Charleston Magazine Rediscovers Natural Paradise on Dewees Island

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Dewees Rentals hosted Stephanie Hunt and her wonderful family on Dewees this weekend. Stephanie is working on an article about Dewees for Charleston magazine, due out later this year.

In a quick blog post today, she described the experience as detoxifying. Within arm’s length of Charleston, Dewees blocks out the light pollution, the noise pollution, and media pollution that keep us from finding our inner peace. She says it better than I ever could. Read her words, at Charleston Grit, the new blog from Charleston magazine.

More Photos of the Dewees Islander Christening

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Community member Joesph McAlhaney Jr. posted 33 photos he took of the Christening of the new ferry on Sunday on photo service Flickr.

PRESS RELEASE: Dewees Island Christens “Dewees Islander” Ferry

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Dewees Island Christens “Dewees Islander” Ferry

Dewees Island, Charleston, SC. (February 19, 2012) — As part of a year-long celebration of its 20th year, the Dewees Island community Christened the new “Dewees Islander” ferry on Sunday. Homeowner Jack Saueracker blessed the new ferry with a lovely grace before a large crowd gathered at the Dewees Island Marina on 41st Street on the Isle of Palms at 3 p.m. After toasting the brand new catamaran, the crowd enjoyed a cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway to Dewees Island’s main dock.

The new 50-foot ferry called the “Dewees Islander” was constructed in Florida by Corinthian Catamarans. Featuring two decks and a large cargo area, the ferry can carry 49 passengers plus a captain and mate. It will make the run from the Isle of Palms to Dewees Island every hour on the hour and back on the half hour, allowing easy access to and from the island, just north of the Isle of Palms. Island President Artus Moser said, “Our whole community is so excited to have this beautiful new boat. We are proud to have our new logo emblazoned on the side.”

The new ferry replaces the “Aggie Grey,” which was decommissioned last year after the bottom of the hull began to rust out. Port Captain Paul Zobel said, “All of the ship crews are thrilled about the new ferry. Corinthian Catamarans are very seaworthy and easy to maneuver.” Twin Yamaha engines power the ferry, which includes many state-of-the-art safety features.

Community member and real estate agent Judy Drew Fairchild said, “With the new ferry, people will begin to relax the minute they step aboard. They can enjoy the dolphins splashing in the Waterway and visit with friends on the way to Dewees.”

When the boat arrived at Dewees, Connie Drew said, “we were greeted by a bald eagle circling over the Dewees Landings building. It landed on a nearby pole and then took off again right over the ferry. It was spectacular.”


Dewees Island is a small barrier island community near Charleston, South Carolina. It has private beaches and pristine marshlands with unparalleled wildlife watching, great fishing, and a warm, friendly community where neighbors gather regularly to enjoy the natural riches of the lowcountry with family and friends.

You get to Dewees by private ferry from the Isle of Palms. On the island, residents get around on our crushed shell roads by golf cart, foot, or bike. Homes on the island are designed to minimize impact on the environment and take advantage of prevailing summer breezes and winter sunlight. Community amenities include a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, game room, canoes, boardwalks, and a nature center. With no commercial activity on the island, Dewees provides a chance for families to enjoy a simpler, quieter way of life. With a maximum of 150 homesites, crowds will never exist on our beaches. And the world-class restaurants, shops, and history of Charleston are just a quick ferry ride away.

Homes, homesites, and shared partnerships are currently available. Come see for yourself what it is like to have your footprints be the only human ones on the beach, watch the dolphins dance along our shore, coax your dinner from the water, and live in harmony with the natural beauty all around us.

The Dewees community is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a number of events throughout 2012, a big year birding contest, a new ferry, a new logo, a new website address – Some of the upcoming events are the Property Owners Meeting in March, the Dewees Homecoming over Memorial Day, and the 4th July Golf Cart Parade.

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For more information on Dewees Island and the “Dewees Islander”, please contact Reggie Fairchild 843-259-1717; email:

Pictures below available for use in conjunction with stories based on this press release. Additional pictures of Dewees Island and the “Dewees Islander” available upon request. Please make requests to

Winter Sunsets Are Stunning

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If you’ve never been to Dewees in the winter, you should consider it. The sunsets are great. The shelling, especially on the North Beach after a storm, is spectacular. The ducks and loons are here in large numbers. The dolphins are playful.

Sunset December 26, 2011
Winter Sunset Over Chapel Pond

Lot 17 Auction

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On Saturday, the owners of lot 17 held an auction at Morgan Creek. Any offer at or above $149,000 would buy the undeveloped oceanfront lot. Approximately 40 people showed for the auction. Most were there to observe. Two bidders emerged going back and forth. The auctioneer even broke into song trying to coax a higher price from them. At the end the property sold for $180,000 plus a 10% bid premium.

The lot had been listed as $325,000 prior to being put up for auction. The lot was listed for $1,495,000 from 2005 to 2008. Even if prices don’t return to the levels of the recent real estate bubble, it appears that the Buyer got a great deal with lots of potential for long term appreciation.

We look forward to having a new member of our special community. If you know someone who might be interested in buying property on Dewees Island, please have them check out the listings on We’d be happy to help them. There are more great deals available.

Trash and Recycling Center Reorganized

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The Dewees Utility staff has reorganized the trash and recycling center to try to make it easier for people to know where to put what. They’ve also added clear labels with arrows showing where bottles and cans get recycled and where paper gets recycled. Hopefully this means we won’t open a bin labeled paper only to find cans inside.

Recycling trailer with new labels
Close Up of New Label Indicating Where to Recycle Paper

Snakes Are Our Friends

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I found the yellow rat snake pictured below while walking to the ferry from the golf cart parking area. The person next to me nearly jumped out of her skin (She shall remain nameless to safeguard her dignity. No, it wasn’t Judy, she loves snakes). Most of the snakes on Dewees are very helpful to humans. They get rid of rats! and mice.

It’s amazing to me that rat snakes can climb trees, pilings and other vertical surfaces.

Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow Rat Snake

Osprey Walk Changes

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The beach north of Osprey Walk has been accreting for more than a year. The changes are most pronounced in the area about 200 yards north of the walkway where the sandbar welded onto the front beach. A significant number of plants, especially grasses, have grown in the area of accretion. Eventually this should lead to the development of new dunes.

Sand has also started building up at Osprey Walk and in the golf cart parking lot at the walk. The new sand is soft and carts were starting to get stuck. The POA staff put down a layer of mulch, but the area still wasn’t hard enough to support carts. The staff came up with the innovative idea of using portable boardwalks. This solution has worked quite well. Golf carts can drive reasonably well in the parking area, even though there hasn’t been much rain.

The only issue now is that the entry onto the walkway is getting buried by blowing sand. Most people are stepping onto the side of the boardwalk in an attempt to avoid the soft sand. If the dune continues to build, the POA may eventually change the configuration of the walkway.

Osprey Walk July 1 2011

Dewees History Exploration

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Yesterday, the Archives committee sponsored an expedition through Copahee Sound to understand what it might have been like to visit the Huyler Family in the early-twentieth century.  We met at the dock, and in the face of prevailing 20 knot winds, decided to leave the kayaks behind.  Jill started us off by reading from Anne King Gregorie’s description of coming to the island, as found in Jim’s book, Dewees: The Island and it’s People.

The traveler who follows the modern pavement of the ancient “path” from Charleston to Georgetown, may notice about 9 miles from the Cooper River Bridge a wide dirt road bearing to the east and marked, “Dewees Island – Coulter Huyler.”  If, in an adventurous mood he follows this road, he will find that it ends after a mile or so in a little hamlet in the tidewater called Porcher’s Bluff.  Low in the haze of the horizon beyond the salt marshes he will see a blue line of sea islands, with Dewees and Capers, in the stillness of magic solitude, straight before him.  Leading out to the channel a thousand feet from shore is a footbridge flanked by a flag staff.

Having come thus far, our traveler will now demand that we take him further.  So we open the box at the base of the flag staff, run up a signal to the breeze, and in a few minutes we see a white motorboat coming.  We meet it at the end of the pier, and stepping on a board we find shelter from the fresh sea wind, draw warm rugs over our knees, and speed through the dancing water to the enchanted islands ahead.  While sea birds dip and cry about us, and schools of fish flee from their pursuers, we relax in the freedom of the open, and before we know it we are debarking upon the white sands of Dewees.

After discussing our route with each of the three afternoon captains, we embarked on this reverse journey.  To be sure, the skimmers, oystercatchers, and pelicans “dipped about us,” and we “relaxed in the freedom of the open”.  We meandered through the marshy creeks of Copahee sound until we could see the point from which the flag was raised nearly 90 years ago, and then we tossed an anchor into the mud, rafted up and toasted the intrepid folk who made that journey frequently.  We watched the tide encroach on the oyster flats, enjoying each other’s company in a different setting, imbibing the champagne and other picnic delicacies.  Eventually we pulled anchor and headed for Dewees and home, watching the colors change as the sun sank lower over the marsh.

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John Leland, in his book, Lives Between the Tides, (a book everyone should have a copy of– I am on my fifth copy, having lent/given all the previous ones away), writes of the marsh from Porcher’s Bluff to Dewees:

I sit at the end of the dock, listening to water slapping against the posts.  The tide is full, and Porcher’s Creek winds bluely through it’s host, the marsh grass, spring’s green already filling winter’s brown stems.  Across the creek, marooned in a halo of marsh, lies a dream isle, and indian shell ring, palmettos rising evergreen and graceful along its beach, live oak dipping its egret-clad branches into the water.  Beyond that, Copahee Sound, a blue sheet of water stretches out its four-mile-long arms to embrace Dewee’s and Capers, barrier islands whose serried tree are a tropic silhouette of yet more Palmettos.

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