Feb 28 2019

Carl Smith: An Oral History

By Susan Middaugh for The Island Eye News

Carl Smith stands beside the Welcome Sign that he designed for Sullivan’s Island.

Former Mayor Carl Smith has been a key participant in events that have shaped and preserved the Sullivan’s Island character that we value so highly today.

In a videotaped interview, Mayor Smith recounts stories, both humorous and serious, from his 35 years as activist citizen, Board of Zoning Appeals member, Town Councilman and Mayor. On Thursday, Mar. 21 this oral history video will be followed by Q & A with our guest, Carl Smith.

Attendees will be surprised at the turning points that could have led to high density development on our island and applaud the strategies that prevented a four-lane freeway across Sullivan’s Island to the Isle of Palms beaches.

 Carl Smith is an architect by profession who was attracted to the Lowcountry by its architecture. It is not surprising that much of what we value and enjoy about Sullivan’s Island today has benefitted from his architectural imprint. This is perhaps most visible in the historic homes that are now preserved and the historic bandstand in Stith Park that was found and restored. Other achievements are less visible but equally vital, as in the powerful zoning ordinances that prevent development.

The personal and family stories of long-time residents are an essential part of the remarkable culture and history of Sullivan’s Island. The Oral History Project of Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, directed by W. Michael Walsh, MD, captures these stories in interviews of Island residents. These videotaped interviews are edited according to the standards of the Oral History Association.

This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by The National Park Service & Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, preserving the culture of art and history on Sullivan’s Island. For info email batterygadsden@gmail.com or call 843.906.0091.

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