Wednesday, October 27

Dataw Island Treasures

An unimposing sign read "Dataw Island" with an arrow pointing right. Linda and I looked at each other and said, "I'm game!" so down the road we turned not knowing we'd stumble upon a treasure trove, one discovered by Spanish explorers in 1514.

Here, you see one of the many winged inhabitants, a Great Egret. Sir Bird was wading casually through the marsh grass shopping for a snack. He turned his magnificent head my direction as I craned my body out the car window to get a good shot.

Linda drove slowly keeping pace with Sir Bird, who did not take kindly to our attention. He unfolded those massive wings and swooped over the top of the marsh grass. I swear he looked back at me with a "get thee far, far away" look in his eye.

Much of Dataw Island is now a posh, gated golf community complete with a manned guard house at the entrance. I've never been deterred by gates or no-trespassing signs, especially if something on the other side has caught my eye. Linda brought the car to a stop and the guard eyed us warily, asking the nature of our business. Before I could open my mouth, Linda told her we were considering having dinner in their upscale restaurant at the Club House and would like to take a look before we made up our mind. Ha, 'atta girl!

The development is pretty much what you'd expect, clean streets, manicured lawns, cookie cutter architecture and shiny cars. Except, as we passed the golf course, the ruin of a building caught my eye. "Turn in here!" I exclaimed.

We couldn't believe our luck, the ruins of Williams Sams' 1786 cotton plantation, constructed of tabby, a unique material made by burning oyster shells to extract lime, then mixed with sand and shells and shaped into wooden molds to form walls and columns. The enormous fireplace casts a long shadow on the leaves which litter the floor of the cook house.

The remains of the Sams family rest under the far-reaching, Spanish-Moss-draped arms of a live oak tree. Seems a fitting and peaceful place to spend eternity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sighhhh...wish we were still there. L.