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Hilton Head Island And Sea Pines Plantation

Updated: Apr 27


HHI

April 25, 2022


Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as simply Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town and barrier island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is 20 miles northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and 95 miles southwest of Charleston. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663 identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which mapmakers named "Hilton's Headland." The island features 12 miles of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular vacation destination. In 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors infused more than $1.5 billion into the local economy. The year-round population was 37,099 at the 2010 census, although during the peak of summer vacation season the population can swell to 150,000. Over the past decade, the island's population growth rate was 32%. Hilton Head Island is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 207,413 in 2015.


The island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by Native Americans thousands of years ago and continued with European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade. It became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many of their descendants, who are known as the Gullah (or Geechee). They have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity.


The Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a municipality in 1983 and is well known for its eco-friendly development. The town's Natural Resources Division enforces the Land Management Ordinance which minimizes the impact of development and governs the style of buildings and how they are situated amongst existing trees. As a result, Hilton Head Island enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development. Approximately 70% of the island, including most of the tourist areas, is located inside gated communities. However, the town maintains several public beach access points, including one for the exclusive use of town residents, who have approved several multimillion-dollar land-buying bond referendums to control commercial growth.


Hilton Head Island offers an unusual number of cultural opportunities for a community its size, including plays at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the 120-member full chorus of the Hilton Head Choral Society, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, an annual outdoor, tented wine tasting event on the east coast, and several other annual community festivals. It also hosts the RBC Heritage, a PGA Tour tournament played on the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort.


History

New World discovery


The Sea Pines shell ring can be seen near the east entrance to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The ring, one of at least 50 known to exist, is 150 feet in diameter and is believed to be over 4,000 years old. Archeologists believe that the ring was a refuse heap, created by Indians who lived in the interior of the ring, which was kept clear and used as a common area. Two other shell rings on Hilton Head were destroyed when the shells were removed and used to make tabby for roads and buildings. The Green's Shell Enclosure, Sea Pines, and Skull Creek shell rings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are protected by law.


Since the beginning of recorded history in the New World, the waters around Hilton Head Island have been known, occupied and fought for in turn by the English, Spanish, French, and Scots.


A Spanish expedition led by Francisco Cordillo explored the area in 1521, initiating European contact with local tribes. In 1663, Captain William Hilton sailed on the Adventure from Barbados to explore lands granted by King Charles II of England to the eight Lords Proprietor. In his travels, he identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound. He named it "Hilton's Head" after himself. He stayed for several days, making note of the trees, crops, "sweet water", and "clear sweet air".


17th to 19th centuries


In 1698, Hilton Head Island was granted as part of a barony to John Bayley of Ballingclough, County of Tipperary, Kingdom of Ireland. Another John Bayley, son of the first, appointed Alexander Trench as the island's first retail agent. For a time, Hilton Head was known as Trench's Island. In 1729, Trench sold some land to John Gascoine which Gascoine named "John's Island" after himself. The land later came to be known as Jenkin's Island after another owner.


In the mid-1740s, the South Carolina provincial half-galley Beaufort was stationed in a cove at the southern tip of Hilton Head to guard against intrusions by the Spanish of St. Augustine. The point and cove are named after Captain David Cutler Braddock, commander of the Beaufort. Captain Braddock was a mariner and privateer of note in Colonial times. Earlier, he had been placed in command of the Georgia schooner Norfolk by James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, and helped chase the Spanish back to St. Augustine after their failed 1742 invasion of St. Simons Island. After relocating to Savannah in 1746, he served two terms in the Georgia Commons House of Assembly while earning a living as a highly active privateer. He drew a well-known chart of the Florida Keys while on a privateering venture in 1756. The chart is in the Library of Congress.


During the revolution there was only a very small population of farmers living on Hilton Head Island. This population was exclusively Loyalist, remaining allied to Parliament and the King throughout the entirety of the revolution. However, after the revolution they chose to simply "stay on" in South Carolina and make the best of living under the new republican form of government. In 1788, a small Episcopal church called the Zion Chapel of Ease was constructed for plantation owners. The chapel's old cemetery, located near the corner of William Hilton Parkway and Mathews Drive (Folly Field), is all that remains. Charles Davant, a prominent island planter during the Revolutionary War, is memorialized there. Davant was shot by Captain Martinangel of Daufuskie Island in 1781. This location is also home to the oldest intact structure on Hilton Head Island, the Baynard Mausoleum, which was built in 1846.


William Elliott II of Myrtle Bank Plantation grew the first crop of Sea Island Cotton in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island in 1790.


During the Civil War, Fort Walker was a Confederate fort in what is now Port Royal Plantation. The fort was a station for Confederate troops, and its guns helped protect the 2-mile wide (3 km) entrance to Port Royal Sound, which is fed by two slow-moving and navigable rivers, the Broad River and the Beaufort River. It was vital to the Sea Island Cotton trade and the southern economy. On October 29, 1861, the largest fleet ever assembled in North America moved south to seize it. In the Battle of Port Royal, the fort came under attack by the U.S. Navy, and on November 7, 1861, it fell to over 12,000 Union troops. The fort was renamed Fort Welles, in honor of Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy.


Hilton Head Island had tremendous significance in the Civil War and became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports, particularly Savannah and Charleston. The Union also built a military hospital on Hilton Head Island with a 1,200-foot (370 m) frontage and a floor area of 60,000 square feet.


Hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head Island, where they could buy land, go to school, live in government housing, and serve in what was called the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers (although in the beginning, many were "recruited" at the point of a bayonet).[29] A community called Mitchelville (in honor of General Ormsby M. Mitchel) was constructed on the north end of the island to house them.


In an order from May 15th of 1865, Major General Quincy Adams Gillmore, who was commanding the Department of the South with headquarters at Hilton Head declared that "the people of the black race are free citizens of the United States," whose rights must be respected accorindingly. He issued an additional order while based in Hilton Head saying that any plantation owners who were found to have not informed African-Americans of their new status as free people would be "made liable to the pains and penalties of disloyalty, and their lands subject to confiscation" under the act establishing the Freedmen's Bureau. Martin Delany, the only black officer to reach the rank of major in the United States military during the Civil War, was also stationed at Hilton Head during this time.


The Leamington Lighthouse, also known as the Hilton Head Rear Range Lighthouse, was built in the 1870s on the southern edge of what is now Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.


In 1890, the wealthy shipping magnate William P. Clyde purchased 9,000 acres on Hilton Head Island for use as a private hunting preserve.


On August 27, 1893, the Sea Islands Hurricane made landfall near Savannah, with a storm surge of 16 feet, and swept north across South Carolina, killing over 1,000 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.


20th and 21st centuries


An experimental steam cannon guarding Port Royal Sound was built around 1900, in what is now Port Royal Plantation. The cannon was fixed but its propulsion system allowed for long-range shots for the time.


In 1931, Wall Street tycoon, physicist, and patron of scientific research Alfred Lee Loomis, along with his brother-in-law and partner Landon K. Thorne, purchased 17,000 acres on the island (over 63% of the total landmass) for about $120,000 to be used as a private game reserve. Loomis was an American attorney, investment banker, philanthropist, scientist, physicist, inventor of the LORAN Long Range Navigation System and a lifelong patron of scientific research. He established the Loomis Laboratory in Tuxedo Park, New York, and his role in the development of radar and the atomic bomb contributed to the Allied victory in World War II. He invented the Aberdeen Chronograph for measuring muzzle velocities, contributed significantly (perhaps critically, according to Luis Alvarez[3]) to the development of a ground-controlled approach technology for aircraft, and participated in preliminary meetings of the Manhattan Project. Loomis also made contributions to biological instrumentation. Working with Edmund Newton Harvey he co-invented the microscope centrifuge, and pioneered techniques for electroencephalography. In 1937, he discovered the sleep K-complex brainwave. During the Great Depression, Loomis anonymously paid the Physical Review journal's fees for authors who could not afford them.


On the Atlantic coast of the island, large concrete gun platforms were built to defend against a possible invasion by the Axis powers of World War II. Platforms like these can be found all along the Eastern Seaboard. The Mounted Beach Patrol and Dog Training Center on Hilton Head Island trained U.S. Coast Guard Beach Patrol personnel to use horses and dogs to protect the southeastern coastline of the U.S.


In the early 1950s, three lumber mills contributed to the logging of 19,000 acres of the island. The island population was only 300 residents. Before 1956, access to Hilton Head was limited to private boats and a state-operated ferry. The island's economy centered on shipbuilding, cotton, lumbering, and fishing.


The James F. Byrnes Bridge was built in 1956. It was a two-lane toll swing bridge constructed at a cost of $1.5 million that opened the island to automobile traffic from the mainland. The swing bridge was hit by a barge in 1974, which shut down all vehicle traffic to the island until the Army Corps of Engineers built and manned a pontoon bridge while the bridge was being repaired. The swing bridge was replaced by the current four-lane bridge in 1982.


The beginning of Hilton Head as a resort started in 1956 with Charles E. Fraser developing Sea Pines Resort. Soon, other developments followed, such as Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes Plantation, Shipyard Plantation, and Port Royal Plantation, imitating Sea Pines' architecture and landscaping. Sea Pines, however, continued to stand out by creating a unique locality within the plantation, called Harbour Town, anchored by a recognizable lighthouse. Fraser was a committed environmentalist who changed the whole configuration of the marina at Harbour Town to save an ancient live oak. It came to be known as the Liberty Oak, known to generations of children who watched singer and songwriter Gregg Russell perform under the tree for over 25 years. Fraser was buried next to the tree when he died in 2002.


The Heritage Golf Classic was first played in Sea Pines Resort in 1969 and has been a regular stop on the PGA Tour ever since. Also in 1969, the Hilton Head Island Community Association successfully fought off the development of a BASF chemical complex on the shores of Victoria Bluff (now Colleton River Plantation). Soon after, the association and other concerned citizens "south of the Broad" fought the development of off-shore oil platforms by Brown & Root (a division of Halliburton) and ten-story tall liquefied natural gas shipping spheres by Chicago Bridge & Iron. These events helped to energize the community, and the Chamber of Commerce started drumming up support for the town to incorporate as a municipality. After the Four Seasons Resort (now Hilton Head Resort) was built along William Hilton Parkway, a referendum of incorporation was passed in May 1983. Hilton Head Island had become a town.


The Land Management Ordinance was passed by the Town Council in 1987. Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort opened in 1996, and the Cross Island Parkway opened in January 1997. An indoor smoking ban in bars, restaurants, and public places took effect on May 1, 2007. Shelter Cove Towne Centre opened in 2014.


Fort Howell, Fort Mitchel, the Zion Cemetery and Baynard Mausoleum, Cherry Hill School, Daufuskie Island Historic District, Fish Haul Archaeological Site (38BU805), Green's Shell Enclosure, Hilton Head Range Rear Light, Sea Pines, Skull Creek, SS William Lawrence Shipwreck Site, and Stoney-Baynard Plantation are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Geography

Topography

Hilton Head Island is a shoe-shaped island that lies 20 miles (32 km) by air northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and 90 miles (140 km) south of Charleston.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 69.2 square miles (179.1 km2), of which 41.4 square miles (107.1 km2) is land, and 27.8 square miles (71.9 km2), or 40.17%, is water.


Barrier island


Hilton Head Island is sometimes referred to as the second largest barrier island on the Eastern Seaboard after Long Island (which is not a barrier island but two glacial moraines). Technically, however, Hilton Head Island is only a half barrier island. The north end of the island is a sea island dating to the Pleistocene epoch, and the south end is a barrier island that appeared as recently as the Holocene epoch. Broad Creek, which is a land-locked tidal marsh, separates the two halves of the island.


The terrain of a barrier island is determined by a dynamic beach system with offshore bars, pounding surf, and shifting beaches; as well as grassy dunes behind the beach, maritime forests with wetlands in the interiors, and salt or tidal marshes on the lee side, facing the mainland. A typical barrier island has a headland, a beach and surf zone, and a sand spit.


Wildlife


The Hilton Head Island area is home to a vast array of wildlife, including alligators, deer, loggerhead sea turtles, manatees, hundreds of species of birds, and dolphins.


The Coastal Discovery Museum, in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, patrols the beaches from May through October as part of the Sea Turtle Protection Project. The purpose of the project is to inventory and monitor nesting locations, and if necessary, move them to more suitable locations. During the summer months, the museum sponsors the Turtle Talk & Walk, which is a special tour designed to educate the public about this endangered species. To protect loggerhead sea turtles, a town ordinance stipulates that artificial lighting must be shielded so that it cannot be seen from the beach, or it must be turned off by 10:00 p.m. from May 1 to October 31 each year. The waters around Hilton Head Island are one of the few places on Earth where dolphins routinely use a technique called "strand feeding", whereby schools of fish are herded up onto mud banks, and the dolphins lie on their side while they feed before sliding back down into the water.


Particularly prominent in the ocean waters surrounding Hilton Head Island, the stingray serves as a fascination and painful natural encounter for many beachgoers. Small stingrays inhabit the quieter, shallow region of ocean floor just beyond the break of the surf, typically buried beneath a thin layer of sand. Stingrays are a type of demersal, cartilaginous fish common to the South Carolina coast as well as other areas on the Atlantic shoreline. Typically, stingrays avoid contact with humans unless they are accidentally stepped upon, a situation often ending in a stingray injury, where the stingray punctures the human with its poisonous barb. While these injuries are extremely painful, they are not usually life-threatening as long as they are properly attended to by a medical professional.


The saltmarsh estuaries of Hilton Head Island are the feeding grounds, breeding grounds, and nurseries for many saltwater species of game fish, sport fish, and marine mammals. The dense plankton population gives the coastal water its murky brown-green coloration.

Plankton support marine life including oysters, shrimp and other invertebrates, and bait-fish species including menhaden and mullet, which in turn support larger fish and mammal species that populate the local waterways. Popular sport fish in the Hilton Head Island area include the red drum (or spot tail bass), spotted sea trout, sheepshead, cobia, tarpon, and various shark species.


Climate

Hilton Head Island has a humid subtropical climate - Köppen climate classification Cfa, represented with humid, warm summers and mild winters and abundant rainfall. Hilton Head Island gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 103 days per year. The amount of rainfall in the town is estimated around 1161 mm (45.7 inches) per year.



Demographics





2010 census


As of the census of 2010,[3] there were 37,099 people, 16,535 households, and 10,700 families residing in the town, occupying a land area of 42.06 square miles (109 km2). The population density was 882.0 people per square mile (340.4/km2). There were 33,602 housing units at an average density of 798.9 per square mile (308.3/km2).


Although the town occupies most of the land area of the island, it is not coterminous with it; there is a small part near the main access road from the mainland, William Hilton Parkway, which is not incorporated into the town. Hilton Head (the island) therefore has a slightly higher population (48,407 in Census 2000, defined as the Hilton Head Island Urban Cluster) and a larger land area (42.65 sq mi or 110.5 km2) than the town. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Beaufort and Jasper counties, had a 2012 estimated year-round population of 193,882.


The racial makeup of the town was 82.9% White, 7.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.8% of the population.


Of the 16,535 households, 18.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.66.


In the town, the population was spread out, with 18% under the age of 20, 4.4% from 20 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 28.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.5 males.

Looking over the tidal marsh to the Folly

According to a 2014 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $68,437, and the median income for a family was $85,296. Males had a median income of $51,463 versus $36,743 for females. The per capita income for the town was $45,116. About 5.4% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.9% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Ancestry/Ethnicity






Notable people[edit]

  • Arthur Blank: owner NFL Atlanta Falcons and Home Depot, has a house in Sea Pines Resort[77][78]

  • William P. Clyde: owner and president of the Clyde Steamship Company[33]

  • Patricia Cornwell: crime fiction author of Hornet's Nest (set in Charlotte) and others, a NY Times Best Selling Author[79]

  • Cranford Hollow: alternative country and rock band

  • Bobby Cremins: former NCAA men's basketball coach, currently resides in Charleston, but maintains a home in Hilton Head[80][81][82]

  • Wilbur Cross: author

  • Dan Driessen: former Major League Baseball player; Cincinnati Reds and others

  • Jim Ferree: golfer on PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour[83]

  • Trevor Hall: reggae/folk rock singer-songwriter on Now 40, was raised in Hilton Head[84][85]

  • Ryan Hartman: professional hockey player

  • Darrell Hedric: former head basketball coach at Miami University (Ohio), former NBA scout

  • John Jakes: author of historical fiction like North and South (set in Charleston), resides in Hilton Head, a NY Times Best Selling Author[78][86]

  • Michael Jordan: former NBA player, had a house on Hilton Head from 1988 to 1999[87]

  • John V. Lindsay: former mayor of New York City, died in Hilton Head on December 19, 2000[88]

  • John Mellencamp: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter from Bloomington, Indiana; did #1 song "Jack and Diane" in 1982[78]

  • Mark Messier: Canadian former NHL hockey player, part-time resident of Hilton Head[89]

  • Garry Moore: television variety-show and game-show host[90]

  • Gregg Russell: children's singer, performed under the old oak tree in Harbour Town since 1976

  • Serge Savard: former Montreal Canadiens defenseman and general manager|ref

  • Duncan Sheik: singer-songwriter of the 1997 Grammy-nominated song "Barely Breathing", writer of the hit Broadway show Spring Awakening, was raised in Hilton Head[91][92]

  • Stan Smith: tennis pro, 1972 Wimbledon, 1971 US Open and Davis Cup champion[78]

  • Col. Benjamin H. Vandervoort: WWII hero, died in his home on Hilton Head in 1990 at the age of 75[93]

  • Kathryn R. Wall: author of mystery novels[94]

  • Lois Rhame West: First Lady of South Carolina (1971–1975), first woman to chair the Muscular Dystrophy Association[95]

  • Jayson Williams: former NBA basketball player, owns a home on Hilton Head[96]



Sea Pines Resort

The Sea Pines Resort or Sea Pines is located in Sea Pines Plantation, a 5,200-acre private residential gated community located on the southern tip of the island which comprises the town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Sea Pines is home to four golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links, Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, (formerly known as the Ocean Course), the Heron Point golf course (formerly known as the Sea Marsh course) and the Sea Pines Country Club Course. The RBC Heritage is a PGA Tour event held annually in April at the Harbour Town course. History

On June 20, 1957, the Sea Pines Company was formed by Charles E. Fraser and Joseph B. Fraser Jr., with their father Joseph B. Fraser Sr. serving as Chairman of the Board. The original offices of the company were located in a trailer on Sea Pines Circle (the intersection of William Hilton Parkway, Palmetto Bay Road, Pope Avenue, and Greenwood Drive). The only phone on the island was a car-based mobile unit.

During the late 60s and early 70s, Fraser hired locals as well as young Turks and pioneered new principles of land development and management, including environmentally sensitive land use, blending with nature rather than overpowering it, and nature oriented tourism. Harvard Business School grads worked alongside creative land planners and contractors. Some of the first computer modeling in the South demonstrated how they would leverage land and their planning with Real Estate Investment Trust and banks.

Fraser encouraged his people to learn through travel, to stay fresh by playing tennis in the middle of the day and picnicking with family and friends and to have plenty of gatherings where networking and cross fertilization would take place. Several developers across the nation that cut their teeth on Fraser and the Sea Pines Company.

In 1967 Fraser had been developing 5,200 acres for 10 years, all on Hilton Head. By 1971 the company had 135,000 acres under development or planning with models showing positive cash in just 3 years. When the Prime Interest Rate jumped from 6 at the beginning of 1973 to 11.75 in October 1974 the company began to unravel as most of their loans were cost 3 points over prime. With a jump of 5 and ¾ percent in such a short time sales had no way to keep up.

Sea Pines changed hands many times in the decade of the 1980s. The Heizer Corporation purchased it in 1982. It was then transferred to an independent investor named Bobby Ginn with the Ginn family. The Ginn family sold assets to Roylat Holding Corporation with the deal financed by Philip Schwab, a stockholder in a large Florida savings and loan organization.

Roylat Holding Corporation had a financial crisis, Federal Judge Sol Blatt of Charleston placed the Roylat Corporation and Schwab's organization in involuntary bankruptcy. The legal team he appointed to rebuild Sea Pines created two organizations to run Sea Pines: Sea Pines Associates, which owns resort properties, and the Community Services Associates (CSA) which owns, maintains, and secures common property and roads within Sea Pines. CSA runs, for example, a 42-man security department which handles traffic violations and other limited law enforcement functions. In March 2005, ownership passed to the Riverstone Group, a private concern owned by William Goodwin of Richmond Virginia, and the resort was renamed The Sea Pines Resort (dropping "Plantation"). Braddocks Point Cemetery

The Braddock's Point Cemetery, a Gullah sea island cemetery on Hilton Head Island is a historic graveyard hidden between 2 apartment buildings and adjacent to the 18th fairway on Harbour town Golf Links – "the fairway may pass over buried ancestors" which may be the source of the urban legend that the 18th hole is haunted.[2] Architecture

Charles Fraser, sometimes called the "inventor" of the modern American resort, first envisioned selling only oceanfront and ocean-oriented lots. Plans changed when architect Stuart O. Dawson of Boston planners Sasaki, Dawson, and DeMay developed "T-roads" that made up rows of seaside houses. Golf courses were also beginning to be built, luring would-be residents into the interior of the island with beautiful wooded views. Sea Pines expanded further and further to offer different types of residences as well as a vast array of sports and activities.

Charles Fraser along with many local architects developed an endogenous style of architecture called "The Hilton Head Style" or the "Sea Pines Style" . It was influenced by the 1960 Modern architecture movement, California Modern, Japanese Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright's Auldbrass in Beaufort County, and the local vernacular style, or "Low Country Architecture". It is categorized by large overhangs, screen porches, low roof slopes, earth tone colors, and landscape with native plants rather than formal southern plantings. The desired effect is to blend the house into nature rather than to stand out.

With rising land prices and a change on public taste this style has largely been abandoned in favor of ever larger private residences, and historically derivative styles from around the world. The best examples of this architecture were built in the period of 1961-1973 in Sea Pines Plantation. Most of these houses, and all on beach front lots, have been torn down for larger residences. Today, houses, villas, condominiums, and hotels within Sea Pines and other plantations have expanded inward to cover virtually the entire island. A current popular trend in housing on the island is the buying up of adjoining lots, tearing down their buildings and building a brand new home covering one, two or three adjoining lots.

Real estate and rentals

The tourism and travel industry in Hilton Head is one of the largest in the country. Sea Pines, as the largest plantation on the island, occupies a large portion of the rental market with properties available for rental year-round.

In recent years, Hilton Head has also developed a large permanent resident population. In the 2000 census, it was determined that over 33,000 people live on the island, which has an area of approximately 55 square miles (140 km2).

The real estate market is also quite lucrative, with the mean residential property in Sea Pines selling for about $639,000 as of February 2018.

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