Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque area near Hilton Head, SC. The area has a brief history but more recently a planned community was build in it place. They planned the small town to capture the look and feel of many old communities in the south. You almost feel like you are in a small village built around the time of Savannah or Charleston until you notice that everything is actually new. If you are interested below is the history of the area in the early 1,900’s. The new “history” did make a lovely backdrop for photography.
The actually brief history is (as stated at palmettobluff.com/wilson-era.aspx):
“In 1902, Palmetto Bluff was purchased by Richard T. Wilson, Jr., a wealthy New York banker, and an era of lavish entertaining began. Although Wilson intended to use the property as a hunting estate, his wife, Marion, loved the social scenes of New York and Newport. Sometime around 1910, the Wilsons began construction of a grand mansion appropriate to a hostess of Mrs. Wilson’s standing. The four-story home filled what is now the Village Square and included a ballroom and a library as well as servants’ quarters and numerous guest bedrooms. One visitor described a room as being entirely devoted to the dolls of the Wilson daughters. The palatial building overlooked the May River and was surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.
The Palmetto Bluff estate was designed with guests in mind. Visitors arrived at the estate by way of a Savannah Line steamship, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, or the Seaboard Airline train. The social pages of the New York Times listed the comings and goings of the New York elite with frequent mention of individuals “leaving today to visit Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Wilson of Palmetto Bluff, S.C.” Guests would stay for weeks, enjoying Mrs. Wilson’s lavish parties. Mrs. Wilson loved music and was an avid hostess. In New York, neighbors regularly complained that her parties there lasted well into the night.
Palmetto Bluff was Richard T. Wilson, Jr.’s idyllic retreat away from the city of New York until March 2, 1926, when the great mansion caught fire. A distraught Wilson had to twice be led away from the roaring flames, which eventually reduced the magnificent building to ashes. The loss of his beloved home devastated Wilson. Unable to face rebuilding, he returned to New York and sold the entire property to J.E. Varn a few months later. Wilson died in New York City in 1929.”