Sullivan’s Island Vacation Rentals
Since the nineteenth century Sullivan’s Island has been a favorite place for Charlestonians and Lowcountry planters to "vacation” as it will be for you and your family today. Sullivan’s Island has just about everything that your family would ever want to make a perfect vacation destination. It has a rich history, historical landmarks, wonderful dining opportunities, fantastic playground, recreational facilities, and is only four miles from Charleston. Sullivan’s Island is unique in that the beachfront lands which have accreted over the years are protected and held in a perpetual easement that protects the natural environment along the Atlantic. There is no other island in the United States that can claim to have a richer history while at the same time providing a beautiful setting for an outstanding family vacation.
Sullivan’s Island was first settled in 1670 when Captain O’Sullivan was given the responsibility to protect the new English settlement, Charles Towne from both the French and Spanish. The Sewee and Bohicket Indians helped Captain O’Sullivan establish and man a gun station on the Island. After an outbreak of yellow fever in Charles Towne in 1706, Sullivan’s Island became a place to quarantine citizens susceptible to sickness. Sullivan’s Island continued to be used for this purpose and in 1744 all incoming African slaves were quarantined on the island for ten days prior to being allowed into Charles Towne. Where today, Sullivan’s Island is beautiful seaside community, for the first hundred years it was a place of terrible disease and entry place of a lifetime of bondage.
In 1776, the fortunes of Sullivan’s Island changed dramatically. At the start of the American Revolution, success on the battlefield was uncommon for the colonial forces. To continue to demoralize the colonials, a fleet of British warships sailed for Charles Towne Harbor. Under the command of Colonel Moultrie and Colonel Thomson, a small group of colonials built a fort on the southern tip of Sullivan’s Island. Overcoming enormous odds, Moultrie was able to stop the British troops from crossing at Breach Inlet from Long Island (Isle of Palms) and the unfinished fort of palmetto logs stood up to the strength of the bombardment of four British ships of the line. The South Carolina State flag with the Palmetto Tree and the Crescent Moon celebrates the victory and the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, which gave a psychological boost to the revolutionary cause throughout the Colonies.
In the early 1800’s Sullivan’s Island continued to be an important military base as well as the ideal summer retreat. Moultrieville was constructed for the pleasure and health of citizens of Charleston. It consisted of 200 wood homes that stretched the whole length of the island. It was a beautiful sight as ships arrived from sea. Several famous people were residents of Sullivan’s Island during this period including Edgar Allen Poe (who wrote the Gold Bug while stationed at Fort Moultrie), Robert Mills (famous architect that designed the Washington Monument), and Seminole Indian Chief Oscelola (who died on Sullivan’s while being held prisoner).
In 1861, Sullivan’s Island would again play a huge role in American history. After abandoning Fort Moultrie December 25, 1860, Major Anderson garrisoned his troops at Four Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Refusing to leave, troops from Confederacy fired the first shoots of the War Between the States from Sullivan’s Island as well as other forts in the Charleston Harbor at the Federal Troops manning Fort Sumter. Throughout the war, Sullivan’s Island remained in control of the Confederacy. Sullivan’s Island continued to serve a vital role in the defense of our nation during both World War I and II. As you ride bicycles across the Island, you might be surprised when in the middle of neighborhood you will find a fort that was used in the defense of Charleston.
Riding bicycles is the best way to tour the island. You and your family will discover many treasures such as Officer’s Row (1702-1760 I’on Avenue), Battery Thomson, Battery Gadsden, Deveruex Mansion Gatehouse, Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, William Gaillard Mazyck House, Noncommissioned Officers Quarters (1742-1754 Middle Street) and Stella Maris Catholic Church. The views of Charleston Harbor are fantastic walking out to the beach from Station 12. On Middle Street you will find many excellent restaurants including Home Team Barbeque, Poe’s, Station 22, and Dunleavy’s. The kids will love the playground on Middle Street that also features basketball and tennis courts. When open, the man made hill behind the playground provides amazing views of the Atlantic and Charleston.Sullivan’s Island is so unique in that history, great dining, and a wonderful beach can all come together for an outstanding family vacation.