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A history as rich as the land itself

From the beginning, it was clear that Palmetto Bluff was destined to be a place, not a project. The intrinsic value here lies in the natural beauty, vastness and richness of its sea island landscape. We have set out to preserve and protect one of America's treasured landscapes while creating a human settlement for those who will cherish this unique environment. By allowing the land to guide us rather than imposing a developer template, we have crafted a plan that respects its topography, wetlands and the miles of marsh and river edge. At the heart of this place, a village has been re-created. We connect with the island's colorful history and continue its centuries-old legacy of living well. The Lowcountry, and all it entails, is integral to Palmetto Bluff.

If this land could talk

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An early history

The oldest artifacts at Palmetto Bluff date back to 10,000 B.C. Following these early visitors, generations of Native Americans came to The Bluff to harvest oysters and fish in the rivers and gather in the forests. Today, archaeologists find oysters shells, bones and fragments of clay pots and stone tools as evidence of the prehistoric people. However, by 1562, when Jean Ribaut arrived at Parris Island, the land of Palmetto Bluff appeared to have been basically uninhabited. In 1730, the land was purchased by British naval officer Admiral George Lord Anson who never lived here and eventually sold his May River estate as individual plantations.

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Palmetto Bluff was comprised of 21 plantations during the antebellum era. One of the plantation owners, Thomas Fenwick Drayton, was also the commander of the Confederate soldiers at Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island during the Battle of Port Royal. When General Drayton went up against his own brother Captain Percival Drayton, commander of the Federal gunboat, the Confederate forces were easily defeated and forced to order a retreat.