Some weeks ago, I had dinner with friends and local Lowcountry author Martin McFie. That’s when I was first introduced to a gorgeous new book: Hilton Head Island: Emerald of the South. Though born and raised in London, Mr. Mcfie—now a Hilton Head resident—has captured the uniqueness of the island in his elegant book, which is available in local stores for the holidays.
It's a visually beautiful book of the highest quality production. The structure and content are the most comprehensive, lively and entertaining of any book I've seen about Hilton Head. It's the perfect resource for discovering the richness of the Island’s past and present—whether you are a long-term resident or a first time visitor.
The book is the culmination of a year of research and photography depicting the island’s history. Reaching back to the Civil War and beyond, it covers the Union invasion, the establishment of Mitchelville and time travels to an era of royalty and scandal, cotton and indigo, pirates and privateers. Hilton Head’s modern development phase—highlighting the inspiration of Charles Fraser—is detailed and the book covers the remarkable level of excellence in culture on the island.
Launched at a recent Symphony Orchestra performance, it recounts the story of the orchestra, the Arts Center and the nationally acclaimed Concours d’Elegance Motoring Festival. Dedicated to Bob Masteller, the book includes the story and images from his world renowned Jazz Corner. The author Martin McFie was also responsible for their book, The Jazz Corner Story.
The beaches, water and wildlife of the island are fully represented in glorious photographs and stories, as well as all the island activities: hiking; biking; tennis; golf; and the international level Heritage Golf Tournament all appear as elements of Hilton Head’s rich offerings. In short, this is a Technicolor celebration of all that is best on Hilton Head Island: the style; culture; and history of this sparkling Emerald of the South.
As a commitment to local businesses, the book is available only at local stores on the island. The beautiful standard edition is $26 and there is a timeless cloth bound slipcase version, too. The collectors' edition at $40.