Posted By Bill Payer on Dec 21, 2020 | 0 comments

First off, a word from our President…..

“Dear Friends of DIHS,

We have much to look forward to in 2021! As a group, we tend to look to the past, but it seems this year, more than most, we ought to make our best preparations for a happy, healthy, and prosperous future.

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the best,
Chris Frisby,
President Daniel Island Historical Society”

Whatever you’re celebrating, we hope 2020 is taking a turn for the better for you and yours.

INTERESTING! is one of the great euphemisms but it no doubt applies to 2020. As the annus horribilis moves into history, we’re grateful that DIHS has adapted to serve its mission and its members. And we have some great projects to fill you in on.

On the programming front, VP Jessica Knuff has some interesting stuff lined up to kick off the New Year.

On Tuesday,  January 19, Dr. Felice Knight has agreed to speak regarding her research on institutional slavery in Charleston (slaveholding and slave hiring by municipal institutions in Charleston). Dr Knight is a professor in The Citadel’s Department of History and is Chair of The Citadel’s ‘Universities Studying Slavery’ group.  To learn more about Dr. Knight click here.

And on Tuesday, February 16, Katherine Parker has will  talk about her research on prohibition liquor stills in the area.  Didn’t know moonshine was a big deal locally?  Check out Parker’s research “Shining in the Tar Woods: An Examination of Illicit Liquor Distillation Sites in the Francis Marion National Forest”

At this time we plan to do both of these meetings on the ZOOM platform.  The past two ZOOM meetings have gone well but we’re aware there have been some issues and we’re working to address how to make the links more convenient while maintaining security on the platform.

We will send out another email the week before each meeting with instructions on how to get that month’s Zoom login link.

  Good news is that we have reserved space at Church of the Holy Cross on our usual meeting dates so we will be able to move back to physical meetings when safety conditions allow.  We well might launch that return with a concurrent ZOOM  meeting as well.

One of the benefits of the ZOOM platform is that we get a video copy of the meeting and have been posting links to that video on Facebook, our website blog and Twitter.

Here’s the link to our November program, A Daniel Island Refresher

And here’s a link to our October session, Haunted Charleston


We have another historical marker in place outlining the role George Cunningham played in the history of Daniel Island.  A major landowner (the southern 2/3rds of the island), he used tenant farmers and sharecroppers to develop cattle ranching and sea cotton farming on the island.  He also served  as Charleston mayor from 1873-1877 during the turbulent Reconstruction era.

   The Cunningham marker near the gazebo in the park between Watroo Point and Balfour St.

  We’re working with city officials to have a display case for island artifacts in the new rec center expected to open in Governor’s Park in mid-2021.  We have an agreement in principle but are still dealing with details.

  Bob Sauer has done yeoman service for DIHS for years.  He’s worked to help renovate the island’s cemeteries and re-launch the Live Oak Adopt a Tree project as well as creating a tree inventory and coordinating with the national Live Oak Association.

Bob is going to step down from the DIHS Board and his role as Special Programs Coordinator but he’s NOT going away.  He wants to keep a hand in the Adopt a Tree program and insists he and his wife Ellie intend to stay active in DIHS projects.

The Board, and the entire community thank Bob for his years of labor on behalf of preserving and sharing Daniel Island history!


The rich and the powerful, like Robert Daniell, get their stories told but not as much is known about the men and women who lived on the island when its focus was cattle ranching, sharecropping or truck farming before its current incarnation as the planned community we know today.

DIHS co-founder Beth Bush and Secretary Kim Sermersheim are working on a project to remedy that by making it easier for people to trace ancestors with DI connections.  The first step in the project will be to put together a list of who’s buried in the island’s cemeteries and put that information into a searchable format.  We’re also working to host a workshop with the Charleston Family History Center. 

Both of those projects are in the very early stages so it’s an ideal time for any of you with an interest to jump in and help bring the effort to fruition.  Drop an email to and Beth and/or Kim will get back to you.


We launched our first ever history essay contest last spring and invited 9-12 graders living or attending school in the 29492 zip code to participate. That allowed kids who live on the island but attend school elsewhere….or kids who don’t live on the island but attend a high school in the 29492 to participate.   To take a look at the rules for last year’s contest  CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the winners, Sarah McLean and Sarah Legare’ Smith CLICK HERE

Year one was a success but there’s always room for improvement and growth as we plan year two of the contest.  Want to help?  Have any suggestions?  Let us know at

It’s been a tough year for lots of people and the pandemic and resulting restrictions on public gatherings have taken their toll….but we’ve kept the work of DIHS moving forward and with your continued support expect to keep moving forward.  Enjoy the holidays and the much anticipated New Year! Copyright © 2020 Daniel Island Historical Society, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *