Daufuskie Remembered in Images
A new book for Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series: Daufuskie Island by Jenny Hersch and Sallie Ann Robinson
It started in 2013 when Adam and I bought our house in Haig Point. Ever curious about the island and the Lowcountry, I joined the board of the Daufuskie Island Conservancy, took the SC Master Naturalist program, and volunteered with local environmental organizations to get to know the area. After visiting the Daufuskie History Museum, the cemeteries, the lighthouses, the church, the schools, looking out at the water through the remains of tabby slave quarters, driving down dirt roads past trees and homes that were more than 100 years old, I wanted to learn more about the cultural history of the island as well. I found historic images online and was able to trace them back to their photographers. I was fortunate to meet Ella Mae Jenkins, Lancy and Emily Burn, Ernestine Smith, Cleve Bryan, Yvonne Wilson, and Sallie Ann Robinson, all long-time Daufuskie residents. I also met Chris Bates and Martha Hutton who raised their families here and many others who had stories and photographs to share. I pored through the files at the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation archives, an invaluable resource. I made trips to many of the region’s libraries, historical societies, and college collections, and visited with people in Savannah and Hilton Head who had moved away from Daufuskie decades ago. At some point, I realized that there should be a way to share what I had found.
I contacted Arcadia Publishing in 2016, and after spending considerable time with Sallie Ann Robinson, talking, laughing, and eating, we decided to work on the book together. Sallie Ann, a cookbook author, chef, tour guide, and caregiver, represents the sixth generation of her family to be born and raised on Daufuskie. Her stories and experiences lent a spirited and authentic facet to this epic project. In Billie Burn’s An Island named Daufuskie (1991), she expressed the hope that someone would continue to research the island’s history. Sallie Ann and I are pleased to say that we have done just that with Arcadia Publishing’s Daufuskie Island.
Daufuskie Island provides a rare look at the history of this little-known community. Readers are introduced to an array of individuals and events through 200 black-and-white photographs, captions and detailed introductions spanning more than 100 years of Daufuskie history from the mid-1800s through the early 2000s.