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(duh • FUS • key)
If you’re not from our neck of the woods, chances are you’ve never even heard of Daufuskie, a remote island situated on the southeast Atlantic coast between Hilton Head Island, SC and Tybee Island, GA. Home to more sea turtles than people, Daufuskie's natural beauty and rich history are the inspiration for Spartina 449's line of upscale women’s handbags and accessories since our inception in 2009.
Intrigued? It gets even better. Keep reading.
LIVING ON ISLAND TIME
The only way to set foot on Daufuskie Island is by passenger ferry or private boat. Located at the southernmost tip of SC, Hilton Head Island, is our closest neighbor, just one nautical mile away, and Savannah, GA, is located just south of Daufuskie, approximately one hour away by boat.
If you’re looking for traffic lights, drive-thrus and shopping malls, you won’t find them here. Peace of mind, however, we have in abundance. With a magnificent display of unspoiled nature and unique landmarks intertwined with resorts and inherited properties, visitors experience an island spared from modern commercialism and aged only by the passing of time.
Sunny beaches flank the towering sea pines and ancient live oaks that rule the forest. Loggerhead turtles return to nest in the island’s sand dunes each year, pods of dolphins play in the local waters and herds of whitetail deer dine on island foliage.
Sounds idyllic, right? Oh, we have the occasional traffic jams—when more than two golf carts are at an intersection, but we’ve gladly traded the sounds of city living for serenades of hoot owls and tree frogs.
Listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places, Daufuskie Island is one of the few locations in the country where historic travel routes, originally created by ox-drawn farm wagons, remain unchanged.
If you fancy yourself an explorer, you may find clues to the island’s rich history: arrowheads and pottery from native Indian settlements, relics from Revolutionary and Civil War battles, shards of china from one of the large, sea-island cotton plantations and oyster shell middens from Daufuskie’s once-thriving oyster industry.
The Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve the island’s cultural heritage. The foundation created the Billie Burn Museum to house historical artifacts and the Gullah Learning Center, which includes the rich history of African-American people on the island. The foundation is part of Spartina 449’s Giving Back Program, and Spartina is proud to contribute a portion of its proceeds to the organization.
PACK YOUR BAGS
If you would like to visit Daufuskie Island, we’d certainly love to have you. Several private companies offer tours and packages. For travel information, visit the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce website.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does Daufuskie mean?
Daufuskie means “Land with a Point.” “Daufa” means feather and “Fuskie” means sharp or pointed. According to Billie Burn’s book, An Island Named Daufuskie, “The first Indians who saw it noticed that it had a point—reminding them of a feather which had been trimmed to a point.”
How do residents get their groceries?
Most full-time residents have vehicles on the mainland (Savannah or Hilton Head) and an additional golf cart on Daufuskie. Residents take a ferry to the mainland, park their vehicles at an embarkation center, go to the grocery store, drive their groceries back to the ferry and come home to the island. Typically, a trip to the grocery store requires a minimum of 3 hours, which is still less time than waiting for brunch in NYC!
What does “Gullah” mean?
Gullah (Gul-luh) refers to people living in South Carolina and Georgia who are descendants of enslaved West Africans who worked cotton and rice fields before they were freed and purchased their own land. In South Carolina, these groups of African-Americans and the language they speak are referred to as Gullah. At one time, Daufuskie had a large Gullah population. Today, only a few Gullah residents remain on the island, yet efforts are underway to restore Gullah houses and to preserve the island’s rich Gullah culture.
What are the average temperatures?
Any time is a great time to be on the island. From December to February, temperatures range from lows in the 40s to highs in the upper 50s and low 60s. In the summer months (June to August), temperatures range from the mid 70s to upper 80s and low 90s. Spring fluctuations are the greatest with lows in the upper 40s in March, mid 50s in April and low 70s in May. In the fall, temperatures range from 60s to 80s in September and 40s to lower 70s in November.
Where can I buy Spartina 449 items?
We adore our Spartina 449 retailers! We credit them with a large part of our success and can’t wait for you to find your nearest local retailer for high-quality, on-trend yet timeless pieces that honor the Lowcountry.
Does Spartina 449 have its own store?
In May 2014, Spartina 449 launched its first flagship store in the heart of quaint Old Town Bluffton, South Carolina, occupying a 100-year-old, historic cottage at 32 Calhoun Street. Since then, Spartina has launched four additonal brand stores: in downtown Savannah, Georgia; on King Street in world-famous Charleston, S.C.; in the mountains of Highlands, North Carolina; and is opening in the summer of 2017 on Hilton Head Island, S.C., at Shelter Cove Towne Centre.