"African drums are silent....the Wingos are poets at last. Out on Daufuskie Island, the bulldozers bury the past. The Lowcountry she can not swim....the dogwoods feel the hurt. As foresomes play on borrowed days in their alligator shirts."
This is the first few lines of Jimmy Buffet's infamous song "The Prince of Tides". He penned it on a visit in the early 1980's when Daufuskie Island's landscape and character was changing forever. Developers had found this pristine mystical Island and with visions of golf courses and dollars in mind their dozers swept over history with a vengence leaving only manicured fairways and greens in their wake.
Now I know that this isn't the kind of history most folks want to hear about Daufuskie and maybe I should have started on a kinder softer note. But after living here for fourteen (14) years I somehow feel the pain of the original settlers of the Island, the Yemassees Indians. I have walked Daufuskie's wide sandy beaches like they did, traversed its tall loblolly crested forrests and stared in awe as proud American Eagles soared above. I feel their presence...still.
Yes, Bloody Points history starts off with the Yemasee Indians. And their crisom red blood staining Bloody Points beaches gave it the non politcally correct name "Bloody Point". The painting at the top right tells it all. An Indian trader by the name of Samual Hildon purchased the southernmost tip of Daufuskie in 1708. Thats when the abuse began. Lied to, cheated and tourtured the natives waited patiently for the right time. The Yemasse Indian wars raging the Carolina coast was their chance. They fought with pride...three deadly battles on Bloody Point ensued and guns overwhelmed arrows. Their time had ended and their spirits flew high with the lofty eagles above.
Next came the Plantation owners. Names like Stoddard and Mongin were "the masters" and they kept strict and evil hand over their many slaves. Sea Island Cotton was king but folks from "Up North" would be their demise. The plantation owners heard the guns over Hilton Head and hastily left it all behind. Union troops overtook the Island without a shot and left without a trace. Magnificed mansions rotted, burned and washed out to sea. Many slaves left, some stayed and started a new generation of Gullah culture.
In 1883 the US government was in dire need for a navigational beacon to direct shipping entering the Savannah River. The Bloody Point Lighthouse was built and subsequently moved landward because of erosion. Today this beacon stands proud as a significant example of South Carolina maritime history.
So now we are back to the time of Jimmy Buffets visit. Haig Point, Melrose and Bloody Point were under construction and the Island was "vibrant". Bloody Point Golf club started out as totally private and very high end. Visions of helicopters depicted in the advertising piece to the right would shuffle well heeled golfers to the Island. For some reason "That dog wouldn't hunt", the course went public and fell into disrepair after the 2009 Melrose bankruptcy.
Today we are seeing a rebirth. Bloody Point has been purchased. The overgrown fairways and greens are getting a workover and word is PGA golf professional Davis Love and his crew have been hired to bring the course back to its former glory. The former pro shop has been spit polished and a fine restaurant call The Eagles Nest is fully operational. The spirit of Bloody Point is back.
How Bloody Point got its name.....
Bloody Point Golf Club Original Advertising
CIRCA 1883 Bloody Point Lighthouse
CIRCA 1884 Oakley Hall, Bloody Point