Daufuskie Island offers a rich cultural experience, with its environmental preserves, quaint Gullah houses, diverse art galleries and history dating back to the “Daufuskie Fight” during the Yamassee War of 1715–1717. The island is also the setting of Pat Conroy’s novel “The Water Is Wide,” recounting Conroy’s experiences teaching on Daufuskie in the 1960s.
Archaeologists have traced the inhabited history of the island back 9,000 years and have discovered pottery remnants dating to 7,000 BC. The first inhabitants were the peaceful Cusabo Indians.
In 1664, English sea captain William Hilton first sailed the waters of the South Carolina coast, writing in his log, “The air is clear and sweet, the country very pleasant and delightful; and we would wish all that want a happy settlement of our English Nation, were well transported hither.” English traders soon followed and settled in the area.
The arts scene on Daufuskie Island is extraordinary, with a colorful mix of woodworking, basket weaving, pottery, and painting that reflect centuries of Island lifestyle and Gullah history.