With our new app, taking a walking tour of the Hammock Coast® has never been easier

25 Mar

With our new app, taking a walking tour of the Hammock Coast® has never been easier

Two of the most celebrated historians on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® – Lee Brockington and Ron Daise – have lent their distinctive voices to a new app that lets visitors experience our vacation destination like never before.

The new app, simply titled Hammock Coast and available for download at the online app stores of your choice, takes listeners along on three popular tours of historic properties in the City of Georgetown and the Town of Pawleys Island.

The Hammock Coast, famous for its pristine Atlantic Coast beaches, has a remarkable history to tell that goes back centuries and is deeply rooted in British Colonial history and the celebrated beginnings of the United States.

The new Hammock Coast app will guide historic tours of Georgetown and Pawleys Island. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Visitors to Georgetown and Pawleys Island can experience that rich heritage as they explore the city streets of Georgetown and the sand-dusted roads of Pawleys Island in two ways: using long-available self-guided brochures or, with the new app, by following along as Brockington and Daise detail the history of historic properties.

“We are happy to share the rich history and cultural heritage of our region with visitors and using the app is the perfect way to see – and hear about – everything we have to offer,” said Beth Stedman, president & CEO of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, which produced the app along with South Carolina’s Hammock Coast.

The three distinct tours are: The National Register Historic Tour in Georgetown; an African-American Heritage Tour in Georgetown; and a tour of Pawleys Island historic sites. The app offers photos of the properties, text, and the audio by Brockington and Daise.

Brockington, the author of several books including “Pawleys Island: A Century of History and Photographs and “Pawleys Island: Stories from the Porch,” narrated the history tours of Pawleys Island and the historic register tour in Georgetown for the app. She likes the app for the convenience it will offer.

“Some visitors like to keep their schedule flexible rather than sign up for a guided tour,” Brockington said. “With this app, a visitor can choose the time for the tour. Really, they don’t even have to be here to take the tour. While it’s more interesting to see the homes and properties for yourself while listening on the app, nothing would keep folks from simply following along in the comfort of their own home. They can tour day or night, cold or hot, even in their PJs.”

Brockington noted that information in the app is not only interesting but, most importantly, well-researched and correct information about historical sites.

“Too often when my own family was touring another state, we had to rely on the clerk at the gas station to tell us what they knew,” she said. “Having an app can make a big difference in what visitors learn.”

Ron Daise of Georgetown and his wife, Natalie, are widely known for co-hosting “Gullah Gullah Island,” an American musical children’s television series celebrating the culture and language of enslaved Africans that was produced by and aired on the Nick Jr. programming block on the Nickelodeon network from 1994 to 1998. But before and after that successful program, Ron and Natalie have been passionate performers and educators about the African-American experience.

Daise, who previously worked at Brookgreen Gardens as vice president of creative education, has written books, including “Little Muddy Waters: A Gullah Folk Tale“, “Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage: Legacy of Freedmen on St. Helena Island, and Gullah Branches, West African Roots. For the app, he narrated the African American Heritage Tour in Georgetown.

Daise said he wanted to be part of the app project because it’s important to share African-American history on the Hammock Coast.

“I’d like visitors to know about the unique and interesting Gullah Geechee history and heritage of Georgetown and the surrounding area,” he said.

The African-American Heritage Tour details the contributions of Blacks who were instrumental in building the economic and cultural foundations in the City of Georgetown and Georgetown County.

The app offers three distinct tours based on these brochures: an African American Heritage Tour in Georgetown, the National Register Historic Tour in Georgetown, and a tour of Pawleys Island historic sites.

The National Register Tour includes 66 locations. Visitors will see places like the Robert Stewart House, the Rice Museum and Clock Tower, and the Anthony White House.

On the African-American Tour, 13 locations are detailed, including the Joseph Hayne Rainey House, the Gullah Museum, and the Howard School.

On Pawleys Island, visitors can tour 10 locations, including Pawleys Island Chapel and the All Saints Summer Parsonage.

Visitors may choose to read or listen about specific sites along the three routes. The app is designed for both walking and driving.

Also, mapping locations is only a click away on the app and a frequently asked-questions page answers the most common queries. Many of the stops are private homes and can only be viewed from outside, but during the course of the tours in Georgetown, museums are open with interpretive exhibits to further explain the history of Georgetown and its sites. Historical markers are also displayed to help identify important locations.

Check your favorite app store for the free “Hammock Coast” app. For more information about South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, click here.

By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®

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