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View from the past

Elizabeth Huntsinger

Elizabeth Huntsinger tells ghosts stories while leading a tour through Georgetown. 

A look at Georgetown County history for Jan. 13, via the archives of The Georgetown Times:

125 years ago, 1896

The members of the Palmetto Club last night celebrated their thirteenth anniversary with rare fun and abandon. The hall of the Palmetto Club was handsomely dressed for the occasion of the year. Merrily and happily the fun and amusement went on until 3:30 in the morning, when the whole party joined hands and sang the beautiful words of the Scottish song Auld Lang Syne.

Death, which is sad at all times, came with a crushing force yesterday morning, when it was announced that the grim monster had entered into the happy home of our friend, Mr. S.S. Fraser, depriving him of his eldest daughter, the beautiful accomplished Miss Lillie, who had only been sick for a short time, suffering from pneumonia. Miss Lillie was a teacher at the graded school, which immediately adjourned yesterday, when the sad news was made known. The mortal remains will be laid to rest to-day, in the Episcopal cemetery.

95 years ago, 1926

The “Harriett Whitehead,” a three-masted schooner, loaded with lumber, suffered severe damage last Thursday evening when she struck a squall off Pawleys Island. One of the masts broke, and in falling smashed the cabin and demolished a life boat. None of the crew was injured. The matter was reported to Mr. Ford, who telephoned to Charleston for the Revenue Cutter. No aid coming from Charleston, Mr. Ford sent a message to Wilmington and two tugs are at the scene aiding the crew of the schooner in trying to keep the craft afloat.

The County Commissioners have decided to do away with mule power where ever possible and substitute motor equipment. As a result, five mules now being used on McDonald Road will be sold and tractors will be used in their place. The animals are unable to work efficiently when the roads have become exceedingly boggy. Also, mules have to be fed whether they can work or not, whereas tractors can be laid up with little cost. It appears to be only a matter of time before the motor will entirely supersede animals.

75 years ago, 1946

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Times Tattles by I.D. Clare - New Year’s Eve passed quietly with the usual run of parties. At the stroke of twelve the mill whistle blew and the fire truck paraded through the city with the siren screaming. The cold weather kept many other would be celebrants indoors.

The January meeting of Arthur Manigault Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, was held Friday afternoon, January 4, at the home of Mrs. E.C. Haselden. A correspondence was read describing the entertainment arranged by three U.D.C. chapters for the ladies of the Confederate Home of Columbia, S.C., including a Christmas tree with appropriate gifts for each of the 68 “Girls of the Sixties,” many of whom have been “adopted” by the chapters of the state.

50 years ago, 1971

A savage storm with hurricane force winds lashed the coast Wednesday, hitting near the high tide about 10 a.m. Several areas of Front Street were flooded. Causeways leading to Pawleys Island and Garden City were underwater. Part of the roof at the Litchfield Inn was lost. The center portion of the Surfside Beach Pier was ripped away, stranding two Virginia teenage boys at sea on the remaining pier. A Marine Corps helicopter rescued the youths and flew them to safety.

Georgetown County has long needed a definitive listing of its significant historical and architectural properties. The Georgetown County Register of Historic Places is being compiled, with the completion date planned for June 1971. J.B. “Bud” Black, Vice Chairman of the Confederation of South Carolina Historic Societies, is serving as coordinator of the Register project. Greatest attention will be given to all sites built or used prior to 1920.

25 years ago, 1996

Pawleys Island Town Council, criticized in the media for holding secret meetings, took it one step further Friday when ways to circumvent state law regarding closed meetings were discussed. After a committee was proposed to hold a work session, one councilman suggested the media would not have to be alerted to such a session if discussions were held between two members at a time then passed on to other members individually to avoid informing the press. A former council member and island resident, who attended the meeting, said, “If you have nothing to hide, then hold an open meeting. I don’t understand all the secrecy.” Mayor Julian Kelly responded, “We wouldn’t expect you to understand.”

The Port of Georgetown enjoyed another record-breaking year in 1995, up 15½ percent from 1994. Fiscal year 1995 saw 88 vessels and 312 barges calling and 1,300,097 tons of cargo handled across port piers. New cargo coming through the port included aluminum ingots from Russia, wire rod from Trinidad, steel pipe from India and stainless-steel scrap export. Local industries who utilize the Port facilities contributed heavily to the record-breaking year.

Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto. 

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