliott II of Myrtle Bank Plantation cultivated the very first crop of Sea Island Cotton in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island in 1790.

Throughout the Civil War, Fort Walker was a Confederate fort in what is now Port Royal Plantation. The fort was a base camp for Confederate troops, and its guns aided in protecting the 2-mile wide (3 km) entry to Port Royal Sound, which is fed by two slow-moving and accessible rivers, the Broad River and the Beaufort River. It was essential to the Sea Island Cotton trade and also the southern economic situation. On October 29, 1861, the largest fleet ever before assembled in North America relocated south to seize it. In the Battle of Port Royal, the fort came under attack by the U.S. Navy, and on November 7, 1861, it fell to over 12,000 Union troops. The fort was then named Fort Welles, in honor of Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy.

Hilton Head Island had great value in the Civil War and came to be a crucial main office for the Union blockade of the Southern ports, particularly Savannah as well as Charleston. The Union likewise constructed a military health center on Hilton Head Island with a 1,200-foot (370 m) frontage and a floor area of 60,000 square feet (6,000 m2).

So many ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head Island, where they can purchase land, go to school, reside in federal government real estate, and serve in what was called the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers (although initially, several were “recruited” at the point of a bayonet). A neighborhood called Mitchelville (in honor of General Ormsby M. Mitchel) was created on the north end of the island to house them.

The Leamington Lighthouse was constructed in the 1870s on the southern side of what is currently Palmetto Dunes.
On August 27, 1893, the Sea Islands Hurricane made landfall near Savannah, with a storm surge of 16 feet (5 m), and swept north across South Carolina, eliminating over a thousand and leaving tens of thousands of people whose houses were wrecked.

An experimental steam cannon securing Port Royal Sound was developed around 1900, in what is currently Port Royal Plantation. The cannon was repaired but its propulsion system allowed for long-range shots for the time.

In 1931, Wall Street mogul, physicist, and patron of scientific research Alfred Lee Loomis, together with his brother-in-law and partner Landon K. Thorne, acquired 17,000 acres (69 km2) on the island (over 63% of the overall land mass) for around $120,000 to be utilized as an exclusive game reserve. On the Atlantic coast of the island, large concrete gun platforms were constructed to defend against a likely intrusion by the Axis powers of World War II. Platforms like these can be discovered all along the Eastern Seaboard. The Mounted Beach Patrol and Dog Training Center on Hilton Head Island educated U.S. Coast Guard Beach Patrol employees to make use of horses and canines to safeguard the southeastern coast of the U.S
. In the early 1950s, three lumber mills added to the logging of 19,000 acres (77 km2) of the island. The island population was just 300 homeowners. Prior to 1956, access to Hilton Head was restricted to personal boats and a state-operated ferryboat. The island’s economic climate centered on shipbuilding, cotton, lumbering, and also fishing. The James F. Byrnes Bridge was built in 1956. It was a two-lane toll swing bridge created at a cost of $1.5 million that opened the island to car traffic from the mainland. The swing bridge was hit by a barge in 1974, which closed down all car traffic to the island until the Army Corps of Engineers built and manned a pontoon bridge while the bridge was being fixed. The swing bridge was changed by the existing four-lane bridge in 1982.

The start of Hilton Head as a resort started in 1956 with Charles E. Fraser developing Sea Pines Resort. Quickly, other advancements followed suit, such as Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes Plantation, Shipyard Plantation, and Port Royal Plantation, copying Sea Pines’ style and landscape design. Sea Pines, however, continued to stand out by creating a one-of-a-kind area within the plantation, called Harbour Town, anchored by a recognizable lighthouse. Fraser was a fully-committed conservationist that changed the whole arrangement of the marina at Harbour Town to save an ancient live oak. It came to be known as the Liberty Oak, known to generations of youngsters who saw singer and songwriter Gregg Russell perform under the tree for over 25 years. Fraser was buried next to the tree when he died in 2002.

Hilton Head Golf To Hilton Head
Becomes A Town

The Heritage Golf Classic was first played in Sea Pines Resort in 1969 and has actually been a usual stop on the PGA Tour since. Additionally in 1969, the Hilton Head Island Community Association effectively fought off the development of a BASF chemical facility on the coasts of Victoria Bluff (now Colleton River Plantation). Right after, the organization and also other concerned people “south of the Broad” dealt with the development of off-shore oil platforms by Brown & Root (a division of Halliburton) and ten-story high liquefied natural gas delivery spheres by Chicago Bridge & Iron. These events helped in polarizing the community and the Chamber of Commerce began drumming up support for the town to incorporate as a district. After the Four Seasons Resort (currently Hilton Head Resort) was built along William Hilton Parkway, a referendum of incorporation was submitted in May 1983. Hilton Head Island had become a community.

The Land Management Ordinance was passed by the Town Council in 1987. Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort opened in 1996, and the Cross Island Parkway opened to the public in January 1997. An indoor cigarette smoking ban in bars, dining establishments, as well as public areas took effect on May 1, 2007. Shelter Cove Towne Centre opened in 2014.

Fort Howell, Cherry Hill School, Daufuskie Island Historic District, Green’s Shell Enclosure, Hilton Head Range Rear Light, Sea Pines, Skull Creek, SS William Lawrence Shipwreck Site, and also Stoney-Baynard Plantation are included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hilton Head Island is a shoe-shaped island that lies 20 miles (32 km) by air northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and 90 miles (140 km) south of Charleston.

Hilton Head Island Population
& Natural Habitat

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 69.2 square miles (179.1 km2), of which 41.4 square miles (107.1 km2) is land, and 27.8 square miles (71.9 km2), or 40.17%, is water.

Hilton Head Island is often referred to as the second biggest barrier island on the Eastern Seaboard after Long Island (which is not actually a barrier island but two antarctic moraines). Technically, nevertheless, Hilton Head Island is only a half barrier island. The north end of the island is a sea island dating to the Pleistocene epoch, and the south end is a barrier island that appeared as early as the Holocene epoch. Broad Creek, which is actually a land-locked tidal marsh, divides the two halves of the island.

The terrain of a barrier island is determined by a dynamic beach system with offshore bars, pounding surf, and moving coastlines; as well as grassy dunes behind the coastline, maritime woodlands with marshes in the insides, and salt or tidal marshes on the lee side, facing the mainland. A typical barrier island has a headland, a coastline and surf zone, and a sand spit.

The Hilton Head Island area is home to a vast variety of wild animals, including alligators, deer, loggerhead sea turtles, manatees, numerous types of birds, and also dolphins.

The Coastal Discovery Museum, together with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, patrols the beaches from May up to October as part of the Sea Turtle Protection Project. The purpose of the project is to stock as well as monitor nesting locations, and if needed, relocate them to better areas. During the summer season, the museum sponsors the Turtle Talk & Walk, which is a special tour designed to enlighten the public about this endangered species. To safeguard loggerhead sea turtles, a town ordinance states that artificial lighting should be shielded to ensure that it cannot be seen from the coastline, or it has to be switched off by 10:00 p.m. from May 1 to October 31 annually. The waters around Hilton Head Island are just one of the few places on Earth where dolphins consistently use a method called “strand feeding”, whereby schools of fish are herded up onto mud banks, and the dolphins lie on their side while they feed prior to sliding back down into the water.

Particularly prominent in the sea waters bordering Hilton Head Island, the stingray serves as a fascination as well as an unpleasant natural experience for several beach goers. Little stingrays live in the quieter, shallow area of the ocean floor just past the break of the surf, typically buried beneath a thin layer of sand. Stingrays are a kind of demersal, cartilaginous fish common to the South Carolina coastline in addition to other areas on the Atlantic shoreline. Typically, stingrays stay clear of contact with humans unless they are inadvertently stepped upon, a circumstance usually ending in a stingray injury, where the stingray pierces the human with its poisonous barb. While these injuries are extremely agonizing, they are not usually deadly as long as they are effectively taken care of by a doctor. One problem shared by numerous Hilton Head Island tourists is that the lifeguards maintain a poor alert system for notifying swimmers when plenty of stingrays have been spotted within a specific stretch of the shore. This lack of alert on days when numerous sightings are reported can in some cases end in a high number of stingray injuries that could have otherwise been avoided; in 2009, 121 people were treated for stingray injuries.

The salt marsh estuaries of Hilton Head Island are the feeding grounds, mating grounds, as well as nurseries for lots of saltwater types of game fish, sport fish, and marine mammals. The dense plankton population provides the coastal water its murky brown-green coloration.
Plankton support marine life consisting of oysters, shrimp, and various other invertebrates, as well as bait-fish types consisting of menhaden and mullet, which subsequently support larger fish and mammal species that occupy the local waterways. Popular sport fish in the Hilton Head Island area consist of the red drum (or spot tail bass), spotted sea trout, sheepshead, cobia, tarpon, and also other shark species.

Hilton Head Island has a humid subtropical environment

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,099 individuals, 16,535 households, and 10,700 families staying in the town, inhabiting a land area of 42.06 square miles (109 km2). The population density was 882.0 individuals per square mile (340.4/km²). There were 33,602 real estate units at an average density of 798.9 per square mile (308.3/km²).

Although the town inhabits most of the land area of the island, it is not coterminous with it; there is a small area near the major access road from the mainland, William Hilton Parkway, which is not integrated into the community. Hilton Head (the island) therefore has a somewhat higher populace (48,407 in Census 2000, defined as the Hilton Head Island Urban Cluster) and also a larger land area (42.65 sq mi or 110.5 km2) than the community. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area, that includes Beaufort and Jasper counties, had a 2012 approximated year-round population of 193,882.

The racial makeup of the town was 82.9% White, 7.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.3% from other races, as well as 1.2% from two or even more races. Hispanic or Latino of any kind of race were 15.8% of the populace.

There were 16,535 households in which 18.4% had youngsters under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples cohabiting, 6.8% had a female homeowner without husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were composed of individuals and also 14.0% had a person living alone that was 65 years of age or older. The typical household size was 2.23 and the typical family members size was 2.66.

In the town, the population was spread out with 18% under the age of 20, 4.4% from 20 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 28.8% that were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.9 years. For every 100 women, there were 103.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.5 males.

According to a 2014 estimate, the median revenue for a household in the community was $68,437, and the typical income for a family was $85,296. Men had a median revenue of $51,463 versus $36,743 for females. The per capita earnings for the community was $45,116. About 5.4% of families and 9.3% of the population were listed below the poverty line, including 16.9% of those under age 18 and also 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

According to Hilton Head Island’s 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the leading companies in the town are:

The Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a municipality in 1983 and has authority over the whole island except for Mariner’s Cove, Blue Heron Point, and Windmill Harbor. The Town of Hilton Head Island has a Council-Manager kind of government. The Town Manager is the chief executive officer as well as head of the administrative branch and is responsible to the municipal council for the proper administration of all the events of the town. The Town Council exercises all powers not especially passed on to the Town Manager. The Mayor has the same powers, obligations, and responsibilities as a member of Town Council. On top of that, the Mayor establishes the agenda for Town Council meetings, calls special meetings, carries out agreements, deeds, resolutions, and announcements not assigned to the Town Manager, and also represents the community at ceremonial functions.

Hilton Head Town Departments

Town divisions consist of Building & Fire Codes, Business License, Code Enforcement, Finance, Fire & Rescue, Human Resources, Legal, Municipal Court, Planning, and Public Projects & Facilities.

The town had a budget plan of $74,753,260 for fiscal year 2006/2007. It includes three separate fiscal accounting funds: the General Fund, the Capital Projects Fund, and the Debt Service Fund. The General Fund is the operating fund for the community and makes up all financial resources of the town except the Capital Projects Fund and the Debt Service Fund. The Capital Projects Fund is utilized to get land and facilities, and boost public facilities, consisting of roadways, bike paths, fire stations, automobile replacement, drainage improvements, and park development. The Debt Service Fund makes up the buildup of sources as well as the payment of financial obligation.

On June 5, 2007, the Town Council accepted a $93,154,110 budget for fiscal year 2007/2008 on the first reading with a vote of 6– 0. One of the most current budget plan, for the 2010/2011 fiscal year is $74,299,720.
Workplace owners as of December 2014:

Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue started operations July 1, 1993, as a consolidation of the previous Sea Pines Forest Beach Fire Department, the Hilton Head Island Fire District, and also the Hilton Head Island Rescue Squad. There are seven fire stations on Hilton Head Island.

Authorities solutions are contracted via Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The island is equipped with an improved system.
Discussed on pages 123,130,131, and 224 of the late Pat Conroy’s 1972 book The Water Is Wide. The novel is set on Daufuskie Island, fictionalized as Yamacraw Island. It is stated in the museum going up the stairs of the Harbour Town Lighthouse.

In the well-known TV series, A Different World, Whitley Gilbert’s parents have a summer home there.

In “Big Trouble in Little Langley”, a 2007 episode of American Dad!, Francine’s birth parents Nick and Cassandra Dawson live there.

In the book By Order of the President, by W. E. B. Griffin, the President of the United States keeps a home on Hilton Head Island. This is where Charlie Castillo meets the President for the very first time.

In the 2012 motion picture Parental Guidance (starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei), the parents visit Hilton Head Island for a meeting. Aerial frying pans of Harbor Town are revealed.

In the science fiction franchise BattleTech, the headquarters of the interstellar telecommunications company “ComStar” lies on Hilton Head Island.

From late 2008 to late 2009, Hilton Head had the Shoreline Ballroom (near the heel of the island where the HHI Beach & Tennis Resort is) which held in ’08: Australia’s Air Supply and Gainesville’s Sister Hazel. In ’09 it held: The Wailers Band, B.B. King (d. 2015), Hank Williams III, Georgia’s Corey Smith, Snoop Dogg, Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse, Puerto Rico’s reggaeton Baby Rasta y Gringo, Columbia’s The Movement (reggae band) with G. Love, Jacksonville’s Shinedown with Halestorm, Kentucky’s Cage the Elephant with L.A.’s Silversun Pickups, Australia’s Sick Puppies, Chevelle with, Ft. Lauderdale’s Nonpoint with Mudvayne, Beaufort’s Souls Harbor, and Hilton Head’s very own reggae singer Trevor Hall. Click on this link for further information on Arts and Culture is readily available.

For additional information regarding Real Estate, Contact Charles Sampson Group of Charter One Realty.

Charles Sampson Group of Charter One Realty.
81 Main St., # 202.
Hilton Head, SC 29926.