Standing Tall: Golf course, pool, classic homes keep veteran Summerville village current

Deck chairs surround Pine Forest’s sizable, centrally located swimming pool (Photo by Laura Olsen).

By JIM PARKER The Post and Courier

Call it a reversal from common conceptions.

The Glazars lived in the country in New Jersey, famous as an urban-suburban arm of New York and Philly, and couldn’t get services like municipal water.

They moved to Pine Forest Country Club in South Carolina — a rural state — and reside in town, receiving a host of benefits. So says Paul Glazar, who with wife Lynn moved to the neighborhood six years ago.

Locating in the Summerville limits isn’t a main reason why the Glazars and other home shoppers chose the neighborhood off Butternut Road. But it’s a contributing factor along with the community’s amenities: 18-hole semi public golf course; oversized swimming pool, pro shop, clubhouse with restaurant, cabana, sidewalks and bike lanes.

“It’s a community-oriented neighborhood,” says Glazar, a retired two-star general who is vice chairman of the Pine Forest Homeowners Association. “We all pull together, he says, “for security issues (and other pressing needs).”

Homes in Pine Forest extend over eras from the 1980s to present day and are sized from less-than-1,500- to more-than-4,500-square-feet. As of this week, 32 homes are for sale including dwellings under construction in the Fairway Village section by new-home contractor Dan Ryan Builders.

“The homes have been rapidly selling out,” Glazar says. “It’s a quality product.”

G. Tupper III Construction is one of the more prominent customer builders, he says. Sherwood Miler of Summerville lives in the community and is the long-time developer.

Under comparatively new ownership, the golf course is being run well, Glazar says. “They are working owners,” he says.

“The swim team is extremely popular,” he says. “We hold tennis and golf tournaments. We have a handful of Del Webb (at Cane Bay) folks that play with us.” The Cane Bay neighborhood doesn’t have a golf course.

While Pine Forest has its share of empty nesters and retirees, the community also has many younger families and professionals. The summer swim team, for instance, is made up of youths aged 5 to 18.

The brick, wood or fiber cement, and occasional stucco-framed houses sport sizable landscaped yards. It’s not surprising to see a golf cart parked in the driveway or garage.

Pine Forest launched more than 30 years ago. The Gables, which runs from the front of the neighborhood to the Rumph’s Creek bridge and has a separate property owners association, was the neighborhood’s first section. Streets are named for famed golf links: Baltusrol, Royal Troon, Prestwick, Muirhead Village, Torrey Pines and Firestone. One roadway is Amen Corner, titled after the famed stretch of treacherous holes at The Master’s home Augusta National golf course.

The property has had a foothold in Dorchester County since the late 19th century. “In its heyday, The Pine Forest Inn” — on the site of today’s neighborhood — “was a premier resort on the East Coast and favorite stop for the moneyed crowd who enjoyed golf, hunting and horse-racing along with the garden-like setting in historic Summerville,” according to the Pine Forest homeowners association website.

“The Pine Forest Inn was a rambling three-story wood building that contained 200 guest rooms, dining rooms capable of serving more than 250 guests, ballrooms, private parlors, wine and smoking rooms,” the website notes.

“Every room in the Inn was furnished with a fireplace, and later on, steam heat, the last word in modern conveniences at the time. Additionally, the Inn had its own 900-foot well, known for it’s medicinal qualities.”

Amenities included an 18-hole golf course, 2,000 acres of hunting grounds, elaborate stables, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, fishing areas, three bowling alleys, a billiards room and a shuffleboard area.

“Unfortunately, the combination of the depression, World War II and an increased interest in resorts in Florida had a devastating effect on the Inn and eventually forced it to close,” the website says. “When the Inn was finally dismantled in the 1950’s, many Summerville residents obtained pieces of the Inn’s mantle and woodworking as a memento of Summerville’s Golden Age.”

Today, the community’s towering pines provide a remembrance of the property’s resort days and are joined by azaleas, palmettos, and oaks providing shade throughout the village.

Pine Forest is about four miles west of historic Summerville and six miles from Interstate 26. A trip to downtown Charleston takes 25 minutes. Glazar says that’s a moderate drive: The couple used to visit Kiawah Island on vacation, then lived there for three years. But, tiring of the long trek to town, they relocated to Dorchester County.

Glazar says a telling point about Pine Forest is its inclusiveness. “It’s a varied community; ethnically, social economically, age wise.”

To locate Pine Forest from downtown Charleston, head west on Interstate 26 to exit 199A, which is Main Street in Summerville. Take the exit and travel on Main Street into town. Make a right on Richardson Avenue, then a left on Central Avenue. Merge right at the new intersection onto Butternut. Less than a mile ahead on the right is Pine Forest Country Club.

PINE FOREST AT A GLANCE: • Location: Summerville

• Number of homes: 600 • Size:1,400-4,700 square feet

• Look and feel: Wide streets with bike paths mark the entrance to Pine Forest, the older 100-home section known as the Gables. Pine Forest Country Club, with Junior Olympic-sized pool, golf course and club house, is in the larger expanse to the north. Custom brick homes predominate with numerous Lowcountry style homes and a few stucco dwellings. It’s common to see couples walking dogs, kids and even parents playing hoops, adults out gardening, mowing or watering the uniformly well-kept yards. Woods and tall trees including water oak, magnolia and yes, pines, are commonplace. Dan Ryan Builders framing the new Fairway Village at Pine Forest. Summerville’s Miler family active in community.

• Homes on market: 32 • List prices: $163,900-$665,000

• Schools: Reeves Elementary, DuBose Middle, Summerville High

• Fun facts: Originally a resort, Pine Forest claims a golf course as early as 1891, the third in the nation. The neighborhood’s summer swim team is one of about 30 in the regional league.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.