Daufuskie Island Real Estate
Daufuskie Island Plantation Map
About Daufuskie Island
Across Calibogue Sound from Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Plantation lies Daufuskie Island: a quiet, rural piece of history-packed, southern land. Until the 1980s, Daufuskie remained mostly untouched by the adjacent resort island but has since become more popular because of the privacy and peace exuding from the tropical environment. Rarely will you hear the sound of an automobile motor; preferred transportation is a golf cart while walking, biking and even an occasional horse-drawn carriage rides from the island's equestrian centers.
Daufuskie’s approximately 5,200 acres are only accessible by boat, ensuring the maintenance of the traditional lifestyles preserved by the island’s slight population of less than 500. Daufuskie Island developments existing on this 5-mile by 2 1/2 mile paradise: Haig Point, Melrose, Bloody Point, Beachfield, Oak Ridge Tract, and Webb Tract.
Only Haig Point and Daufuskie Club and Resort are gated-entrance communities, and each prohibits automobiles.
Daufuskie Island: History
Life on Daufuskie Island can be traced as far as 9,000 BC, starting with groups known as the Woodland Indians who left traces of their existence through pottery remains and shell rings in the area. The Cusabo Indians came before the seventeenth century Yemassee Indians of Florida; even the name Daufuskie means “land with a point” in an Indian dialect.
Nearby Hilton Head Island’s written history begins in the 1500s with Spanish explorers, closely followed by the English captain William Hilton in the mid-1600s. Thomas Cowte received the first land grant to Daufuskie Island from Britain in 1707, and Captain John Mongin received a deed from Britain in appreciation for his pirate control.
The 1700's and 1800's saw Daufuskie Island thrive on the production of "Sea Island Cotton". This crop, with the prettiest and longest fiber of any cotton, was more profitable than even tobacco; unfortunately, it also used slave labor, triggering the trade of thousands of people from the west coast of Africa.
The original 1848 Melrose Mansion (built on the same site as its modern namesake community) had acres upon acres of roses, flower gardens, fruit orchards, and every luxury for the affluent of that time. The family moved to Savannah when Union forces took Daufuskie in 1862 and tore down every plantation but theirs; then the Stoddards returned in 1865 to restore the home and land until the family’s father died, at which point all the land was divided. The tracts that we know today were split into three: Bloody Point went to one son, Oak Ridge to another, and Melrose to a third. The mansion burned in 1912.
The Great Depression of the 1930s forced all but 300 Daufuskie residents to leave and find new jobs; the rest stayed for oystering (at the time, oystering was the only means by which to earn a living other than cotton and vegetable farming).
In 1972, Sea Pines’ Charles Fraser purchased 700 acres across the water from South Beach. Unfortunately, he soon lost his hold on the parcel due to poor finances. Later, in 1979, more developers with eyes bigger than their wallets purchased most of Daufuskie’s acreage and quickly resold huge portions to International Paper Realty Company by 1984. In the same year, the Melrose and Bloody Point areas were purchased by the new Melrose Company.
Haig Point, on the northern tip of Daufuskie, was first purchased by Scottish merchant George Haig in the 1600s, who named the area for himself. International Paper started the Haig Point community’s development in 1986.
In 1997, the Melrose Company holdings were purchased by ClubCorp of Dallas, who combined properties of Melrose and Bloody Point to Daufuskie Island Club & Resort. In May 2002, Daufuskie Island Properties, LLC purchased the property. In May 2003, the property was renamed Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa. Tiburon Hospitality Management LLC purchased Daufuskie Island Club & Resort in 2006, and quickly signed a decade-long management contract with West Paces Hotels (previously known as Ritz Carlton).