10 Things You May Not Know About Sullivan's Island

This enticing barrier island has played a prominent role in the region's history. Today, those who live on it or who frequent it rightfully consider it a gem.

1. O'well... Sullivan's Island was named after Captain Florence O'Sullivan who "was charged by the government of Carolina to protect the city [of Charleston] by placing a gun in the best place possible for such a task" in 1674.

2. Quarantine... Sullivan's Island was the entry point for forty percent of the more than 400,000 Africans forced to come to Britain's North American colonies. They would be quarantined for 10 days on the island.

3. Third time's the charm... The first two attempts at building a permanent Fort Moultrie failed. The fort has modernized numerous times since it was "an irregular form, built of brick" again in 1809.

4. By land and sea... Sullivan's Island was once serviced by both a ferry and a trolley system. Horse and buggies exited the ferry regularly. The current station designations harken back to the age of the island trolley.

5. Still today... Incorporated as Moultrieville in 1817, its ordinances demanded that no lot be smaller than one half acre in size. Exactly 200 years later, that same restriction still applies.

6. Bridgeless... Hurricane Hugo devastated Sullivan's in September of 1989. The Ben Sawyer Bridge, connecting the barrier island with the mainland, broke free of its locks. The ungodly result: one end of the bridge was in the water and the other was pointing skyward.

7. Poe before Poe's... The island's popular watering hole actually was named after Edgar Allan Poe. He was stationed at Fort Moultrie for the majority of 1828.

8. Worth writing about... Besides Mr. Poe, numerous other authors were fascinated with Sullivan's Island, making it the backdrop for novels by Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank and Lawrence Hill.

9. Smokeless in Sullivan's... In 2006, the Town of Sullivan's Island became the first municipality in the state to ban smoking in all public areas.

10. Natural beauty and monetary wealth... According to the United States Census Bureau, Sullivan's Island has seen triple-digit increases in per capita income since 1979. Its estimated median household income is now well in excess of $100K.

If you haven't visited Sullivan's Island lately, only one question remains. What are you waiting for?


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