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Books: Photo series looks for images of Pawleys as it was

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Editors are accepting photos from the public for the next three weeks for a new Pawleys Island picture book that will benefit the Georgetown County Library.

Lee Brockington, senior interpreter at Hobcaw Barony, and Julie Warren, manager of the Georgetown County Digital Library, are working together on the paperback book due out next May. Brockington has collaborated on two Pawleys Island books already. Pawleys Island Civic Association president Linwood Altman hired her to help write and edit “Pawleys Island: A Century of History and Photographs” in 2009. Brockington and Eugene B. Chase worked together on “Pawleys Island: Stories from the Porch” in 2003.

The new book will be part of Arcadia Publishing’s series “Images of America.” It will cost around $20. “This is a new small book,” Brockington said. “It will have historic photos different from the ones in the previous book. It’s designed for people who want to know as much as possible about a community in a small format. Vacationers hardly need a travel guide to Pawleys Island but would be interested in its background. It appeals to the type of people who like their history in small doses.”

The “Images of America” format, with its sepia-toned covers and 200 black-and-white photos, has been used by Arcadia Publishing on many communities. Brockington said she put the publisher off until now in order to finish some other projects. “I was already actively involved in fundraising for the Waccamaw branch of the Georgetown County Library,” she said. “Knowing that I have not done all I could for the library, I thought why don’t I combine the two projects? All profits go to the library.”

Warren, a native of Charlottesville, Va., has worked with Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg and Hampton Plantation. She designed the digital library with a grant from the Donnelley Foundation and became its manager in 2007. Some never-published photos from the digital library will be used in the new book, but Warren is hoping the public will offer pictures from family albums. “We have a good collection of early-20th century photos, but we want to get a little more modern, 1930s through the ’60s, to show a broad history,” she said. “We would really like to have just about anything we can get. I’d like to see what people have out there, see if they have recollections of businesses and houses no longer standing.”

Brockington said the photos will tell the story of the island and the mainland. “Certainly,” she said, “the larger Pawleys Island community plays a part in Pawleys Island history. We are fortunate to have photos that include some African Americans; however, too often those do not include names. If they are a creek boy, a maid or a cook they are held in high regard, but most of the time those photos exist because of the families that hired them. There may be African Americans in our community today who have photographs that they may allow the library to scan. It’s very important to me to be able to include various aspects of our community.”

One chapter of the book will use a newspaper headline from 1902, “Ho, for Pawleys Island,” as its title and features means of travel and lodging. “Not everybody had their own house,” Brockington said. “Before a Pelican Inn and Sea View Inn there were other accommodations.” Another chapter will be called “The Road to Romance” and feature Highway 17 when it was called “America’s Coastal Highway” before 1935. There will also be sections on the beach as playground, storms and the Waccamaw River and plantations.

One of the bonuses of accepting photographs from the public is expanding the digital library collection, Brockington said. Anyone submitting a photograph will receive a free digital copy, according to Warren.

For more information or to submit photos, contact Warren at jwarren@gtcounty.org or phone 545-3316.

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