A large group of islanders and visitors gathered April 2nd on a lovely spring afternoon to salute Sarah Grant, the island’s last midwife and island icon in the mid-20th century. At the ceremony the newly restored carriage that she rode to “granny” new babies into the world was dedicated to her memory. Two information signs about both her life and the history of the carriage were unveiled. A number of her “babies” came to the dedication, including Ervin Simmons and Sallie Ann Robinson, who spoke, as well as Ella Mae Jenkins, whose son Alberto was the last birth that Sarah Grant assisted.
The Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation has scheduled a field trip to the Pin Point Heritage Museum just south of Savannah on April 25. Attendees will visit its old oyster factory building and be immersed in the Gullah/Geechee history of the site. This event is part of the island-wide celebration of the Year of the Oyster (YOTO). Details to follow.
It’s back… and it is gorgeous!!! On Thursday, February 4, Sarah Grant’s carriage returned to the island and to its new enclosure at the Billie Burn Museum Complex.
by Rhonda Davis
After 17 years of faithful service Dr. Clarence Edmondson retired July, 2015, as pastor of Daufuskie Island’s First Union African Church. He accepted the church’s call to pastor in July of 1998. During his tenure the congregation increased and the church achieved numerous accomplishments: recognition as a member of the Savannah River Baptist Association, revival of Vacation Bible School, the development of an Island Good Neighbor Fund, installation of a children’s Sunday School; Mary Field School renovations and more.
On the weekend of September 25-26 Haig Point and the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation will again host Joseph McGill, Jr., founder of The Slave Dwelling Project. The Project is dedicated to the identification/preservation of former slave quarters and to delivering the message “that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.” McGill has taken upon himself to sleep in as many extant former slave dwellings as he is able to identify. As he did last year, he plans to sleep Friday night within the walls of a Haig Point tabby ruin. But that is not all…
The Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation is delighted to announce that funds have been raised to restore midwife Sarah Grant’s carriage (right) and build a new enclosure to protect it from the elements.
The Museum now has a Timeline installation above the windows the length of the building tracing the island’s history from 7,000 B.C to the 21st Century. The Timeline was made possible by contributions to DIHF in memory of board member and former treasurer Betsy Slay. Betsy would have loved it and we think you will too. It is a meaningful addition to our mission of telling the island’s story. It is a “must see”. Thank you to all who made this important display possible.
The Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation held its annual meeting on Tuesday, April 22, with over one hundred members and guests in attendance. After dinner and a short business meeting, the attendees were treated to a talk by Emory Campbell, Executive Director Emeritus of the Penn Center and founder of Gullah Heritage Consulting Services. Dr. Campbell praised the Foundation for its endeavors to preserve the island’s history and its Gullah heritage. His topic was the Gullah-Geechee Corridor and he explained what the Corridor encompassed and its vision, and the fact that more individuals and organizations were recognizing its importance and becoming involved. A poignant moment in his remarks was when he told of hearing African villagers singing a song that was very similar to one sung by his family…a true homecoming for him and others on a memorable trip in search of their West African origins.
Some of our Front Porch readers are old enough to remember Charles Cauthen and are aware of his visionary and historical relationship with Daufuskie Island. Those less familiar have missed knowing an extraordinary person and might appreciate this brief historical tribute to him noting his long and important relationship to Daufuskie Island.
This spring will bring the restoration of the tabby slave cabin ruins at Haig Point. The ruins are rare remaining examples of Lowcountry tabby construction and have become quite fragile. Working with Colin Brooker, noted architectural preservationist, skilled restoration craftsman Rick Wightman has been at work since the beginning of February stabilizing and restoring the tabby.