History of Bluffton, South Carolina

History of Bluffton, South Carolina

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History of Bluffton, SC: Selected Materials & Links

A selective list compiled by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Historical Resources Coordinator, Beaufort County Library, S.C. All links active on 14 July 2015. (Original posting: 27 October 2011; Latest update: 14 July 2015) Legend to materials location at bottom.

Online Resources:

Water Quality Concerns in the May River: Analysis of Monitoring Data Collected by the Town of Bluffton and the Palmetto Bluff Development http://www.blufftonian.com/blufftonian/mayriverreport.pdf

Bluffton Breeze(magazine).An online version of this publication is available from November 2004 – Present at http://blufftonbreeze.com .Includes an article or two about the history of the area every month.

Bluffton Today(newspaper). Partial archives from 2008 to present are available online at http://www.blufftontoday.com .

“History of Bluffton” web page hosted by the City of Bluffton is available at http://www.townofbluffton.sc.gov/visiting/Pages/index.aspx.

“The Devil’s Elbow Barony,” by Henry A. M. Smith, South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine , vol. 13, no. 3, July 1912, pp. 119 – 215 is available online at http://www.jstor.org/stable/27575336 .

Print copies of the entire run of the South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine are held in the BDC. HHI has the article on microfiche. This article was reprinted in The baronies of South Carolinaby Henry A. M. Smith. (BDC). This article is also included in The Historical Writings of Henry A.M. Smith: Articles from the South Carolina Historical (and Genealogical) Magazine under call number 975.702 SMI at BLU and HHI. Historical timeline for the Devil’s Elbow Barony is found at http://www.colletonriverclub.com/Community/History/Historical-Timeline.aspx.

An essay about Rose Hill Mansion by Iva Roberts Welton is found at http://www.rosehillmansion.com/HistoryIndex.html.

SCIways has a “Bluffton, SC” web page at http://www.sciway.net/city/bluffton.html.

“The History of Bluffton, South Carolina” at http://www.hiltonheadisland.org/bluffton/see-and-do/history-and-museums/.

The Kirk Family Genealogy is available at http://www.rosehillmansion.com/KirkGenealogy.html.

Another source of “Bluffton History!”is http://www.bluffton.com/bluffton-history/.

Borrow these materials from one of our libraries:

B HOWIE.The Bluffton Charge: One Preacher’s Struggle for Civil Rights by Stephen S. Howie, 2000. (BDC, BLU, HHI)
Describes some events of the Civil Rights movement in Bluffton surrounding the lives of Rev. and Mrs. John Howie.

728.8579 MAR Northern Money, Southern Land: the Lowcountry Plantation Sketches of Chlotilde R. Martin , edited by Robert B. Cuthbert and Stephen G. Hoffius, 2009. (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI)
Reprints the newspaper articles that Martin wrote during the 1940s and provides updates to 2009 regarding subsequent ownership and history of the land.

917.5799 GUI A Guide to Historic Bluffton by Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, 2007 (ALL)
Brief history of Bluffton Historical Preservation Society and Bluffton Town. Contains brief descriptions and historical information of houses in the Bluffton historic district.

973.77579 FUL The Bluffton Expedition: The Burning of Bluffton, South Carolina, during the Civil War by Jeff Fulgham, 2012.  (BLU)

975.799 FRI Bluffton and the Okatie by Nellie Hasell Fripp.Unpublished, 1951. (BLU)
History of Bluffton Town from 1841 to 1951 through oral histories of prominent town folk.

975.799 ING A Corner of Carolina: The Four Seasons in Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, and Bluffton by Edith Inglesby, 1968. (BEA, BLU, HHI)
An account of the history of the area specifically detailing the natural history. Short references to historically significant people, places, and events.

975.799 LON A Longer Short History of Bluffton, South Carolina and its Environs by Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, Inc., 1988. (BEA, BLU, HHI)
Explains the history of Bluffton, South Carolina from European settlement to the Civil War. Relates the history and architecture of Bluffton’s antebellum buildings and buildings dating during the time period between the Civil War and World War I. A map is included to help you find these historically relevant buildings.

975.799 MAR Remembering the Way it Was at Hilton Head, Bluffton and Daufuskie by Fran Heyward Marscher, 2005. (ALL)
Oral histories of the 20th century. This compilation includes a variety of accounts from peoples of differing ages, social, and political backgrounds.

975.799 MAR Remembering the Way it Was Volume Two: More Stories from Hilton Head, Bluffton and Daufuskie by Fran Heyward Marscher, 2007. (ALL)
Oral histories of the 20th century. This compilation includes a variety of accounts from peoples of differing ages, social, and political backgrounds.

975.799 SHO A Short History of the Early Days of Bluffton South Carolina byBluffton Historical Preservation Society, Inc., 1983. (BEA, BLU)
Explains the history of Bluffton, South Carolina from European settlement to the Civil War. Relates the history and architecture of a few historically significant buildings. Includes a map of burned houses during the Union attack on June 4, 1863 as well as correspondence and Army Reports in relation to the incident.

Visit the BDC to see these materials:

283.757 CHU The Church of the Cross: An Episcopal Parish in Bluffton, South Carolina. Unpublished, 2004.
Provides history of Bluffton from 1854-2004 through the activities and members of The Church of the Cross. Also contains “The First One Hundred Years of History” a sermon presented by Rev. Albert Sidney Thomas at the 100 th Anniversary of the church which details the general history of the area known as Bluffton.

912.75799 BEA V.1 Bluffton Street Index by Beaufort County GIS Department. Unpublished, 2006.
Detailed mapping of Bluffton’s streets. Includes divisions for parceled land, but does not provide any land owner information. Contains a street finding guide.

975.79 BRE Summer Migrations and Resorts of South Carolina Low-Country Planters by Lawrence Fay Brewster, 1947.
Chapter II: “To ‘The Salt’” includes information about the Sea Island Resorts of Beaufort County including Kirk’s Bluff, the earlier name for Bluffton.

SC 975.799 BUD v. 1  & v. 2 The Garvin House: A Preservation and Interpretation Plan for an 1870s Freedman’s Home: July 15, 2009: and Appendix, August 15, 2009 prepared for the Town of Bluffton, South Carolina by The Living History Group, Historical Consultants, Laura Budak, Project Manager.

Archaeological Reports:

SC 975.7 ADA Intensive survey of 1.8 acres, Bluffton, Beaufort County, South Carolina by Natalie Adams, 1995.

SC 975.7 ADA Intensive survey of the Bluffton to Hilton Head Island transmission line, Beaufort County, South Carolina by Natalie Adams, 1994.

SC 975.799 ATZ Little house on the bluff: data recovery excavations at the Horskins Site (38BU1381), Palmetto Bluff, Beaufort County, South Carolinaby prepared for Palmetto Bluff, LLC by Leiellen Atz . . .et al.,2005.

SC 975.799 BRI Cultural resources inventory of Belfair’s Buckwalter Tract, Beaufort County, South Carolina prepared for Belfair Plantation, Bluffton, SC by Kara Bridgman, Archaeologist and Bruce Harvey, Historian, under the direction of Eric C. Poplin, Principal Investigator.

SC 975.799 FLE “Meet, O Lord, on the Milk-White Horse”: archaeological data recovery at Rephraim Plantation Sites 38BU1385 and 38BU1803: Palmetto Bluff, Beaufort County South Carolina: USACE P/N 2001-1G-426-C; OCRM Permi prepared for Palmetto Bluff, LLC by Joshua N. Fletcher . . .et al., 2005.

SC 975.799 HUD Late archaic settlement on the May River: data recovery at the Tree Runner Site (38BU1800), Beaufort County, South Carolina prepared for Palmetto Bluff, LLC by Connie M. Huddleston . . .et al.,2005.

SC 975.799 INT Intensive cultural resources survey for the proposed extension to Bluffton Parkway (Phase 5-B), Beaufort County, South Carolina prepared for Florence & Hutcheson, Inc., Columbia, SC, on behalf of Beaufort County, SC by Legacy Research Associates. Draft Report, 2006.

SC 975.799 LAN Cultural resources survey of the Olde Mill Run Tract, Beaufort County, South Carolina prepared for Olde Mill Run LLC by Brent Landsdell, Archaeologist and Jason Ellerbee, Historian under the direction of Eric C. Popin, Principal Investigator. Draft report, 2005.

SC 975.799 POP Montpelier Plantation (38BU1789): Antebellum Life at Palmetto Bluff: Final Report by prepared for Palmetto Bluff, LLC by Eric C. Poplin . .. et al.,2004.

SC 975.799 SCH Phase II Archaeological Testing of Site 38BU1944 in the Managed Forest of Palmetto Bluff: Town of Bluffton, Beaufort County South Carolina: Permit 2004-16-360: Final Report prepared for Crescent Resources, LLC by Ellen Shlasko and Mary C. Socci, 2008.

SC 975.799 SCH Theus Plantation: Phase II Archaeological Testing at sites 38BU1376, 38BU1377, 38BU2017 and 38BU2020: Palmetto Bluff: Town of Bluffton, Beaufort County, South Carolina:Permit 2004-16-360 prepared for Palmetto Bluff Uplands, LLC by Ellen Shlasko and Mary C. Socci, 2007.

SC 975.799 SOC Phase II Archaeological Testing of Long Island: Palmetto Bluff: Town of Bluffton, Beaufort County South Carolina: Final Report prepared for Crescent Resources, LLC by Mary C. Socci and Ellen Shlasko, 2010.

Vertical Files: In addition to maintaining an extensive vertical file collection including Bluffton-specific topics of interest, the Beaufort District Collection also maintains the following general files pertaining to Bluffton:

  • Bluffton
  • Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, Inc.
  • Bluffton Movement ( See Rhett, Robert Barnwell)
  • Sun City Hilton Head
  • Beaufort County Library – Bluffton Branch

Maps: The Beaufort District Collection houses a variety of maps depicting the South Carolina coastline and Bluffton, SC in particular. Search our online catalog for details.

SC MAP #625 Burning of Bluffton, June 4, 1863 

Images: Most images are not cataloged. There is, however, a guide to the postcard and illustrated prints collections within the Research Room. The illustrated prints collection (approximately 150 images) are listed in the Library system’s online catalog. Please consult with the librarian.

SC PRINT #94 Retreat of the Confederate Garrison, Commanded by General Drayton, from Fort Walker to Bluffton, during the Bombardment by the Federal Fleet, on the afternoon of November 7th, 1861, [1862].

The legend for location codes: Beaufort District Collection (BDC);  Beaufort Branch Library (BEA);  Bluffton Branch Library (BLU);  Hilton Head Island Branch Library (HHI);  Lobeco Branch Library (LOB);  St. Helena Branch Library (STH).

Note: Current hours and branch locations are posted on the Beaufort County Library’s (SC) website.