The home at 480 Myrtle Avenue on Pawleys Island has the largest ocean frontage lot on the island and was built in 1938. It has over 2,000 square feet and was listed in the New York Times real estate section. List price: $4.7 million. Photo/Walter McElveen, Pawleys Island Real Estate.
This week we are journeying outside of Charleston to Pawleys Island. A barrier island, it is 70 miles north of Charleston in Georgetown County, and 10 miles east of the town of Georgetown.
Located on the southern end of the Grand Strand, it is far less populated and busy than its not-so-close neighbor, Myrtle Beach, which is 25 miles away.
Pawleys Island’s earliest inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians. Percival Pawley, a European settler, was the first person to develop plantations in the 1700s. Legend has it that the island was named for his sons, George, Anthony and Percival Jr. There are 12 remaining residences in the historic district that date from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s and they were designated by the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Parts of the island are much like they were in the 1700s and many homes are owned by third, fourth and fifth generations of the same families. In 2012, Liberty Lodge, an oceanfront home located on Myrtle Avenue, had the distinction of being a home owned by the same family for 100 years. It is one of the island’s oldest homes and can be rented during the summer.
Legend and lore surround the island as well, including “The Gray Man,” which is purportedly the ghost of a man who was traveling from a visit with his fiancée in Charleston. He got lost in the pluff-mudded bog marshes of Pawleys Island and still wanders the shores, warning residents of hurricanes and storms. The legend received national attention and was featured on The Weather Channel and “Unsolved Mysteries.” Reports of The Gray Man issuing warnings in 1893, 1954 (Hurricane Hazel) and in 1989 (Hurricane Hugo) are documented and written about in books.