So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Sands of Time: A History of Hilton Head Island

The Sands of Time: A History of Hilton Head Island by Margaret Greer
Margaret Greer, who lived on Hilton Head Island, wrote this 11 chapter illustrated popular history of the island from its geological formations to the mid-1980s. In 70 pages she covers the island's history and still finds room for both color and black and white pictures on at least every other page.
Chapter I, The Land Made Ready, is a one page geological history of the formation of the island. Chapter II, The Indians, covers in three pages the native American Yemasee tribe's presence on the island and the legacy of names left by them. In Chapter III, The First Europeans, the 16th century Spanish landings and attempts at settlements are discussed in three pages. The French landing in 1562 gets four pages in Chapter IV. This is followed by the three pages of Chapter V on the Spanish return to the area in the late 16th century. Chapter VI, The English Come to Stay, devotes seven pages to the 1663 explorations of Captain William Hilton, who gave the island its present name, and the English settlements that followed.
Chapter VII, The Planters, in four pages talks about the first plantations established on the island. Chapter VIII, The Golden Age, spends nine pages talking about the period from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and the ante-bellum plantation system that developed then. Chapter IX, The Civil War, is the actual heart of the book with 18 pages devoted to the battle for Hilton Head and the Union presence on the island after their victory.
The 100 years between the Civil War and the post World War II developments into a resort, when the islands were home to "native islanders," descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee), are covered in the eight pages of Chapter X, Sleeping Beauty, half of which are devoted to photos. The concluding Chapter XI, The Modern Age, covers in eight pages the development of the resort community from 1950 to 1988.
Painted in broad strokes, The Sands of Time is a brief and general historic introduction to Hilton Head Island. well-illustrated and short, it serves this purpose well. A Sources page listing eight items is a good place to start looking for more information.


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