By Carey Sullivan for The Island Eye News
Welcome to Eye on Dewees, a monthly column dedicated to shedding some light on Dewees Island, your friendly neighbor to the north. For this first column, I would like to get everyone on the same page. Some of you may know a few facts about Dewees (maybe you are friends with someone who owns a house or property on the island), but many of you know only a little or just rumors. As part of the community, we probably know a lot more about Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island than you know about Dewees and that hardly seems fair. Time to even the scales.
The basics: Dewees Island is about 2 and a half miles long and 1 mile wide with a brackish impoundment in the center and Lake Timicau on the north end with views over the ocean. We have 150 homesites with 66 homes and several homes under construction/renovation. Nineteen homes are occupied by the 40, full-time residents who are lucky enough to rest their heads on Dewees each night. Thirty-one are secondary residences owned by a single family, and the remainder are in some sort of partnership. A few families rent their homes and we have an active real estate market.
What else is on the island? You mean besides the 2 and a half miles of private beach, an abundance of nature, including a nesting pair of bald eagles, 243 species of birds including roseate spoonbills, deer, otters, and yes, alligators and coyotes? Well, we have a clubhouse full of amenities (including a catering kitchen), four hospitality suites available for our guests, a pool, 2 tennis courts, a game room, workout room, canoes and kayaks, a nature center, archives of the history of the island, walking, biking, and nature trails, mail room, memory garden and last but not least our very own firehouse with three fire trucks! Really, the only things we don’t have on Dewees are stores, paved roads, cars, squirrels and mosquitoes (ha! just kidding, we do have a few mosquitoes).
The community on Dewees consists of nature-loving people from all over the country who found this special island on their search for a sanctuary from offisland life. Whether they live here full-time or just dream of the day when they can, Dewees becomes home the moment they step onto the hourly ferry.
We will gather for just about any reason you can think of. Weekly coffees and happy hours cover basic social needs, but our book club, photography club, pickleball club, art shows, yearly solstice musical, 4th of July golf-cart parade and beach race, and Labor Day Dammit Ball tournament, prove we like to be around each other. We have a full-time naturalist who runs amazing programs for families in the summer and keeps tabs on the wildlife the rest of the year.
There is more, much more, but hopefully this is a good start and has made you excited to expand your knowledge about your neighbors. Can’t wait for the next installment? Learn more facts here: Deweesislandblog. com/islandeye where you will find links to videos, pictures and more general information.
Carey Sullivan has been a part of the Dewees community since 2005. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and daughter and her son is a freshman at College of Charleston. Her main goal in life is to live full time on Dewees. Photographer Judy Drew Fairchild is a full-time resident of the island, realtor, and South Carolina Master Naturalist.