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St Phillips Island — Beaufort County, South Carolina


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St Phillips Island

St. Phillips is an undeveloped island off the coast of Beaufort, near Hilton Head. It previously belonged to billionaire Ted Turner, who sold it to the State of South Carolina in 2018 for $4.9 million. It first went on the market in 2014 for $24 million.

St. Phillip's Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

There is no bridge to St. Phillips, nor does the island have water or electricity. The 4,682-acre property has just two homes at present, a caretaker’s cottage and Turner’s four-bedroom, four-bathroom vacation residence (seen below). The latter, set four miles inland, features wood paneling and a porch that faces the Atlantic Ocean. The island is protected by a conservation easement, held by the Nature Conservancy, which allows only ten additional structures.

St. Phillip's Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bo Peterson of Charleston‘s Post and Courier explains what makes the island so unique:

It’s a series of dunes that are thousands of years old, rolling like waves interspersed with canal-like inlets.

Viewed from the air, it looks like a series of long ribs.

St. Phillips is an interior sea island in the process of being washed into a barrier island, its dunes gradually migrating as the seas push in. It’s a living example of the future of the eroding coast, complete with deer, alligators, gray and black fox squirrels, tabby (concrete oyster shell ruins), in among pines and hardwood blanketed with resurrection ferns.

St. Phillip's Island Retaining Wall

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

One of South Carolina’s few existing “boneyard beaches” can be found on St. Phillips, which is located five miles from Hunting Island State Park, by boat. It is also near St Helena Island, which is known for its vibrant Gullah culture. The Penn Center, a National Historical Landmark, is located on the site of one of the nation’s first schools for freed slaves.

St. Phillip's Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of St. Phillip’s Island


St. Phillips Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillip's Island Beach

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillip's Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island Guest Cabin

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island Main House Porch

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. Phillips Island Water Tower

Chip Hall of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St Phillips Island Map

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21 Comments about St Phillips Island

Greg Bradley says:
February 15th, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Is there any history regarding Saint Phillips Island in Beaufort County to be found? Was it ever used in the Civil War? I see it was sold to SC recently, thanks.

SCIWAY says:
February 8th, 2018 at 11:59 pm

It was slated to be, we have not heard yet if the deal has finalized.

Kevin Williamson says:
February 8th, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Has St Phillips been sold to the State of South Carolina?

Sandra Litchfield says:
May 6th, 2015 at 11:50 pm

I am interested in Bay Point Island. Was this Bay Point Island (Ft. Beauregard) during the Civil War? I have an ancestor who was the lighthouse keeper from 1863-1865. His name was E.M Converse and his wife was Margaret. Is it possible to visit? Do you know of any information that would help?
Thank You,
Sandra Litchfield

Curtis McDaniel says:
January 8th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

That would be correect.

Tony Stuart says:
November 23rd, 2012 at 11:29 pm

My understanding of Submerged lands jursidiction in
South Carolina is that all tidelands below the mean high water mark are owned by the state in public trust. This includes King’s Grants. So unless I am missing something, it is perfectly legal to land a boat on the beach below the high water mark on St. Phillips Island. Am I mistaken?

Curtis McDaniel says:
September 26th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Just pulling your leg.

Ray Tudor says:
September 14th, 2012 at 10:17 am

Glad you injoyed your stay on whatever Island you were on but I assure you it was not St. Phillips ! Cheers

Curtis McDaniel says:
September 13th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Sorry I did not get your response in time We spent the first week of September on the southeastern shore. It was just fantastic. Thanks so much for your kind southern hospitality. Tell Brother Ted, we took only what we needed and needed only what we took. We will let you know next time we can stop in for a week or so.
Cheers.

Ray Tudor says:
August 29th, 2012 at 11:43 am

The island is private and off-limits.

Curtis McDaniel says:
August 28th, 2012 at 8:10 am

I would like to visit by sailboat and spend the a weekend there with my wife and daughter. Any problem with this. or do you know if it is off limits? Thank you in advance for your reply.

Tom says:
February 15th, 2012 at 3:37 am

Ray

The archives is set up in such a way that I am unable to locate the land grant for St. Phillips, island. Perhaps you could ask the current land owners for help identifying, and/or, locating the correct archival document. Perhaps they have a photo copy with that information on it. The archives is asking for a specific date or the specific name of the grantee; information I cannot yet provide.

Thanks again. I hope I’m not being to much of a bother.

Tom

Tom says:
February 7th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks Ray. I’ve ask the archives for assistance.

Ray says:
February 7th, 2012 at 9:21 am

The grant is located in the State Archives in Columbia. Hope this helps!

Tom says:
February 5th, 2012 at 3:13 am

Ray Tudor

My mothers family came from Scotland. The family owned a British land grant which included St. Phillips island. The family name has been bastardized over the past 300 years and now has at least 3 spelling variations; Eddings being one spelling. I’m wondering if it might be possible to view the original British land deeds? How could something like this be arranged? Please answer using this email address: oso1569@gmail.com

Thank you.

Tom

Ray Tudor says:
January 31st, 2011 at 9:56 am

The family that owns the Island comes down for the beauty of the Island and the private nature of the Island. I suggest you consider Hilton Head.

Lisa says:
January 25th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

If you had the opportunity to visit and stay on the island what is there to do during the day. Are there places you would recommend going to see off the island?

SCIWAY says:
December 2nd, 2010 at 9:56 am

Thank you so much for clarifying for all us Ray! – SCIWAY

Ray Tudor says:
November 30th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I am the manager of St. Phillips Island and have been for the past 30+ years . The Island is privately owned by RE Turner III and has not changed hands in any way. The property that was donated was a parcel on the mainland .The Island holds a Kings Grant and is private . Hopes this clears things up . Ray

Larry Gordon says:
August 27th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Tonite (8/27/10) my wife and I met the man who manages St.Phillips Island. He and his wife live near us in Beaufort, SC. He said that Ted Turner owns the island.

Carol Weaver Hicks says:
August 9th, 2010 at 9:15 am

Does Ted Turner own St. Phillips Island??




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