A letter from Caroline Simons to her brother John Ball in "Charles Town" discussing a shipment of a keg with eggs sent by the enslaved man Ben, the health of their father, the price of "mirtle wax," and a request for oysters.
Doris Dayhoff was born in a house on Sullivan’s Island on March 5th, 1928. During this interview, she recounts her early childhood growing up on the island. Her father worked as a tugboat captain and an oysterman. Her mother was postmistress at the Atlanticville Post Office. The family home was at Station 26 ½ and Myrtle Avenue on the marsh side of the island, locally referred to as “the back beach.” Property research indicates the land was originally part of a “King’s grant” in the Colonial era. Dayhoff helped her father with his oyster business, selling pints of fresh oysters for only 25 or 50 cents each. Dayhoff attended elementary school on Sullivan’s island. For high school, Dayhoff first attended Memminger on the Charleston peninsula, though she attended and graduated from the newly opened Moultrie School. Much of her time was spent on the beach with friends, and in this interview Dayhoff recounts an instance when one of her friends nearly drowned. Dayhoff also recalled how, despite there being only a few stores on the island, one store operated a delivery service for the residents of the island, including going to the house of customers to take their order. Dayhoff was in high school when World War II started. She described the island’s initial reaction to Pearl Harbor. Like most all the other girls on the island, Dayhoff was recruited during the war to go to the local USO clubs as a volunteer to dance with the servicemen. Dayhoff recounted how some of the airmen would later fly over the beach and dip their wings to say good-bye to the girls as they flew off to war. Dayhoff described the stresses of living on the island during World War II, including blackouts, rationing, and evidence of U-Boat activity. A GI from Ft. Moultrie eventually asked Dayhoff to marry him, which she did. Doris describes in detail the origins of Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church, which she has attended for 68 years. Dayhoff discusses the changes the island has undergone in her lifetime, including the island demographics shift, the accretion of land and increased traffic on the island.
The Truesdale family association with Sullivan’s Island goes back to the early 1800’s when David Truesdell immigrated from New York and started what became the island’s major oyster growing industry. Jeanie and Jerry recount the history of that extensive business until it was lost due to taxes. Their grandfather, Wyatt Aiken Truesdell, owned a sawmill and was killed when a saw blade flew off. Prior to that Wyatt Aiken had also been the ancestor who officially had the family name changed from Truesdell to Truesdale. Jeanie and Jerry describe their father, Cecil Wyatt Truesdale, as an extremely talented man, a jack of all trades, who could do just about anything including dance. However, his life was jolted when he developed a tumor that required extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Even though he never recovered fully, their father went on to be the bridge keeper of the new Ben Sawyer Bridge, built to connect Sullivan’s Island to Mt. Pleasant in 1945. Other family trials included a brother who developed polio and Jerry’s near drowning. The pair describe their Mother, Vernie Cooper Truesdale, and her many talents. She was the lunchroom manager at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School and was known widely as being an outstanding cook. Growing up on the Island is described as fun and relaxed. Jerry, one of a set of twins, describes his and his brother’s career. The family was intimately involved in the founding of Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church and relate much of its history. According to this brother and sister, the smell of the marsh, the roar of the sea, the friendly, easy going lifestyle are why “Fiddlers”, a name for Sullivan’s Island natives, will always remember this as the best place in the world to grow up.