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Snowmageddon ’18

in Local News by

Photo above: An unidentified couple take a brisk walk across the Richard V. Woods Bridge during snow storm. Photos by Bob Sofaly.

It shut down just about everything in town. From bridges to roads to schools to most businesses, the snow storm that started on Jan. 3 left Northern Beaufort County out in the cold. And its continuting effects were felt far and wide. The temperatures were so low at night that everything that melted during the day turned around and froze over when temperatures dropped, making the roads particularly dangerous. Hundreds of people were left without power, and according to varous law enforcement, there were hundreds of accidents. However, temperatures are back to normal and normalcy has returned. 

Whitehall is coming back to the table

in Local News by

By Sally Mahan

After months of citizen activism, plans for a huge new development in Northern Beaufort County were ditched after a 6-0 “no” vote by the Metropolitan Planning Commission on Nov. 13.

Now, the developers are going to come back to the commission on Monday, Feb. 19, with a revised plan that a local activist organization calls “vastly improved.”

The revised proposal is expected to be filed with the city of Beaufort’s Planning Department around Thursday, Feb. 1.

The 19-acre parcel, called Whitehall, is at the foot of the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge on Lady’s Island and has been a source of contention as locals have expressed concerns about traffic, trees, the environment and the development in general.

MidCity Real Estate Partners of Atlanta owns the property but has been working with Sam Levin of Beaufort and other partners as the Whitehall Development Group.

The Whitehall plan that was voted down would have been a mix of commercial/retail space along the Sea Island Parkway, with apartments and an independent living facility in the interior of the property.

Five stand-alone commercial buildings ranging in size from approximately 2,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet, and seven residential apartment towers – each four stories high – were planned.

A smaller structure would have served as a space for offices, pool support and resident storage for bicycles, etc. 

Another structure in the original plan was a 100-unit independent living facility built as part of the property but managed by an outside firm.

Chuck Newton of the Sea Island Coalition, which has been actively involved in the Whitehall process, said, “We did see a revised conceptual plan for Whitehall a couple of weeks ago. … We would characterize it as ‘vastly improved.’

“The most striking change is the elimination of the seven oversize apartment ‘towers’ initially presented. That being said, apartments are not the dominant structures in the residential elements of the new plan, but are there alongside some single-family homes, townhomes and ‘cottages.’ 

“The retail/commercial element in the plan is largely similar to the first proposal, setting aside a portion of the property along the parkway. We are encouraging the developers to integrate it more tightly into development; right now, and our reading of the Civic Master Plan, suggests the intent was to have retail/commercial activities integrated with housing components, not established as a ‘separate neighborhood.’ ”

Newton said the proposed independent living (not assisted living) facility remains part of the plan, but has been relocated in the new conceptual plan to the center of the property versus being tucked away in a corner.

Several concerns remain however. They include ensuring that any roofline stays below the canopy; density; inclusion of a “main street” abutting the commercial/retail areas; and the need for a new traffic study, said Newton.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, at City Hall at 1911 Boundary St. in Beaufort.

County 2017 opioid deaths up sharply from 2016

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by

By Bill Rauch

The opioid epidemic has come to Beaufort County.

While the 2017 final numbers are still preliminary, the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office says there were 22 opioid-related deaths in the county last year, nearly three times the eight homicides the Coroner’s Office has recorded preliminarily for 2017. 

This is the first time Beaufort County opioid-related deaths have exceeded Beaufort County homicides. What’s worse is that the number of opioid-related deaths here nearly tripled last year from the eight that were recorded in 2016. 

Moreover, the sheriff’s office says that since the sheriff ordered his deputies to be trained in the use of Narcan, the department is known to have saved three lives last year by administering the drug on site. 

It is unknown how many more lives were saved from opioid overdoses at the emergency rooms in the county. Medical professionals say that number is increasing dramatically as well.

Previous to 2016 there were so few deaths attributable to opioid abuse that neither the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office nor the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) tracked them as a group.

Why is this epidemic suddenly upon us, and what can be done to prevent these tragedies?

Let’s start with the source of the drugs. 

While doctors derive no financial benefit from prescribing narcotics (opioids), healthcare professionals say it is not uncommon for their own convenience and for the convenience of their patients for doctors to offer patients facing short-term pain medium-term pain relief medications. 

Often — but not always — in Beaufort County these medium-term pain prescriptions are written in emergency rooms or in the offices of oral and orthopedic surgeons. An example would be a 30-day supply of Percocet after a tooth is pulled or a broken bone is set.

Standard stuff, right?

But patients react differently to pain and to pain medications, and sometimes most of these pills end up in family medicine cabinets where they can then be abused by children, children’s friends, spouses, cleaning ladies or anyone else who might happen to open the family medicine chest. 

Opioid addiction, especially when its origins are with prescription medications, knows no racial, social or economic bounds.

Often it is in the family medicine cabinet, health professionals say, that the road to addiction begins — sometimes with as little as a week’s supply of a narcotic.

The end of the road can come quickly, especially for those who, once addicted, find a way to gain access to Fentanyl, a strong narcotic that is often used in a 72-hour patch for hospice patients, but which can by addicts be extracted from the patch and injected via a hypodermic needle.

About one in three of the lethal opioid overdoses the Beaufort County Coroner saw last year were the result of Fentanyl use, the coroner’s office said recently.

But what can be done?

Several things, experts say, especially in the area of prevention, and luckily a good start can be made when there’s willingness at the state and local levels.

South Carolina already has in place a Prescription Monitoring System that was designed to alert doctors to patients who are receiving narcotics from more than one prescriber. 

Before prescribing a narcotic doctors are supposed to consult the system to check on what other narcotics that patient might be receiving from other sources. But, healthcare professionals say that system could easily be used also to track which doctors are prescribing what may be excessive doses of narcotics.

No one is doing that now.

In Northern Beaufort County, where most of the doctors are closely aligned with Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the hospital administrators could call these doctors in for close questioning about their narcotics-prescribing practices. The hospital also has access to local doctors’ electronic medical records that in theory contain the same information.

At the same time the South Carolina State Legislature could follow North Carolina’s lead and take a look at opening the door to doctors and pharmacies engaging together in the “staging” of prescriptions for narcotics. 

In this protocol, a patient who is prescribed a 30-day supply of Percocet might, for example, be required to return to the pharmacy every three days for another 72 hours’ supply of the narcotic. This protocol, experts say, would cut down on the large caches of narcotics, paid for by health insurance but found to be unneeded by the patient, that sit waiting to be abused in family medicine cabinets.

Also, those familiar with hospital practices say, in the light of the current epidemic, emergency room practices need reexamination. There, it is said, some repeat patients seek to intimidate doctors into prescribing for them opioid-based medications like Percocet or OxyContin, both potentially highly addictive.

To prevent these unfortunate confrontations that sometimes lead to doctors writing prescriptions under duress. There is clearly need, for example, for Beaufort Memorial Hospital to work more closely with the city of Beaufort Police Department so that when after such a confrontation a prescription has been refused, a police officer is readily on hand to walk the unruly patient to their ride, and make sure they take it.

A report released by the White House last month put the annual costs of the opioid epidemic at the $500 billion-plus level. Considerations such as lost productivity, healthcare costs and costs to the judicial systems were taken into account for the study.   

That nearly 64,000 American lives were lost in 2015 to opioid addiction-related causes was noted in the report, as was the impossibility of adequately placing a dollar value on those 64,000 individual tragedies.

The stakes are obviously very high here — and growing.

Driving the stakes higher still is that second chances are few because the road back from opioid addiction is famously treacherous, a fact of life that places still more burden upon the success of prevention efforts.

Bill Rauch was the mayor of Beaufort from 1999-2008. Email Bill at

Beaufort icon had passion for helping others

in Community by
nathan harris

Photo above: Nathan Harris could often be seen in one of his dapper outfits riding his bike around town. File photo.

Staff reports

A Beaufort icon has passed away.

Nathan Harris, 87, of Beaufort, died Dec. 23, 2017, at the Medical University of South Carolina.

His journey to Beaufort was somewhat roundabout, but once here, he made a huge difference in the community.

Harris could have lived a life of leisure. Born into a wealthy English family, he did not have to work after he graduated from college. He spent his time fox hunting three days a week, hunting, shooting and riding the steeplechase the other days.  

But he felt there must be more to life, some contribution he could make.  

His father had served his community as lord mayor of Leicester, England. Harris remembered World War II vividly as a child, where he watched his father constantly work to get refugees and Jews out of France before and after the Nazis took over.  

He also remembered a vacation at the seashore where he watched the legendary flotilla of small boats manned by local citizens rescue over 30,000 British troops from across the English Channel the night that France fell to the Germans and the Nazis were rushing to annihilate the trapped troops.

He saw that one person’s efforts could make a big difference in peoples’ lives and he wanted to also.

His first chance came when he was elected to the Leicester County Council. He started looking for ways he could help improve the quality of life of local families. A deeply spiritual man, he also chaired the Parish Council. He felt education was a way to open horizons for many of the poor working class children there, so he became involved with the Leicester Education Authority (which was the largest education authority in England) and later became its head.  

Over the years, it became a model as one of the most progressive and successful education authorities in England and received many awards. While there, Harris organized students and teachers to create the most successful youth orchestra in Britain.  

After seeing what enrichment music brought to the student’s lives, Harris wanted to expand their experience of the visual arts as well since many were too poor to travel to the great museums of London.  

He oversaw the creation of the finest collection of art by living artists in Britain outside of the Tate Gallery by getting artists involved to put their art in schools for students to feel and touch and experience them firsthand. 

Harris was the head of these organizations for over 20 years as well as being a columnist on Education and Social Improvement issues for two major London based newspapers (the Times and Guardian) and often appeared on television as a popular pundit.

Before she became prime minister, Margaret Thatcher was appointed Minister of Education for England. In that capacity she began to butt heads with Harris, who was chairman of the Leiceister Education Authority and East Midlands Arts Association.  

“She thought art and music were unnecessary, a waste of money and irrelevant,” said Harris in a 2014 Island News interview. “She said publicly that the idea of bringing culture into the education of working class children gave them ideas beyond their station.

“She started off good by restraining the unions, but her anti-working class attitude proved to be a disaster. So though they think here in America she’s the cat’s whiskers, by the time she left office she wasn’t well regarded in England and had lost her luster.”

But before that, he had decided it was time to leave England. “I didn’t want to see my life’s work destroyed. There was nothing I could do to stop it,” he said.

Nathan’s marriage of 27 years which resulted in “four wonderful children” had ended in divorce a few years earlier and he had met a new love, Alison Strong, from a well-regarded aristocratic family.  

Realizing he’d have to make money, Harris flew to New York City and joined a marketing business that a friend had there.  

The friend, who lived in Connecticut, wanted to move the business South to a little town called Beaufort and that’s how Harris ended up here.  

His wife soon followed and became the office manager at Fripp Island Real Estate Company.  

They lived in Ashedale for eight years. His wife became sick, and after a long illness, died. 

Harris had to mortgage the house to pay all the hospital bills, which he did and had enough left over to barely buy the historic Joseph Patterson House on the corner of Duke and Newcastle in the North West Quadrant downtown which was a “falling down wreck.”  

He and a carpenter friend persevered however and over the years, saved it and restored it to its present day beauty.

Harris was involved with AMI Kids Beaufort (Marine Institute) for many years.

“I think it is the best program for young people in trouble with the law in the world,” he said in the 2014 interview.

At an AMIKids Croquet Fundraiser at Bray’s Island, Harris played master of ceremonies and stayed on the mic with his soft cultured English accent for nearly four hours talking to the crowd about the organization and imploring them to contribute. As a result he raised nearly $45,000 of the record $95,000 raised this year.  

Harris also enjoyed being the Eucharistic minister at St. Helena Church for over 20 years. He was friends with Rev. Alexander McBride, the minister of the First African Baptist Church on The Point for many years.

Harris met the third love of his life, Carol Washington, and they were married when he was 81.  

About Beaufort, Harris said, “It’s a very interesting mixture of many sorts of people that I find interesting, the epitome of American ‘small town charm.’ ”

Anderson Funeral Home handled arrangements for the family.

Students get bikes from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

in School News/Schools by

Photo above: Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority gave bicycles and helmets to 44 students at the fourth annual Bike-Give-Away. Photo provided.

Decked out in sorority apparel and wearing smiles of the season, members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority gathered at Beaufort Middle School to present bicycles and helmets to students enrolled in the 11 elementary schools in the chapter’s service area.  

At this, the fourth annual Bike-Give-Away, 44 bicycles were presented to two boys and two girls from Beaufort, Broad River, Coosa, Joseph S. Shanklin, Lady’s Island, Mossy Oaks, Port Royal, St. Helena and Whale Branch elementary schools and Robert Smalls International Academy.

Each school’s social worker selected which students received bikes.  

About 34 of the 44 showed up with their parents, guardians and siblings to try out their shiny new gifts.

“This year we were pleased to have increased our efforts 100 percent,” said sorority president Viola Smalls. “Year to date, we have donated over 100 bicyles and helmets.”

The Annual Bike-Give-Away, the brain child of chapter vice president Dr. Monica Dawson, is only one of the sorority’s community service activities.  

The Beaufort Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta was chartered in 1976 by members from Beaufort and Jasper counties. Since its chartering the chapter has provided scholarships and sponsored programs and projects which promote educational, personal, political and social awareness.

Handy partners lend a helping hand

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

As I was leaving my house recently to take Brandy for her grooming appointment, I opened the front door and a bird flew in and up the staircase. 

My spouse jumped up from his chair and said, “Shut the door there is a bird in the living room.” 

Uh oh, that meant there were two birds in the house. As I began to shut the front door the first bird flew out. Now my husband only had to deal with just one bird.  Evidently the birds had been perched on the Christmas wreath hanging on the front door. So, I unhooked it and flung it down on the grass. Then I put Brandy in the car, got in, and drove down the street.  

It wasn’t until I was halfway through the neighborhood when it dawned on me that possibly my mate might want assistance. Now I know I have blonde hair, but that is not the reason it took me so long to have this revelation. The truth was I was more focused on getting Brandy to her hair appointment on time.

I hesitated though to call him and ask if he needed my help. You see, my spouse is a very competent male. If there is something I need done around the house, he can do it.  

When the screen on the back door was ripped, he repaired it.  When the sink was clogged, he fixed it. There are numerous tasks that I just assume he can do because he is that kind of guy. 

So sometimes when I ask him if he needs help his response is something like: “What, don’t you think I can do it myself?” Or at the other end of the spectrum the response is: “I’ve been waiting for you to offer some help.” 

So here is the conundrum: Does he want my help or not?

I decided to call anyway. His response was: “Yes, why don’t you come back.”

But as I drove up to the house he was standing there with his phone. “I was just going to call you. The bird is out.”

I knew he could do it on his own.

“How did you do it?” I asked.

“I turned off all the lights inside the house, turned on the front porch light and opened the front door. The old phrase ‘Go to the light!’ came to mind. The bird flew out and joined his partner in the holly tree.”

Things got back to normal that day. Brandy looked well groomed, the birds were chirping in the tree, the Christmas wreath was in the trash and the house had a mild scent of Pine Sol throughout.  

Scouts thank firefighters

in Community by
Girls Scout

As a way of thanking firefighters for their service, Girls Scout Rainbow Troop 4105 served a holiday meal to members of the Lady’s Island-St. Helena Island Fire District. The meal included red rice, fried chicken, Swedish meatballs, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, cheese rolls, cupcakes, cake and sweet tea. Meals were prepared by the troop leaders, parents and adult volunteers. Photo provided.

Make healthy eyes a New Year’s resolution

in Health by

By Dr. Mark Siegel

Ringing in the New Year is a time of self-reflection – a time when we look at how we can better ourselves. 

As we kick off 2018, many of us may have plans to lose weight or stop smoking. But did you know taking care of your eyes should also be one to consider? After all, where would we be without our vision? 

Here are some top tips to improve your eyes in this new year.

• Eat right. You are what you eat, as they say. And when it comes to good vision, what you put into your body can make all the difference. 

To help protect against age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, incorporate foods that are chockful of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E. 

Foods to look for are green leafy vegetables; citrus fruits and berries; non-meat, protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts and beans; and cold water fish like tuna and salmon.

• Wear sunglasses. The sun’s harmful UV rays aren’t just an issue in the warmer months. Wintertime is also the time to protect your eyes from too much UV exposure; otherwise, you up your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. 

Look for sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. For added protection, wear a pair that wraps around the sides of your eyes.

• Kick the habit. This may have been in the plans already as the New Year unfolds, but if not, make it one in 2018. Smoking makes you prone to optic nerve damage, cataracts and macular degeneration. Stop smoking to improve not only your eye health, but your overall health.

• Wear protective eyewear. Playing sports like baseball, basketball, paintball and racquet sports can put you at risk for eye injuries if you don’t wear safety eyewear. If you work in a hazardous job, wearing eyewear to protect your eyes is essential to avoiding serious problems.

• Think 20-20-20. This refers to giving your eyes a rest if you stare at a computer for long periods of time. Often called computer eye syndrome, this condition can cause eye strain, dry eyes, headaches and blurred vision. To help alleviate this, try the 20-20-20 method, in which you stop every 20 minutes and stare 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds.

• Regular eye exams. Have a regular eye exam. An ophthalmologist can catch diseases long before they can cause problems. Early treatment can save and protect your eyesight. 

From everyone at Sea Island Ophthalmology we wish you a healthy and bright New Year!

Dr. Mark Siegel is the medical director at Sea Island Ophthalmology at 111 High Tide Drive (off Midtown Drive near Low Country Medical Group). Visit

News briefs for January 11th-17th

in Local News by

Reconstruction Era monument celebrated

The public is invited to join the National Park Service (NPS) and park partners to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the creation of Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina’s Lowcountry on Friday, Jan. 12.

Festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Beaufort Arsenal, located at 713 Craven St. in Beaufort, with a special program featuring music and remarks from the NPS, the United States congressional delegation and park partners. 

The highlight will be the unveiling of a unique piece of art by artist Sonja Griffin Evans to celebrate the park’s anniversary. 

From noon to 4 p.m., special talks, tours and activities will be offered at each of the four sites comprising the Reconstruction Era National Monument. 

All events are free and are open to the public.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument consists of Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church, both located on St. Helena Island in Penn Center National Historic Landmark District; Camp Saxton at Fort Fredrick in Port Royal; and the Old Beaufort Firehouse located at 706 Craven St. in the National Historic Landmark District in the city of Beaufort. 

Activities planned for the afternoon of Jan. 12 include:

• Darrah Hall at Penn Center: Talks, junior youth praise dance and programs on Reconstruction.

• Brick Baptist Church: Praise dances, spirituals and educational programs.

• Camp Saxton via Fort Fredrick site: Fort tours and activities relating to the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Camp Saxton on Jan. 1, 1863.

• Old Beaufort Firehouse: NPS and park partners will offer a variety of educational information about Reconstruction and the historic Lowcountry.

Additionally, local residents are invited to the Saturday, Jan. 13, meeting of Indivisible Beaufort to hear an update on the local Reconstruction project from Mayor Billy Keyserling and to celebrate the first-year anniversary of the organization. 

The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m.  at the Beaufort Branch Library on Scott St. 

For additional tour information, visit the Beaufort Visitor Center located in the Beaufort Arsenal.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is administered by the National Park Service and will be headquartered at the Old Firehouse in Beaufort Carolina. 

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is dedicated to commemorating the period from 1861 through 1900 when nearly four million African Americans, newly freed from bondage, sought to integrate into a free society and into the educational, economic and political life of the country. 

Now entering its second century, the National Park Service continues to explore new ways to help visitors connect and find their parks. 

For more information on park news, events and programs, visit 

Visit the park website at, call 843-227-1507 or email 

Government, others to close for MLK Day

All Beaufort County facilities, including the Convenience Centers and the PALS facilities, will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. 

All facilities will open according to their regular schedules Tuesday, Jan. 16. 

Additionally, all Beaufort County libraries will be closed.

Federal, state and other local government offices will also be closed.

There will be no mail delivery service.

PalmettoPride provides grants for litter cleanup

PalmettoPride recently announced its Community Pride Grant recipients for the 2017-2018 grant cycle. 

The PalmettoPride Grants program provides funding for litter eradication programs in five categories.

Under the Community Pride Grant, which provides funds for organizations and governmental departments to implement litter reduction programs in their communities, Beaufort County was awarded $5,000.


Sea Island Coalition conducts fundraiser

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition is working to raise $10,000 to advocate for smart development along the Sea Island Parkway. 

“The coalition was organized in April 2016 to give a voice to those in and around Beaufort concerned that piecemeal development was compromising the look, feel and sustainability of communities along the corridor,” according to the Sea Island coalition’s recent newsletter. 

“But to maintain this focus, and further the availability of good information to the public, the coalition needs sustainable funding. Our activities to date have been funded by a small number of supporters, and we realize we cannot forever rely on these 10-20 people alone.

“Broadened financial support will enable us to continue our community outreach, continue our high level of communication on planning and development issues and ensure that government deliberations and decision-making affecting the parkway are made in the open, with an appropriate level of sunlight,” the newsletter states.

Donate at, at

Check can be mailed to the Sea Island Coalition, P.O. Box 533, St. Helena, SC 29920

Sprint devices having connection issues 

Individuals using Sprint mobile devices may experience intermittent connection issues when attempting to call Beaufort County government landline phones with a “255” prefix due to data transmission issues with the county’s carrier for landline services.

Callers experiencing issues are encouraged to contact Sprint at 844-382-3312 to report any issues. 


A photo in the Dec. 28 edition of The Island News misidentified Katie Gambla.

Whitehall Point: A tale of beauty and tragedy

in Voices by

By Fereol de Gastyne  

In 1562, when French explorer Jean Ribault discovered what would become our fair city, he wrote to France that our home in the Lowcountry, at that time, was tres belle.

But that Huguenot explorer, who came to the New World seeking religious freedom, was put to the sword by the Spanish in Florida, and Pedro Menendez de Aviles lorded over Santa Elena, which persisted for almost 50 years, half a century before the English settled in Virginia — a colony named after England’s virgin queen.

A mile or so upriver from Santa Elena, on what then they called the Bay, there was a lovely point of land on the eastern shore across from what would become Beaufort, a French name attributed to an English duke.

Whitehall Point gave rise to massive oaks, adorned with Spanish moss, large magnolias and long-needle pines, protecting the land from twice-daily tidal flows for hundreds of years. Those ground-protecting massive trees have been anchors for Whitehall Point throughout recorded history.

In 1790, an English ship captain, Daniel Hingston Bythewood by name, did build two tabby structures, and the plantation at Whitehall Point counted 700 acres then.  

When the captain’s wife, Elizabeth Taylor from Wales, talked Daniel away from the sea and into becoming a Baptist missionary, generations of Bythewood ministers followed in Beaufort at the old Baptist church, as gravestones today attest.

It was during the American Revolution that Beaufortonian islanders petitioned the city for the provision of a ferry that did operate from Beaufort to Whitehall Point for many years hence. For decades all roads from Beaufort to the Sea Islands passed through Whitehall Point. And when the wood bridge was completed, citizens witnessed the “last ferry to Beaufort.”

Generations crossed Beaufort River on the wood bridge, years before Woods Memorial Bridge replaced it.

Today, at the Library of Congress, one sees photographs of Capt. Bythewood’s plantation house taken during the Survey of National Historic Places in Beaufort County. It remains a mystery today who tore down those tabby ruins, as tabby ruins in the Lowcountry are normally treasured and treated with the utmost care. That was just one of many abuses our lady of Whitehall Point would be forced to endure.

In modern times, many developers have courted Whitehall Point as potential suitors, but each courtier has been left at the altar of modern development. The solution, they tell us, is to pave every square inch of the land, rendering her unrecognizable to those of us who have loved her, some for years, some for a lifetime.

Couples have been married under the oaks at Whitehall Point, and many have marveled from the perspective of Whitehall Point at the natural beauty of Beaufort. But progress has placed that beauty in grave danger. Indeed, its proximity to the city would be its undoing.

Fripp citizens tell stories of their best meals out being at Wikops of Whitehall Point, where the proprietors served some of the best Lowcountry fare in the region during that era.

Now, despite our sincere lamentations, Whitehall Point is being sacrificed in the name of progress. No walkable village with historic cottages, no vestige of our lovely lady will remain after development and progress. It will be like her majestic natural beauty never existed. 

But we will never forget her.

So as those majestic, centurion trees are felled in mere minutes, the tortured soul of Whitehall Point will be released from the land. Nay, our lady of Whitehall Point will become a withering ghost, an ephemeral visage, and like the mythical sirens of the sea, she will call to us over the water in vain as we sail past her.  

Hence, our lady of Whitehall Point will live on only in our memories, our remembrance of her but a thin shroud of graceful trees, laden with Spanish Moss, waving in the Beaufort breezes.  And like the tortured memories of star-crossed lovers, the captivating image of her natural beauty will haunt us forever.

Fereol de Gastyne is a local resident.

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