Pawleys Island, South Carolina
|Pawleys Island, South Carolina|
|— Town —|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Total||1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)|
|• Land||0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)|
|Elevation||3 ft (1 m)|
|• Density||197/sq mi (76.1/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1231638|
Pawleys Island is a town in Georgetown County, South Carolina, United States, and the Atlantic coast barrier island on which the town sits. The population was 138 at the 2000 census. The post office address also includes an unincorporated area on the mainland adjacent to the island, which includes a commercial district along the Ocean Highway (US Route 17) and a residential area between the highway and the Waccamaw River. The island is on the southern end of The Grand Strand and is one of the oldest resort areas of the US East Coast. The town of Pawleys Island, though, is only on the island. The island lies off the Waccamaw Neck, a long, narrow peninsula between the ocean and the river. The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges, the North Causeway and the South Causeway. At the southern tip of the island is a public beach access area.
The breezy island quickly became a refuge from the mosquitoes that were notable during the summer. With African slaves that were brought to the area came malaria, so those of means would move to summer cottages on the island to avoid the mosquito-vectored malaria and other sicknesses. "Why should we have to suffer like the slaves?", said young Mary Alston. The town's namesake George Pawley owned the island during the colonial era, and sold portions of it to other planters who wanted to escape malaria.
In 1791, two years after he was elected president, George Washington toured the Grand Strand. He passed right down The King's Highway in the unincorporated portion off Pawleys Island to visit the Alstons, wealthy planters who owned several plantations in the area. Rice fields occupied the Waccamaw River side of the neck.
The Grand Strand began to develop into a major tourist area during the early 20th century, but Pawleys was among the last areas to be heavily developed. Cypress sided cottages on the island gave the community one of its monikers: arrogantly shabby. With the coming of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, some of these cottages were swept away and have since been replaced by more "shabbier" homes, but there is a ban on commercial or industrial buildings on the island with the exception of a '70s condominium complex and a few inns which were grandfathered in. However, some of the oldest, most classic homes have stayed, such as Beachaven (north end of the island), owned by William Brigham Jr., and the PCJ Weston House, which is now the Pelican Inn.
The town government was incorporated in 1983. Although less secluded and more upscale than it was only a decade ago, Pawleys Island still retains a quaintness and a relaxed pace which makes it a rare island along the U.S. east coast. The water temperature is comfortable from May to October, and there is abundant fishing, crabbing, shrimping, and birdwatching most months of the year.
The Gray Man 
A local legend on the island has grown about the Gray Man. Thought to be the original owner of the Pelican Inn, the Gray Man  is a friendly ghost who warns of impending hurricanes and protects the resident's houses from the storm. Serious hurricanes have struck in 1724, twice in 1752, 1822, 1911, 1954, and 1989. As recounted in an episode of the TV series Unsolved Mysteries, several different witnesses reported that they had seen the Gray Man shortly before Hurricane Hugo.
The Town of Pawleys Island is located just off U.S. Route 17, about 10 miles (16 km) east of Georgetown. The island itself, located at , is a little over three miles (5 km) long and about a quarter of a mile wide. To the east-southeast lies the Atlantic Ocean. The island is a sandy barrier, with some dunes on the northern end up to about 15 feet (5 m) high. The southern end is very low. Behind the island is a tidal creek/marsh.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), of which, 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (29.29%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 138 people, 81 households, and 43 families residing in the town. The population density was 196.9 people per square mile (76.1/km²). There were 521 housing units at an average density of 743.3 per square mile (287.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.03% White, 7.25% African American, and 0.72% from two or more races.
There were 81 households out of which 9.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 1.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 45.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.70 and the average family size was 2.30.
In the town the population was spread out with 8.0% under the age of 18, 15.9% from 25 to 44, 50.7% from 45 to 64, and 25.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 55 years. For every 100 females there were 76.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $51,964, and the median income for a family was $97,125. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $27,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $48,183. There were none of the families and 1.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.
Outside the Island 
Off the island is an unincorporated community which claims to be Pawleys Island. It boasts world famous golf courses, the All Saints Parish Church, the Waccamaw School cluster, the all new Fresh Market Commons, and several restaurants and hotels; including Pawleys Island Inn.
The public schools include: Waccamaw High School, Waccamaw Middle School, and Waccamaw Elementary. At the beginning of the 2008-09 school year, Waccamaw Intermediate School opened for grades four, five and six. Private schools include: Lowcountry Preparatory School, offering a college prep curriculum to students in grades PK-12, Pawleys Island Christian Academy K3-12, which is connected to Pawleys Island Community Church; and Pawleys Island Montessori Day School, PK-6.
Former South Carolina Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. was buried in the cemetery at All Saints Church following his death in December 2005.
The Coastal Observer is a weekly newspaper that covers Pawleys Island, Litchfield Beach, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Its website is www.coastalobserver.com.
The Hammock Shops boasts the world famous rope, even though they shipped the manufacturing away from the area. hammocks.
On the west side of Highway 17 many people have reported seeing a man that looks like the Phantom of the Opera.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Pawleys Island town, South Carolina - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
- P. C. J. Weston House / Pelican Inn Marker
- Urquhart, Kim. "Doctor's Inn Has History and Mystery". Emory Report. Emory University. Retrieved 2 March 2011.