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When it comes to landscaping your home or business, it only takes a seed of an idea to begin something special. At Mr. Topsoil, we specialize in helping that dream grow into reality with unmatched landscaping supplies like mulch, topsoil, and sod.

As trusted landscaping suppliers in Sullivan's Island, we know how important it is to have quality materials to reflect the beauty and style that you're looking to achieve. Unlike big-box stores, Mr. Topsoil offers attention to detail and stellar customer service that you just won't find anywhere else. There's a simple reason we've been in business for 34 years, and it's because we offer quality products and the best customer service in Sullivan's Island. At the end of the day, we do right by our customers by offering them reliable deliveries and honest pricing. That's just the Mr. Topsoil way.

As locals who are born and raised in Sullivan's Island, SC, we have a deep appreciation and comprehensive understanding of Lowcountry landscaping. Whether you're a business owner or a homeowner, Mr. Topsoil is your natural choice for landscaping materials.

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Mulch Supplier Sullivan's Island, SC

Here are just a few reasons why customers consider us the best instead of the rest:

Impeccable Service

Impeccable Service - If you already know what landscaping materials you need to begin your project, let us know. We make life easy by delivering your topsoil, mulch, or sod right to your front door. If you're not quite sure, our dedicated team of professionals is here to help guide you.

Reliable Delivery

Reliable Delivery - Part Mr. Topsoil's commitment is to provide dependable delivery of your landscaping materials. Time and safety are big concerns when dealing with landscaping, especially when dealing with large quantities of materials. That's why Mr. Topsoil uses a fleet of delivery trucks and drivers to cater to your needs. Curious whether we deliver to your home or business? Contact our office today to find out!

Highly-Trained Staff

Highly-Trained Staff - At Mr. Topsoil, our landscaping experts have been around the block once or twice. There is no substitute for real-deal knowledge of landscaping, and our team has got it in spades. We're here to make your landscaping project easy and feasible, and we're here to assist with advice and best practices whenever we are able.

If you're ready to transform your yard or storefront into an outdoor oasis, look no further than Mr. Topsoil in Sullivan's Island, SC.

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The Premier Topsoil Supplier in Sullivan's Island, SC

Topsoil is much more than just dirt - it enhances just about every other aspect of your landscaping project. If you're looking for long-lasting, beautiful landscaping, it all starts with high-quality topsoil that is sourced for Sullivan's Island's climate.

Topsoil can be used in many ways to improve the overall quality and health of your lawn or garden. Generally, topsoil consists of the top layer of dirt that is found in the first 5 to 6 inches inside the ground. Topsoil, especially the organic variety, is mineral-dense, nutrient-dense, and chock-full of organic matter. That makes it a top choice by amateur and professional landscapers alike.

The best quality topsoil for gardening and growing plants isn't found in bags - it's found right here at Mr. Topsoil. We optimize our topsoils to give customers a well-balanced mix of pH levels, nitrogen levels, and the perfect mineral content. Unlike some competitors, our topsoils are formulated with the correct chemical composition needed for South Carolina's climate and native plant life. That means longer-lasting beauty, less maintenance, less back-breaking labor, and more cost savings for you and your family.

Perhaps the most essential tool at your disposal is topsoil. Topsoil can be used in a variety of ways to improve the overall health and quality of your garden and lawn. Whether you're a rookie gardener or a landscaping connoisseur, there's never a bad time to learn about topsoil uses and how topsoil can play a role in your outdoor space.

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Common Uses for Topsoil in Sullivan's Island

When it comes to essential tools in your garden, you might think a spade or sprinkler system would top the list. You wouldn't necessarily be wrong, but few folks think of topsoil as a crucial tool for gardening and landscaping. Topsoil is used in many different ways, but its main goal is to improve your lawn or garden's health and ability to grow.

So, what are some common reasons why you might need topsoil?
1.

Keep Plants & Gardens Healthy

Flowers and plants must draw nutrients from the soil they live in to survive. These nutrients must often be replenished, and one of the best ways to do so is by adding a fresh layer of topsoil. Of course, not all topsoils are the same. You'll want to choose topsoil meant for your needs and your location. For instance, topsoil meant to help fresh veggies grow near the coast may differ from topsoil needed to reduce inland soil erosion. To find the best topsoil for your residential or commercial project, be sure to contact Mr. Topsoil - our team is ready and waiting to help answer your questions!

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2.

Improve Drainage

If rainfall causes puddles to form in your garden or grass, you might need to apply a new layer of topsoil. When soil is densely packed, drainage issues abound because water isn't able to seep into the soil. You can remedy this issue by adding a sandy layer of topsoil to areas where water is pooling. By tilling the new and old topsoil together, you will break up compacted dirt, improve circulation, and ultimately help drainage issues around your plant's roots.

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3.

Refresh Your Garden's Curb Appeal

Weeding, mowing, and planting new flowers are great for refreshing the look of your garden, but adding fresh topsoil helps complete the look. This is especially true after a long winter. Cold weather can strip the nutrients from your topsoil, leaving it dull and ineffective. Adding a new layer of topsoil instantly enhances how your garden looks!

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Quality Mulch. Gorgeous Landscaping. Unbeatable Service

At Mr. Topsoil, we proudly provide premium mulch, available for homeowners and commercial businesses. With several colors and varieties to choose from, you won't have to worry about searching high and low for your one-stop mulch shop. Our mulch helps reduce weed development, retains ground moisture, moderates your soil temperatures, and even helps stop soil erosion.

Looking to keep your garden or lawn in tip-top shape all year long? Mr. Topsoil's bulk mulch products are perfect for what you need, whether you own a home or work as a property manager and need to maintain your tenant's lawns. By buying in bulk, you get the benefit of mulch delivery straight to your front door at the lowest costs around. As your top mulch supplier in Sullivan's Island, SC, you can rest easy knowing our team loves to help our customers find the best ways to improve their landscaping. While it's true that you can buy bagged mulch at your local hardware store, these products are typically packaged weeks, months, and even years ahead of time. In many cases, these bags are stored outdoors where the mulch absorbs rainwater, chemicals, and nasty contaminates. As if that weren't bad enough, this kind of mulch is very expensive, making the price of a large residential or commercial landscaping project unrealistic.

At Mr. Topsoil, our mulch is produced from local trees and is made fresh and available immediately to our customers. With affordable rates and flexible delivery options, choosing Mr. Topsoil for your mulch delivery in Sullivan's Island makes all the sense in the world.

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Benefits of Adding Mulch to Your Home or Business in Sullivan's Island

Gardens and other landscaped areas come in many sizes, shapes, and styles. Flower gardens add that extra special something to your home or commercial property. Veggie gardens are great for cutting back on grocery bills and add their own aesthetic appeal. If it's green and it grows, chances are it can benefit from mulch.

There are many reasons to use mulch, including:

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Improve Soil Quality

Improve-Soil-Quality

As mulch breaks down and decomposes, it leaves micro-nutrients in your soil, which helps it stay fertile and great for growing. In addition, studies show that tree roots located below a layer of mulch have high counts of mycorrhiza, which help your trees live and thrive.

Conservation & Prevention

Conservation

If you have a garden, you know how important it is to keep your plants watered. When you add mulch to your garden, it actually helps conserve water, meaning you may not have to break out your watering or sprinklers as often. In addition, mulch helps prevent pesky weeds from springing up in your flower beds, gardens, and outdoor living areas.

Improve Landscaping

Conservation

Sure, mulch adds a unique ambiance and feel to your garden or landscaping, but mulch also fosters the presence of earthworms. These slithery creatures add nutrients to your soil and help its structure so that your plants and vegetables grow healthy and strong.

We Are #1 Topsoil Supplier In The Tri-County Area.

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Superior Sod Supplier in Sullivan's Island, SC

Buying the right sod for your home or business in Sullivan's Island speaks volumes. Proper sod placement can turn a dingy, dilapidated outdoor space into a pristine place where you love to spend time with friends and family. At Mr. Topsoil, we source the highest quality sod products from local farms, providing our clients with fresh, durable, clean grass. Whether you're upgrading your lawn or giving your commercial property a facelift, we have premium sod and timely delivery options to cater to your needs.

Having been in business for more than 34 years, we know that most customers have an idea of the kind of sod they want but don't know what it's called. Other times, they know the name but don't know how to install the sod. As a full-service sod provider, we can help with those issues and much more. It would be our pleasure to travel to your home or business and help you decide which kind of sod is best for your lawn our gardening project. If you need help applying the sod, our team of professionals are ready and waiting on your call.

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Here are just a few ways we assist customers with their residential and commercial sod needs:
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Sod Delivery in Sullivan's Island

Mr. Topsoil's team has been delivering sod for years. Over that time, we have built an incredible amount of experience working with nurseries and landscapers. We source our sod from local farmers, so its quality is never in question. From home gardens and lawns to local golf courses and sports fields, there is no job too small or large that we can't handle.

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Sod Supplier in Sullivan's Island

As Sullivan's Island's top sod supplier, it's no surprise that we work with local farms to get the highest-quality sod available. Quality sod means great grass and happy customers, and that's what we're all about. Our team of helpful pros will make sure your sod is delivered promptly and without error. When it's all said and done, the only thing that matters to Mr. Topsoil is your satisfaction, which is why we're not afraid to deliver near or far to meet your needs.

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Yard Sod in Sullivan's Island

Our selection of residential and yard sod is the best in our region. Our customers demand all sorts of yard sod, and we're happy to accommodate them. From different hues and textures to high durability sods meant for heavily trafficked areas - we've got it all. Need a little assistance on how to properly prep your yard? Our friendly team are happy to give you tips, tricks, and best practices to ensure your project is completed correctly.

Ready to Get Started?

Whether you're looking for a topsoil supplier in Sullivan's Island, SC, who can deliver to your home or a sod supplier for your small business, Mr. Topsoil is here to serve you. Whether you're a landscape gardener or a weekend warrior, we've got everything you need in one place, at a price you can afford. Contact our office today for your free quote!

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Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

Highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions ...

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions boasting their own take (and all claiming to have the best). Because barbecue meat spends hours upon hours cooking, restaurants are a go-to source for many Americans who would rather not spend all day and all night tending to their flames. Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina on Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed.

#16. Home Team BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (441 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2209 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482-8780– Read more on Tripadvisor

#15. Smokey Bones N. Charleston

– Rating: 3.5 / 5 (182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 7250 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29406– Read more on Tripadvisor

#14. Melvin’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (427 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 925 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464-3448– Read more on Tripadvisor

#13. Southern Roots Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (91 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Barbecue– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2544 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29414-5325– Read more on Tripadvisor

#12. Cumberland Street Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (184 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 5 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401-2603– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#11. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (35 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1622 Highland Ave, Charleston, SC 29412– Read more on Tripadvisor

#10. Melvin’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (132 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 538 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-3002– Read more on Tripadvisor

#9. Duke’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (94 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 331 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-2548– Read more on Tripadvisor

#8. Bessinger’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (578 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1602 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869– Read more on Tripadvisor

#7. Home Team BBQ – Downtown Charleston

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (134 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 126 Williman St, Charleston, SC 29403-3113– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#6. Rodney Scott’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (552 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1011 King St Corner of King Street and Grove Street, Charleston, SC 29403-4140– Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Poogan’s Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,207 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 188 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123– Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. Home Team BBQ – West Ashley

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (476 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-5301– Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. Swig & Swine

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (2,182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826– Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Queology

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,445 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 6 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2062– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#1. Lewis Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (839 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828– Read more on Tripadvisor

Mt. Pleasant adjusting short-term rental rules, number cap and taxes

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant is changing its options and limits on short-term rental regulations. The town first implemented a short-term rental policy in 2020.The planning committee decided rentals should not make up more than 1% of the town’s residential property, and owners would have to apply for a permit and pay a special tax. The 1% calculation allowed 437 rental properties in the town.Planning Director Michele Reed says short-term property ordinances are new to a lot of cities in the past few years....

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant is changing its options and limits on short-term rental regulations. The town first implemented a short-term rental policy in 2020.

The planning committee decided rentals should not make up more than 1% of the town’s residential property, and owners would have to apply for a permit and pay a special tax. The 1% calculation allowed 437 rental properties in the town.

Planning Director Michele Reed says short-term property ordinances are new to a lot of cities in the past few years.

“About four years ago, they decided to have staff start kind of conducting some public meetings and start doing some research on what are other municipalities doing and we did we looked at we looked at Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island, the City of Charleston, and then we looked at municipalities and cities in other states to see how other folks did in other areas of the country,” Reed says.

Now the city is working to refine the ordinance. They will cap applications at 400 short-term rentals and offer two types of applications for owners. Owners who rent out between 24 and 72 nights a year, will pay a $250 application fee and a 4% tax on their property. Owners who rent out more than 72 nights a year will pay a $1,500 application fee and a 6% tax on their property.

“You recognize things as it’s put in place and you begin to administer it. You can’t write the perfect ordinance. So you see where there’s loopholes or you see where there’s problems or the language isn’t crystal clear. And so you see where those changes need to be made. We’ve done that a few times. And now we’re seeing, people do this for different reasons. And have different needs. So maybe we can accommodate that through changing up the program and how we operate it a little bit,” Reed says.

Reed says the application fees basically cover the cost to the planning department to operate the program. When it comes to the rental taxes, between the county and other sources, Mount Pleasant gets about 1% of the money from short-term rentals.

“I think council will recognize that if they didn’t, it could get out of control. And to kind of, not only protect those that want to operate, but also to protect the existing quality of our neighborhoods and the community so that they wouldn’t overtake neighborhoods and things like that,” Reed says.

Reed says all current short-term rental operators will have a chance to reapply before opening the applications to new properties until they hit 400 units.

Kerry Dawson, a Carolina One real estate agent, says she has long and short-term rentals and thinks the city is doing a good job so far.

“That’s how I get my income. I applied for the business license and permit from the get-go. So, I was probably one of the pioneers of that. And it’s been a really simple process,” Dawson says. “It’s been pretty good pretty easy. They’ve kept us informed of any changes. Or anything we need to do as far as taxes that kept it really simple. The little books that they send us each month, and it’s, it’s a good thing, I think.”

One owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, says his rental property is actually a future investment, that he rents to try and offset the cost of owning it.

“Our big desire to purchase this property that we have is not an income generator, but it’s to ensure that my kids are taken care of and have property to live on one day before it’s too expensive to buy,” he says.

He says his property is on the waitlist for the short-term rental, and the cap number could mean he doesn’t get a permit. That would be detrimental to him, as he tries to rent the property to cover the cost of buying and owning it.

“I should have the ability to rent long term and short term and that’s my perspective since I own it. I’m paying probably three times the property taxes on this rental property because it’s a secondary property, and I don’t have the rights to do what I want to,” he says.

The changes are currently in the beginning stages of discussions in the planning committee. The committee will hold a public hearing on the changes at its Aug. 24 meeting at 5 p.m. Reed encourages any owners to come to the meeting or to send their comments through the town website to be a part of the discussion.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Why Confederate flags are flying in the middle of Charleston Harbor

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ship...

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.

Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.

Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ships, mariners on commercial vessels, tourists on harbor tours or private boat charters, visitors to Fort Sumter who take the ferry that passes Shutes Folly. The flags also are viewed from the land by thousands more every week who walk through Waterfront Park or along the East Battery.

Some visitors to Charleston who go on boat charters wonder aloud about those flags. Why are they there? Who decides to raise them? What message do they convey about the Holy City? Others voice their support.

Many don’t recognize the Confederate flags when they fly on Castle Pinckney because they are always the lesser-known divisional or national banners, never the Southern Cross that became the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which is the one most closely associated with the Confederacy and the one that provokes the most controversy.

So it can come as a surprise when visitors learn that the flag on Shutes Folly is, say, the “Stars and Bars” or The Citadel’s battle flag, or South Carolina’s flag of secession.

On the water

The island has three parcels, according to Charleston County GIS records. The southernmost parcel is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp 1269. The other two are “undevelopable” and slowly fading away. One is deeded to Henry Laurens; the other to the Mary Simons Estate. The whole island now is a bird sanctuary. Visitors are forbidden.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans looks after the old fort, but restoring it and maintaining it would cost a fortune, so the installation is left to endure the elements and the nesting birds with little human intervention.

Every month or so, an SCV member rides a skiff to the castle and changes the flag. The idea is to raise flags that have historical significance, though sometimes one will see the Irish flag in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or the Italian flag to mark Columbus Day. At the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the group raised a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag to show solidarity.

For Carolina Day, which marks the patriot victory over British forces at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776, the state flag (or a historical version of it) will flap in the breeze. For the Fourth of July, the U.S. flag is hoisted.

But during other parts of the year, the SCV often raises a Confederate flag of some kind.

Sailboat charter captain Mark Stetler said he tries to avoid mentioning the flags until one of his guests ask about them, then he’ll strive to offer a neutral response, keeping politics off the boat.

“The discomfort starts with me,” he said. “I try to say as little as I can.”

But, often, he will feel the need to offer some explanation, so he tells his guests about Castle Pinckney, its history and its current status, and he’ll tell them that Confederate flags don’t always fly there.

The typical response is “stunned silence,” he said. Sometimes he will get an eye-roll or perhaps a question or comment alluding to the imposition of the Antebellum South and the Civil War onto the year 2022. He’s never hosted a guest who expressed support for the flags, he said.

Chris Rabens, a powerboat charter captain, said he passes by Castle Pinckney with his guests frequently. Usually, they are too immersed in the experience of being together on the water to pay much attention to serious matters such as South Carolina history, he said. A few will show interest.

Some guests are enthusiastic, uttering expressions of support for the Confederate cause (“The South will rise again!” they might shout); others question the motivations of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or voice mild disagreement, Rabens said.

“I get a broad spectrum,” he said.

Tamara Butler, director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, said the fort, its history and the Confederate flags that sometimes fly in the middle of the harbor are evidence of the city’s inherent contradictions and unresolved racial and economic tensions — and of the efforts among some to reconcile all that.

“It’s really important for people to see that Charleston is still trying to figure itself out,” Butler said. “My hope is that people will use controversial things (such as Castle Pinckney’s flags) to question their significance.”

The city is a place of public history, and it’s nearly impossible to ensure that all of it is presented and explained, she said.

“I can’t contextualize the fingerprints in the bricks; I can’t be there every time someone sees them,” Butler said. “So we need to have conversations about who’s responsible for public history work in the city.”

Charleston needs to invest more in the people who can do that work, and to ensure that African Americans are included, she said.

“Charleston sells itself as a progressive city, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Butler said.

The old fort

The island of Shutes Folly, little more than an eroding sandbar now, once was much larger and greener. Joseph Shute bought the island from Col. Alexander Parris in 1746 and tried to grow orange trees. The farm ultimately failed, but that’s not likely what gave the island its name. Rather, it was the manmade buildings that did so. A “folly” is a decorative structure, often grand and picturesque, that one might find in a large garden — or on a little-used island.

Shute’s “folly,” in this case, perhaps refers to Castle Pinckney itself, which has become solely decorative. Or it refers to the small grove of trees that once stood on the island’s highest ground.

The South Carolina Ports Authority acquired the island in 1958, but didn’t use it and soon tried to give it away.

It gifted the old fort to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 in 1969, but it was returned to the state Ports Authority in 1984.

On June 21, 2011, the authority sold the remains of Castle Pinckney to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp for $10. A year and half later, the nonprofit Castle Pinckney Historical Preservation Society was incorporated. Its website, castlepinckney.org, provides access to historical documents and photographs, and describes the history of the fort, a chronology of its use, and an accounting of efforts to preserve it.

Shutes Folly has had some sort of fortification on it since 1742. An early earthen and timber structure used during the American Revolutionary War was replaced with a larger log-and-sand fort in 1797, named for Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

An 1804 storm destroyed the log fort, but a replacement made of brick soon rose on the site. It was completed in 1810, and was used during the Civil War as an arms depot and a stockade — first for captured Union soldiers, then for Confederate blockade runners.

In 1878, a lighthouse was built there, along with a lightkeeper’s residence, providing its illuminated warning until 1917.

Castle Pinckney, though once armed and garrisoned, was not much used during conflicts and has come to be known as the poor stepchild compared with forts Sumter, Moultrie and Johnson.

Object vs. symbol

Philip Middleton, former commander of the SCV’s Fort Sumter Camp, said his group’s stewardship of Castle Pinckney includes keeping people off the island, protecting the nesting birds and what remains of the historic brick fortifications, and cutting back the profuse growth of vegetation each winter.

“We have been very circumspect,” he said. “We’re proud to be completely inoffensive.”

Unfortunately, restoring the old fort and doing more to interpret its history has been cost-prohibitive, Middleton said.

Messages left for four other SCV members in South Carolina went unanswered.

Castle Pinckney’s history cannot be contextualized properly without public access of some kind, said Michael Allen, a former National Park Service park ranger and former member of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. Many people don’t realize they’re looking at a Confederate flag, he added.

A flag, if framed and labeled and hung on the wall of a museum, is merely an object for consideration. Flying it atop a flagpole in the public sphere effectively transforms it into an active symbol, Allen said. The banners, then, are not unlike Confederate monuments. Put a statue in a museum and one can provide the necessary context, he said. Put it on a pedestal in the public square and one is making a political statement, whether intended or not.

“So this raises questions about honoring the past,” he said. “Whose past do we honor, and how?”

Kyle Sinisi, a history professor at The Citadel, said Castle Pinckney is a historic installation and flying banners that had been raised above the fort in the past is appropriate. Fort Sumter also once flew a variety of flags, including Confederate flags, he noted.

Fort Sumter no longer displays Confederate flags of any kind.

“Flags add good context,” he said. “They turn (Shutes Folly) from a sand spit with some ruins on top of it into something that has a story. ... To me, it’s just a great shame that we can’t make it a tourist hot spot. It’s so tantalizing, it is so close and yet so far.”

Dominion Energy lists Sullivan’s Island Sand Dunes Club for sale with $19M offer in hand

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was us...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.

The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

The energy company sought the state Public Service Commission’s permission to sell the property for $19 million to a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital called SDCC Island Resident Club. In February the commission instead required Dominion list the property for sale and solicit bids.

“This simply means that Dominion Energy will need to determine whether other potential buyers exist,” said Rhonda Maree O’Banion, Dominion’s media relations manager.

“After the competitive bidding process is complete, Dominion Energy will report back to the commission and if necessary, update its request for approval to sell the Sand Dunes property,” she added.

The sale to Navarro’s company has been anticipated on Sullivan’s Island, a barrier island with fewer than 2,000 residents where the average home sale price in 2021 was nearly $3.2 million according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

One year ago the town signed an agreement with Navarro’s company that laid out plans to potentially renovate the club and operate it for island residents.

Beemok, the February 2021 agreement says, “desires to purchase the property from its current owner, renovate the clubhouse and operate the club.”

The agreement also says “the town believes a club with membership limited to town residents and property owners” would be desirable if the club were sold.

“That’s what we were expecting was going to happen,” Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said. “Mr. Navarro and his group have worked closely with the town.”

The agreement is non-exclusive and the same conditions apply to the property regardless of who were to buy it, he said.

The agreement says the price of membership in the club would not exceed the cost of operating the club, and the town would get to review confidential financial statements to ensure that provision.

Residents and town property owners could become members, and nonmembers could still use the pool for a fee comparable to what municipal recreation departments charge in Mount Pleasant or on Isle of Palms, the agreement says.

The address is considered a large property that’s most valuable as a potential site for new homes according to an appraisal submitted by Dominion, but the clubhouse is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The property would not be the first iconic Charleston-area locale purchased by Navarro’s companies if his bid is successful. His companies own the Charleston Place hotel, purchased last year for $350 million, and the Credit One Bank Stadium on Daniel Island.

Efforts to reach representatives of Beemok Capital and the company’s public relations firm by phone and email were unsuccessful Friday.

The sale of the property would not change Dominion Energy’s utility rates or pricing according to the company’s Public Service Commission filing.

In 2021 Dominion turned over more than 2,900 acres of property as part of a $165 million tax settlement with the S.C. Department of Revenue, resolving a three-year dispute over taxes owed on parts and materials purchased to build the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, which was not completed. The Sand Dunes Club was not a part of that deal, but other former clubs and retreats in Aiken, Lexington and Georgetown counties were, and some of those will be added to the state’s park system.

Brian Symmes, spokesman for Gov. Henry McMaster’s office, said the state had been interested in the Sand Dunes Club property, but the cost was too high.

“There was interest in it being part of the settlement agreement, but at the end of the day it was just much too expensive,” he said.

The more than 2,900 acres South Carolina acquired, which included the Pine Island Club on Lake Murray, cost the state about $50 million — the amount Dominion’s tax debt was reduced in exchange for those properties. The Sand Dunes Club property, less than 4 acres, would presumably have cost at least the $19 million Beemok Capital has offered, and make for an unusually expensive park purchase.

The tax settlement was a part of the relief provided to ratepayers, shareholders and governments who sued after Dominion’s predecessor SCE&G abruptly ended construction at the V.C. Summer site in 2017.

Sullivan’s Island restaurant opens with fresh fish, ’1970s-inspired’ beachside aesthetic

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood an...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood and beach-themed cocktails Tuesday through Sunday.

The Towills are the owners of design and hospitality firm Basic Projects. Kate, head of design for the Charleston-based company, has led the design of residential and commercial properties, including an athletic club and Basic Projects’ two other restaurants: Basic Kitchen and Post House.

Alongside her husband, Basic Projects head of operations Eva Suarez and other members of the team, Kate led the two-year renovation of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, where she set out to create a 1970s-inspired beachside aesthetic. Her goal was to give the space a fresh look with elements honoring Sullivan’s Seafood, like a framed flag and original menu.

A place that feels new and nostalgic all at once.

“That’s been the biggest compliment that we have received is (people saying) ‘Oh it feels like it’s been here forever,’ ” Kate Towill said.

Leading the kitchen as executive chef is Davis Hood, who grew up on Isle of Palms with his brother Nathan, culinary director of Basic Projects. Hood, who recalls walking by the Middle Street building on his way to Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, is focusing on sustainability at the new Sullivan’s Island restaurant.

Local purveyors like Abundant Seafood, Tarvin Seafood, Lowcountry Oyster Co., Vertical Roots and Peculiar Pig Farm dot the Sullivan’s Fish Camp menu.

“It’s not your average fish camp in my eyes,” Hood said. “The whole concept of snout to tail cooking, we’re trying to bring that vibe but with fish. Understanding that the ocean is such an important part of our lives and not trying to have any waste.”

If there is one dish that epitomizes this approach, it’s the Sullivan’s Island Gumbo that features Tarvin Seafood shrimp, clams, okra, lobster broth, dayboat fish and Anson Mills Charleston Gold Rice. The West African style gumbo’s gluten-free base is made using chicken bones, lobster shells, shrimp shells, fennel, celery, palm oil and Bradford Family Farm okra, which replaces a roux as the stew’s thickening agent.

Ben Towill said the gumbo, along with the pan-roasted fish of the day and tempura nori tuna with furikake aioli have been some of the restaurant’s top sellers in its first weeks of service.

“We feel like the menu’s been received really well,” Ben Towill said. “Guests and everyone have felt really comfortable which has been a big bonus.”

Fresh seafood isn’t the only element that gives Sullivan’s Fish Camp that desired beachside feel. Self-described “fruity” cocktails like the tequila-based Sumter’s Watch, rum-based Sullivan Swizzle and the frozen paloma will immediately put patrons on island time.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and lunch is currently served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The restaurant plans to eventually serve lunch and dinner daily.

For more information, visit sullivansfishcamp.com or call 843-883-2100.

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