South Carolina Picture Project

Folly Beach — Folly Beach, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County  |  Folly Beach

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Folly River, Folly Island is home to the City of Folly Beach. It is located in Charleston County, about 15 miles south of downtown Charleston, via Folly Road through James Island. Along with Sullivan’s Island, it’s the closest beach to historic Charleston.

Folly Beach Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly was once called Coffin Island, but these days it’s full of life. On weekends you’ll find Center Street crowded with revelers who gather to talk and drink. There is a shag club, a pool hall, and plenty of coffeeshops and restaurants with outdoor seating.

Folly Beach Rainbow

Rudy Lutge of Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Despite its lively nature and an abundant supply of tourists, Folly is a world away from South Carolina’s more commercialized beaches like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head. It’s still a great place to grab a beer, shake off your shoes, and enjoy the sunset with friends.

Folly Beach Dunes

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Th following list highlights the many great places you can visit on Folly Beach:

Folly Beach County Park, Bird Key, Folly Beach Pier, Folly River, Morris Island Lighthouse, Crosby’s Seafood, and last but not least, The Washout.

Folly Beach Sunset

Mark A. Leon of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Historic Pictures of Folly Beach


The following images are from the collection of Maebelle Barnett Bazzel, a lifelong resident of James Island in Charleston County. Most of the views of Folly Beach are from the 1940s-1950s.

Historic Folly Beach

The Folly Pier with Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

A closeup of the Pavilion, at the end of Folly Pier.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach Carnival taken from the top of the ferris wheel.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach Sundries drugstore and soda fountain, remodeled after 1959.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

The community church located on West Indian Avenue, later became the Methodist Church, still in use today.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Pure Oil gas station, still in use today as a service station.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach Playground amusement park. The largest tent in the front was Folly Bingo.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Folly Beach News Stand, ran for many years by Tommy and Kitty Wienges.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

Typical Folly Beach traffic during the summer, 1940s.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Reflections on the Folly Beach


Folly Beach at the Morris Island Light

Kevin Travis © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Photographer Kevin Travis, who took this photo of the Morris Island light, shares a great story: “Shot this image on a cold December morning right after Christmas. It was about 40 degrees on the beach at 5:30 am. I used a flashlight to illuminate the old live oaks tree stumps on the beach. Morris Island Lighthouse is in the background. The lighthouse is always the focal point of so many pictures, and rightfully so because of the rich history of this beautiful structure. I wanted to show a different perspective of the beach with the lighthouse playing second fiddle so to speak.”

Folly Beach Sailboat

Steve DuPree of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Steve DuPree, the artist behind the photo of the beached catamaran above, says he calls his shot “Swept Away” because “that is the feeling I get when I look out at a beautiful sunrise. If you are dealing with life’s pressures, get out and watch a sunrise or sunset and just let your mind go. This is the medicine out there.”

Folly Beach Morris Island

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Mark Wickliffe tells us about his spectacular image: “This is the site of the Morris Island Lighthouse; it is hidden from traffic and about a 20-minute hike on the beach. Sunrises are often rewarded with extremely grand views, and often you can be the only person with such a grand sight.”

Folly Surfer Historic

Angel Llano of Saint Augustine, Florida, 1978 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach is considered the best place to catch a wave in South Carolina. Even before Hurricane Hugo created the Washout in its destructive wake in 1989 – thought to be the best local break for surfing – people ventured to Folly for the waves. Surfer Angel Llano tells us of the below photo: “Good winter swell in 1978 taken of me by my friend Jim Cooper. The water was really cold, no hood, and the outside air temperature was just above freezing. Coop missed the sequence on this wave. It was a fun ride!”

More Pictures of Folly Beach


Folly Beach Evening

Barry Gooch of Port Royal, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Sunset

Norma Armstrong of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach

Norma Armstrong of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 


Folly Beach Map





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5 Comments about Folly Beach

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
December 19th, 2017 at 12:34 am

We agree, Folly Beach is wonderful. We would love to see those photos, I bet they are very special!

Kenyon FaireyNo Gravatar says:
December 18th, 2017 at 8:40 am

I remember my mother talking about Folly Beach as that is where her family had gone for years to escape the heat in Charleston. I have one treasured photo of my grandmother, from abt.1912, sitting on an old boat on the shore of Folly Beach and many additional photos of her and her friends in their 1920’s bathing suits there as well. They tell of the times gone by.

Carroll Price says:
June 22nd, 2016 at 10:58 pm

From the mid 1960s through 1972, we spent many pleasant days swimming at Folly Beach.

Sandy Sutherland says:
February 20th, 2015 at 6:16 pm

As a child I spent almost every weekend at the pier. I learned how to shag there when I was 10.

Veronica RobinsonNo Gravatar says:
December 27th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Thank you for showing me where I had spent the happiest summers of my life. That was a gift of a priceless reflection. So many happy memories for me there.




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