Thursday Doors

On my last day in South Carolina, three friends and I boarded a pontoon boat with Captain Rommy and headed out into the fog to tour Sandy Island which is a prehistoric sand dune covering around 9,000 acres.

Sandy Island is in between the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers on the east and west, Bull Creek on the north, and Thoroughfare Creek on the south.

After the Civil War, several hundred acres in the southern part of the island was purchased by freed slave, Philip Washington.

Mr. Washington was a slave on Pipe Down Plantation on Sandy Island and was involved in an unusual set of circumstances when their owner passed and his wife left the area. Concerned that they would be sold off and separated from family, they got together, considered all the essential attributes of a good master and elected Governor Robert Francis Withers Allston. Their next challenge was to convince Governor Allston to take on the plantation which he had already turned down. Mr. Washington was sent to talk with him, and he came away with a successful resolution.

It is still inhabited today by ancestors of skilled African slaves brought over to work the rice fields of SC plantations including Brookgreen Plantation.

The population of Sandy Island today is approximately 28 people.

School Boat

Residents who work and children who go to school commute by boat.

The northern part of the island is now owned and preserved through The Nature Conservancy.

Brookgreen Gardens runs boat tours that go near the island, but to actually visit the island you need to set up a tour with Tours De Sandy Island.

If you have the chance to meet the very personable Captain Rommy Pyatt, be sure to thank him for his service. He is retired Air Force.

What did we take away from our tour? I think I can say we all came away with a feeling of deep pride in country, family, and background along with a deeper understanding of our country’s southern history.

This tour was another example that our history is not a storyΒ but facts that all stacked together bring us to where we are today. Facts that we can learn from and become better citizens, neighbors, and just plain better human beings.

Happy Thursday and a Happy Easter to those who celebrate this weekend!

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, April 18, 2019.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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45 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve never heard of this place and the history behind it. Your door photos are beautiful and the blue sky is amazing. Not the point of your post, I know– but I had to mention it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KerryCan says:

    I’ve fantasized about living on an island, cut off from the main world. This looks like a good choice!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Joyce says:

    I always wonder what’s behind the inviting doors you feature, but this time I am ravenously anticipating what lies behind the entrance of Pyatt’s General Store! Bet it’s a treasure trove of essential goodies!
    And, your “sandy road” is a doorway in its own right! What a beautiful gateway into that paradise of an island. I think you showed us this before, and told the history as well. I’ve learned so many fascinating facts and seen so many unique places following you around the world from my chair in front of the computer!
    Blessed Holy Week and Easter to you, dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our Captain Rommy’s Mom runs the store. It was damaged from a storm, and they are working to get it back in shape. But, they sell some staples and some tourist treats. It was a unique adventure for sure. Happy Easter and a blessed week to you as well. πŸ™‚


  4. Suzanne says:

    Judy, this reminds me a bit of my day on Sapelo Island in Georgia, not long ago. It makes sense that the freed slaves would continue to live on these barrier islands. Sapelo has a small population including 6 children that commute to school by Ferry each day. Makes me wonder just how many more stories like this there are out there. Thanks for sharing this piece of southern history.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    This is a great post, Judy. You are so right about the way our history brings us to where we are today. Nothing can be viewed in isolation.

    I love the notion of traveling to school by boat, at least on a calm clear day like the one you had. Thanks for taking us along on the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sharukh Bamboat says:

    I return to your blog after a gap of some months. However, is this the same place of which you wrote about the chapel as well? By the way, I love the fog picture it looks the water and the sea merge somewhere in the distance. Great pictures and good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was the first and only time I have visited Sandy Island. The church here is quite large and is maintained in wonderful condition due to the contributions of concerned people on and off the island. I have previously covered a couple of chapels in other areas that you may be thinking about. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sharukh Bamboat says:

        Okay. I actually scrolled through your list of posts and found my earlier comment. It was on the town hall and church in Landaff, New Hampshire. You mentioned they have only 415 residents and I replied that you can find 500 guys in one block here in India.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Sounds like an interesting and informative tour. Thank goodness we never run out of places to explore!
    Have a nice Easter and happy Spring, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oddment says:

    I can’t help feeling that this entire post is something of a door, the point being, of course, that the door speaks of something on the other side. Even the photos on the water make me feel as though I’m floating through endless doors. It’s the story behind the door, isn’t it? And what a story here.

    Thanks for this! Thanks also for your good wishes for the upcoming weekend. The very same to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. When I listen to history like this, I am always humbled and amazed. Our ancestors were strong, resilient, creative people. To think they banded together and found a new plantation owner on their own and then sold the deal just makes me shake my head at their determination. Here’s hoping the Easter bunny brings you some special treats. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oddment says:

        Resilient and determined! Yes, I agree — and we too are made of such stuff. So say I.

        As for special Easter treats, maybe I’ll get one of those big sugar eggs with the little paper scene inside! I wouldn’t object to chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, either. I hope after the E.B. has left good things here he hops right to your house and does ditto!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Murphy's Law says:

    Oh! What a magnificent treasure this island is, and so much history. When I think about the predicament of slaves in the south, it’s just heartbreaking that such a thing existed. Thank God for people like Philip Washington who could visualize a very different future!

    Beautiful post Judy. Love touring with you…you never disappoint.

    Happy Easter, happy gardening!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  10. syt says:

    Thanks Judy for putting our special last day into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Facts, yes. But, still, what a story.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost Iowa says:

    It looks, oh so, peaceful and relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It sounds like such a peaceful place to live, Judy. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  14. Joanne Sisco says:

    I love that line “our history is not a story but facts that all stacked together bring us to where we are today”. Thankfully, this is a piece of history with a happy ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Neat history, and lovely images of the water, and fog!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Norm 2.0 says:

    Love those first few peaceful water shots. What history here, this is what I love most about our Thursdays together: I learn so much. So glad you shared this. Happy Easter to you and yours Judy πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  17. germac4 says:

    Very interesting story Judy and I agree, the facts tells us what actually happened in bygone eras. I am always amazed at the resilience of people in history. Lovely to read slices of your USA history..πŸ˜€πŸŒž

    Liked by 2 people

  18. treadway says:

    I cannot imagine living on an island, much less going to school by boat. And I always wonder how I would have been/reacted had I lived back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Athira says:

    Thank you for sharing the pics and story with us..its wonderful to see the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What a lovely story with a very happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Happy Easter, Judy. Safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Prior... says:

    Jury – that deep Pride feeling was shared with your readers – thanks and happy Easter to you too

    Liked by 1 person

  23. joey says:

    Wonderful share, blending the history in with that scenery. Also — Been there! Done that! πŸ˜€ I’d like to go back, too. Like that area. Have some friendlets there.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful story and really complex. It would make a great book.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Mabel Kwong says:

    Really like your take on history, Judy – that it’s about facts stacked together to move forward and there are always lessons to look back on. Such an informative tour of Sandy Island and sounds like those who worked there were very passionate about working and staying there. They worked hard and honest and things turned around. Lovely captures of the water πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. krcc says:

    a boat door! πŸ‘βš“

    Liked by 1 person

  27. So much history in that part of South Carolina! We visited a local history museum on Edisto Island that was really fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

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