A boat dock faces toward the tidal marsh separating the island from the "low country" mainland of South Carolina.
Before the Civil War, at the end of May each year, plantation owners and their families would move away from their plantations, and would not return until November. They left because they feared contracting malaria. (Plantation employees and slaves had no such option, of course.)
Pawleys Island is less than four miles in length and not more than a quarter mile wide. Located a few miles north of historic Georgetown, the island - beginning in the late 1700s - was a favorite retreat of the planter famlies. Today, the little island is still a popular resort. Hundreds of "arrogantly shabby" beach homes, most of them available for rent, cover the island.