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"K" is for Kiawah Island

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"K" is for Kiawah Island in Charleston County. Kiawah is a small barrier island situated south of Charleston between the mouths of the Stono and North Edisto Rivers. It is named for the Kiawah Indians who at one time lived in the vicinity. In 1719 the island became the property of John Stanyarne who cleared land for indigo production and built a sizable mansion. His granddaughters inherited the property in 1772 and it descended for nearly two centuries through the Vanderhorst family who planted sea island cotton. A series of hurricanes and the boll weevil ended cotton production in the 1920s and the land reverted to woodlands. In 1952 the C.C. Royal Lumber Company purchased the island for its timber. Several decades later the Kiawah Island Company purchased Kiawah and developed a world-famous, upscale resort.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.