James Island Water History

Dated: 11/04/2019

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It’s no secret that James Islanders have traditionally worked out their daily routines according to the rhythm of the tides. The tides’ ebb and flow has directed their lives since the islands first settlers arrived. To say that residents have always been intimately tied to the surrounding saltwater and marshes is an understatement. To understand the significance of the tides and importance of water transportation to James Island you must dive into the rich history on which it was founded on. Transportation of plantation produce to the mainland, boating, fishing, shrimping, crabbing, hunting and even travel have all been functions of the tides. The first settlers on James Island would cast out nets and lines from their backyards to catch their meals that included crabs, shrimp, many varieties of fish, and even turtles! Furthermore, the maritime society that dared to enter the uncertainty of the Atlantic Ocean, the Morris Island Lighthouse played an integral role in guiding watercraft, from commercial trawlers to mosquito fleets.

            Beyond utilizing the water for survival, the islands surrounding waters have also always been cherished as an exciting and mysterious playground for children, as well as adults. For most of its existence, James Island has been easier to reach by boat because it was only accessible by automobile from the Stono River and Wappoo Creek drawbridges, whose priorities were maritime traffic. In 1992, a four-lane connecter was built under the supervision of Mayor Joseph Riley of Charleston, making James Island a seven-minute drive to downtown Charleston. Since then, the town of James Island has seen rapid commercial development and remains in fluctuation with its heritage, the water, and development.

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Dan Lorentz

About Dan Lorentz, ABR, CRS, Founder & Team Leader of Greater Charleston Properties: Founder and Team Leader of the Greater Charleston Properties Team, Dan Lorentz, has lived in the Charleston, SC ....

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