Palmetto Bluff in Beaufort County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Evolution of a Village
We know from ancient shell middens found on these bluffs that Native American hunter-gatherers inhabited this site as early as 1564. Like today's residents and visitors, they appreciated the breezes off the May River, and the expansive views helped them keep track of neighboring villages.
In 1913, R.T. Wilson Junior completed work on an enormous mansion he named "Palmetto Lodge". The house and its grounds became a village unto itself, with a machine shop, wood shop, power plant, ice plant and even a school. Dozens of people were employed on the site- engaged not only in running the house and entertaining the numerous guests, but in farming and timbering the 18,000 acres which Wilson owned. For ten years following the Wilson fire, Varn Turpentine and Cattle Company farmed the property, with the turpentine distilleries and shipping facilities on this very bluff.
In 1937, the Palmetto Bluff property was purchased by Union Bag Co., which later became Union Camp. From then until year 2000 it was run as a hunting lodge and retreat,
Erected 2005 by Union Camp.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Landmarks • Native Americans • Notable Buildings • Notable Places • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1564.
Location. 32° 12.501′ N, 80° 52.861′ W. Marker is in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker can be reached from Palmetto Bluff (rd). at end,Palmetto Bluff (rd), Riverside. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bluffton SC 29910, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Palmetto Bluff (within shouting distance of this marker); Cyrus Garvin/Cyrus Garvin House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Church of the Cross (approx. 1.9 miles away); Bluffton United Methodist Church (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Burning of Bluffton (approx. 2.1 miles away); Campbell Chapel A.M.E. (approx. 2.2 miles away); Bluffton (approx. 2.3 miles away); Michael C. Riley Schools (approx. 2˝ miles away).
Regarding Palmetto Bluff. AKA, Theus Plantation
Also see . . . Richard Thornton Wilson, Jr. Son of the Commissary General for the Confederate States of America. (Submitted on June 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
I own a piece of furniture that at one time was in the Palmetto Lodge that was saved from the fire by my grandmother who was 23 years old at the time. She passed away in 1998 at the age of 95, passing the furniture to me. Her dad was employed there from 1900-1938 and was supertendent of Palmetto Bluff when he left.
— Submitted October 7, 2011.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,461 times since then and 263 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on June 28, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.