Meet a few of the residents of St. Helena Island by way of photos and video interviews.
Capt. Joseph “Crip” Legree is a lifelong resident of St. Helena Island. He only received a fifth-grade education. He once made his living as a net maker, a trade made obsolete by Chinese imports. He now drives his Cadillac as a sort of personal taxi, helping other senior citizens run errands in exchange for gas … Continue reading Capt. Joseph “Crip” Legree
The Bradley family are some of the last African-American shrimp boat owners in South Carolina. James Bradley Jr. recently took over as captain of “Bradley’s Pride.” The family business is rooted in their land on St. Helena Island, S.C. Over 100 years ago their family owned several acres on Village Creek, affording them a rare deep-water … Continue reading James Bradley Jr.
“When I came to St. Helena it bore no resemblance to what you see here today.”-Chuck Henry Filmed and edited by Dr. Buz Kloot. Interview by Denise McGill
See an overview of the best of St. Helena Island’s people, land and water.
Sará Reynolds Green, owner of, Marshview Community Organic Farm, is dedicated to teaching the children from St. Helena Island how to build entrepreneurship skills. Sará has set in motion a program that teaches the importance of gardening including local varieties, that preserve the heritage of St. Helena Island. This has become a family affair now as both Sará and her … Continue reading Marshview Community Organic Farm
Twins Jameah and Jamyah Moore have lived on St. Helena Island their entire young lives. Their community involvement began when they started volunteering at Sara’ Reynolds Green’s Marshview Community Organic Farm at the age of 9. At Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration in 2014, they performed in the Road of Remembrance play about the history of St. … Continue reading Jameah and Jamyah Moore
Dopson’s Seafood run and operated since 1975 by Craig and Darlene Dopson is one of the last public docks located on St. Helena Island. Here they provide a service to shrimpers acting as a middle man by buying the shrimp then selling the produce to wholesalers.
Most crabbers prefer to keep their locations secretive. However, Frank Major, a local St. Helena Island commercial crab fisherman, graciously allowed the team to travel with him on his boat in the waters surrounding the island. Blue crabs are aggressive in nature and appearance, but they are cherished food in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Shellfish season usually … Continue reading Introducing, Frank Major Sr.
Owned by Bill Green, The Gullah Grub restaurant is located in the heart of St. Helena Island. Most of the produce comes from the Marshview Community Organic Farm, also on the island. Green and his restaurant have been featured in publications and cooking shows nationwide for his traditional Gullah recipes. The business serves as a watering hole … Continue reading Lowcountry Cookin’ at Gullah Grub
When Ben C. Johnson Jr. graduated from high school, he left South Carolina with no intentions of returning to his roots. But upon retirement he found himself back on the same farmland that he was raised on as a child. He now teaches his grandchildren the same agriculture methods his parents used. But he’s not too … Continue reading Ben C. Johnson Jr.
Last week The Gullah Project team Professor Denise McGill, Michael Tolbert, Sky Dauphiney and Dominique Addison traveled to St. Helena Island to attend the 32nd Annual Heritage Days Celebration at Penn Center National Historic Landmark. From covering the Road of Remembrance play directed by Sará Reynolds Green, to climbing trees with a GoPro camera to photograph Ben Johnson’s produce booth, the team had an outrageously good … Continue reading 32nd Annual Heritage Days Celebration 2014
Ed “Lee Man” Atkins owns Atkins Bait Shop, one of the oldest businesses in Beaufort County. He also picks oysters in season.
Profiles of the Gullah: Brandon and Jordan Johnson from Denise McGill on Vimeo. Siblings Brandon, left, and Jordan Johnson have lived on St. Helena Island their whole lives. Each year they work to raise collards, sweet potatoes and sugar cane with their grandfather, Ben Johnson Jr. Then the whole family helps to sell the produce at Heritage Days … Continue reading Brandon and Jordan Johnson
James Bradley Sr., is one of the last African-American shrimp boat owners in South Carolina. He was a commercial fisherman over 60 years. He is now retired from fishing, leaving his son James Bradley Jr., to command their boat. The elder Bradley is still patriarch to their small family empire that includes a deep-water dock, fish processing … Continue reading James Bradley Sr.
Feature photograph taken by: Jeremy Aaron Nestled on ten acres just beyond the reach of high tide, Sará Reynolds Green raises produce just the way her grandmother taught her. Her family survived on this plot of land for generations by being self-sufficient, and now Green is passing her knowledge on to younger residents. Green cultivates Marshview Community … Continue reading Sara’ Reynolds Green
Roddy Beasly owner of Maggioni Seafood a local business on St. Helena Island graciously gave the crew of The Gullah Project an in-depth look into oyster processing the very first day of oyster harvest. Oyster season usually runs from September to April. It’s easy to remember because oysters are only in season during months with the … Continue reading Oyster Processing at Maggioni Seafood
Feature photograph taken by: Denise McGill Dr. Rodney Polite grew up on St. Helena Island. As an adult, he moved to Miami and worked for 29 years as police officer in Miami, eventually getting a doctorate degree in Global Leadership Education and creating a new life in Florida. Every year he brings a bus full … Continue reading Dr. Rodney Polite
The Penn Center has been a school for freed slaves, a retreat for Martin Luther King, Jr., a training ground for Peace Corps volunteers and a community action center for the residents of St. Helena Island. Walter Mack served as Executive Director of what is now the Penn Center National Historic Land District. Just before … Continue reading Penn Center History