A bit of history on a beautiful bay
by Marla Stroupe
Situated just next to the marina and waterfront condominiums of Marina Village at Belle Isle is the historic Battery White, a large earthwork battery built circa 1862 and manned by Confederate troops during the Civil War. It’s positioned on Mayrant’s Bluff overlooking Winyah Bay, where guns could command the seaward access to the port of Georgetown.
Still largely intact, the five-hundred-foot long fortification is now a natural component of the Belle Isle community. The imposing earthworks are part of many homes’ back yards and the two remaining cannons blend in among the lush azaleas and live oak trees of the small waterfront park.
The three-acre tract of today’s Battery White site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in November 1977.
Belle Isle itself was one of several former rice plantations once owned by Col. Peter Horry – for whom Horry County is named. After the demise of working plantations, part of Belle Isle Plantation became Belle Isle Gardens, a showplace of live oaks, azaleas and camellias planted in the early 1900s.
Today, the Belle Isle community is an interesting mixture of residences that forms three distinct sections; single family homes on large wooded lots, a 1970s-era condominium complex with buildings on or near Winyah Bay, and a new yacht club and multi-phased luxury condominium project under construction along the bay’s shoreline. This new construction project included a substantial Belle Isle Marina refurbishment in 2008.
Just a few miles south of Georgetown, SC, on Winyah Bay, the sparkling new 82-slip Belle Isle Marina is run by Dockmaster Steve Hedrick who invites boaters to stop by and enjoy the view, good food and historic significance of the area.
If you’re traveling on the Intracoastal Waterway, which passes through Winyah Bay, or just out for an afternoon cruise, visit Belle Isle Marina and enjoy a little taste of Southern history. You can pick up a brochure about the history of Battery White at the Belle Isle Marina or gate house.
Belle IsleMarina is also the site of the Belle IsleWahoo Tournament being held August 5-7, 2010. For more information about the tournament, contact Steve at 843.546.8491.