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Platform Lifts in Sullivan's Island, SC

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30 Years of Making
Your Workday More Productive

They say that working smarter is better than working harder.Why not both?

Whether you're running a high-volume warehouse, overseeing a new construction project, or managing a busy retail establishment, you know that a productive workplace is essential. When it comes to your workplace equipment, you need tools that not only save time and money but are reliable when you need them the most and help your team get the job done right.

At Absolute E-Z Up, we help professionals overcome low productivity by providing the finest stock pickers, tire pickers, and platform lifts in Sullivan's Island, SC. If you need more efficiency and more profitability at your job site, you're in the right place. Sure, big-picture processes play an important role in your workplace. However, in our experience, the top cause of low productivity involves wasted time on the job site - avoidable problems that slow down your day-to-day work. And when your day-to-day and overall deadlines aren't achieved, that fault falls on you.

Platform Lifts Sullivan's Island, SC

Some of the most common productivity issues
we hear about include:

 Low Level Lift Sullivan's Island, SC
  • Low-capacity equipment that requires workers to make multiple trips to transport materials.
  • Unreliable equipment that breaks down again and again.
  • Workers on injury leave because of falls suffered from unsafe ladders or scaffolds.
  • Enlisting more manpower to fill in because you don't have the right equipment to get the job done.

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, you're probably wondering what in the world you can do to get back on track. That's where Absolute E-Z Up comes in - to give you the tools you need to be more productive and efficient, so you have peace of mind knowing your job will finish on time, the right way.

When we founded Absolute E-Z Up (AEUP), we created a plan to deliver safe, reliable work platforms, stock picker forklifts, inclined platform lifts, stair climbers, and material handling products that increase productivity by leaps and bounds. We're not talking a few minutes shaved off here or there. We mean upping your work cycles two to three times what you're used to, coupled with drastically reduced downtime from maintenance and repair.

Sound too good to be true?

Not at Absolute E-Z Up in Sullivan's Island, SC.

Contact Us

The Absolute E-Z Up Difference

Our company was founded on three basic values:

 Low Level Access Lifts Sullivan's Island, SC

Safety - The Top Time Booster

When workers are injured, they're either placed on light duty or leave until they heal up and get back to work. This leaves you with the conundrum do you hire a new worker (which requires an initial expense) or reassign members of your staff to make up the difference? Obviously, neither situation is optimal. The biggest factor preventing these kinds of frustrating situations is workplace safety, which is why it's our top priority at AEUP. It doesn't matter if you buy a manual platform lift in Sullivan's Island, SC, or an electric stock picker. You can rest easy when you purchase equipment from us, knowing that AEUP aerial work platforms and material handling equipment come with the most innovative safety technologies.

A few of those safety mechanisms include:

  • Anti-tilt systems, helping to prevent toppling and turnovers.
  • Built-in pothole protection for driving equipment.
  • Double-foot sensors, which halts the machine from operating unless two feet are planted on the sensors.

Note: Depending on your needs, your machinery may or may not include some of these safety technologies. Please refer to specific product pages for more details.

 Electric Utility Vehicle Sullivan's Island, SC

Productivity - Doing More with Less

Common sense might tell you it would be hard for workers to do twice as much work as they used to. However, with the right equipment, it's very possible. Common sense might tell you it would be hard for a worker to do twice as much work as they used to. However, with the right equipment, it's very possible. Whether it's hanging signs, moving a piano, working on a construction site, or any of the other tasks that require a stock picker, you'll save time and complete tasks faster with Absolute E-Z Up. Our stock pickers, vertical lifts, and stair climbers are:

  • Versatile - our equipment is more versatile than other options, giving you the ability to fit into small spaces with a zero turning radius.
  • Faster - our batteries change in only a few hours and can last for dozens if not hundreds of duty cycles.
  • More Efficient - Workers can speed up every part of the workday with special features, attachments, and deck extensions.
  • Lower Costs - You can maintain our equipment at lower costs, which saves you money when you need it most.
 Mini Utility Vehicle Sullivan's Island, SC

Reliability - Always There When You Need to Work Hard

Common sense might tell you it would be hard for workers to do twice as much work as they used to. However, with the right equipment, it's very possible. Common sense might tell you it would be hard for a worker to do twice as much work as they used to. However, with the right equipment, it's very possible. Whether it's hanging signs, moving a piano, working on a construction site, or any of the other tasks that require a stock picker, you'll save time and complete tasks faster with Absolute E-Z Up. Our stock pickers, vertical lifts, and stair climbers are:

Industrial Stock Pickers in Sullivan's Island, SC

Warehouse picking involves workers pulling (picking) items located on warehouse shelves and moving them down the line for shipment to customers. This kind of work requires a great deal of coordination, organization, and attention to detail. Filling orders under deadlines and time crunches are common. As such, you need a trustworthy stock picker that can boost efficiency and increase production time.

Managers often adjust their picking strategy to be less time-consuming and costly when the real answer might lie with the tools and machinery they're using. At AEUP, we provide the highest-quality stock pickers for your business so that your workers can do the job they need to do as quickly and safely as possible.

With AEUP, you can increase material handling efficiency in a variety of industries and workplaces. We're talking retail, warehouses, factories, and even event venues. The ISP series offers ideal solutions for diverse applications. The models feature a 35% gradeability for greater job-site accessibility.

  Stock Picker Lift Sullivan's Island, SC
We offer several pickers for different needs, including:
 Stock Picker Machine Sullivan's Island, SC

ISP-7M™

If affordable efficiency is your priority, this is the picker for you. With over a 13-foot working height, it will be the last "ladder" your business will need to use. The ISP-7M is one of the most versatile and affordable stock pickers on the market and is ideal for a variety of workplaces:

  • Airports
  • Warehouses
  • Retail Stores
  • Distribution Centers
  • Educational Buildings
  • Entertainment Venues

This fantastic stock picker is light enough to be used on any surface. It is also very maneuverable, making it a great choice for any company that needs a safer working platform with the fewest mechanical parts. The ISP-7M comes with our industry-leading 5-2-1 Platinum Warranty and clocks in at almost half the price of electric stock pickers.

 Tire Picker Sullivan's Island, SC

ISP-11™

Industrial Stock Picker

If maximum versatility modern safety features matter most to you, the ISP-11™ will allow your team to work safer, faster, and with less strain on your workers. With this stock picker, you can increase safety, maximize uptime, and be able to adapt to any floorplan or warehouse layout. Durable, versatile, and low-maintenance, the AEUP ISP-11™ is a self-propelled stock picker that will modernize your material handling process.

  • Drive, rotate and elevate all at the same time. Most of our competitors can only do one of these functions at a time.
  • Closed canopy and damage-resistant carbon bumper.
  • Comes with an aluminum alloy mast cylinder column. That means you don' have to worry about motors or chains to maintain. Add to that a 5-year warranty, and you'll be working smarter and harder for years to come.
  • Our electric material trays are adjustable to any shelf height. Many such trays are not electric and can only adjust in six-inch increments. Instead of adjusting your whole machine due to a three-inch miscalculation, you can save time and frustration with the ISP-11.
  • Our double-foot sensor requires that both of your workers' heels maintain contact with the platform to drive. No more safety nightmares, like hanging over the edge to drive.

This fantastic stock picker is light enough to be used on any surface. It is also very maneuverable, making it a great choice for any company that needs a safer working platform with the fewest mechanical parts. The ISP-7M comes with our industry-leading 5-2-1 Platinum Warranty and clocks in at almost half the price of electric stock pickers.

Platform Lifts Sullivan's Island, SC

ISP-11™ TTH

If you're in need of a tire picker in Sullivan's Island, SC, our tire transport handler is exactly what you need. Safe, efficient, and versatile, this picker has a working height of over 17 feet, giving you the ability to grab tires on the highest shelves. With tires getting bigger and heavier, it becomes necessary to prevent injuries during all operations involving them. The AEUP ISP-11 TTH lifts both the operator and tires, easily placing them at the desired height while allowing faster and safer performance. As if that weren't enough, this tire transport handler also comes with our stellar 5-2-1 Platinum Warranty.

A Warranty That's on Your Side When You Need It Most

Unlike other companies in our industry, we are proud to say that our warranty comes standard on all our equipment. Stock picker forklift in Sullivan's Island, SC? Check. Vertical lifts? Check. Inclined platform lifts? Check. But this isn't any warranty - it's the Absolute E-Z Up platinum manufacturer's warranty, which is why you can trust the quality of AEUP products. Our Platinum Warranties are part of our commitment to value, safety, and quality. When you work with us, we want you to be able to trust that your Absolute E-Z Up equipment is a reliable, smart, long-term asset to your business that saves you money and time.

Our warranty allows our customers to secure their long-term budgets by reducing maintenance and repair costs. Since each piece of machinery is different, your warranty should be customized for the equipment that you need.

 Low Level Lift Sullivan's Island, SC
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty™ on AEUP Low-Level Access Series

No other elevated work platform or stock picker supplier has anything close to our 5-2-1 warranty. Here's what our warranty guarantees on our low-level access machinery:

  • 5 years on your mast assembly and cylinder
  • 2 years on all other components of your platform or stock picker.
  • 1 year on the lift's battery, which is not pro-rated.
  • Optional AEUP Extended 10-5-1 Warranty Service Coverage (ISPs)
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty™ on AEUP EZ Climber Series

Customers choose our E-Z Climber series because it gives them years of dependable service, backed by a warranty that will replace any parts that fail, which minimizes production downtime. We are committed to covering labor costs for the first six months of your purchase. Our E-Z Climber Series warranty guarantees:

  • 5 years of coverage on the structural steel chassis of the machine.
  • 2 years of coverage on your electrical components.
  • 1 year of coverage on the battery, which is not pro-rated.
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty
5-2-1 Platinum Warranty™ on Electric Utility Vehicles

Our electric utility vehicles give you years of dependable service, coupled with a powerful warranty that covers and service that will replace any parts that fail during your warranty period. If a part fails, we'll get it replaced quickly, to minimize downtime from work. Your labor rate is reimbursable and is covered for the first six months.

  • 5 years of coverage on the structural steel chassis of your EUV.
  • 2 years of coverage on the EUV's electrical components.
  • 1 year of coverage on the EUV's battery, which is not pro-rated.

Ready to Get Productive?

At Absolute E-Z, our goal is to provide you with the highest quality transactions and product solutions in the safest manner possible. With the right equipment and mindset, we believe that work can be fun again, and we're here to help make that happen for you and your team. As such, our mission is to be the top provider of stock pickers and other warehouse equipment in Sullivan's Island. We make it a point to listen to our customer's needs and do everything in our power to uphold our reputation for excellence.

We'll do so by continuing to honor the commitment we made to ourselves and our customers from the very beginning - earning your respect and loyalty through continuous improvement driven by integrity, teamwork, and innovation.

If you're ready to take your workflow to the next level, we're only a click or call away.

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Low Level Access Lifts Sullivan's Island, SC

Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

Highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions ...

Cooking meat low and slow over an indirect heat source—the only real qualifications for barbecue—is a truly American tradition, going back to indigenous cultures and picked up by early Spanish colonizers who also gave it the name the cooking style goes by now: barbacoa. Today, barbecue is a wildly popular staple across the U.S., with many cities and regions boasting their own take (and all claiming to have the best). Because barbecue meat spends hours upon hours cooking, restaurants are a go-to source for many Americans who would rather not spend all day and all night tending to their flames. Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina on Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed.

#16. Home Team BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (441 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2209 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482-8780– Read more on Tripadvisor

#15. Smokey Bones N. Charleston

– Rating: 3.5 / 5 (182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 7250 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29406– Read more on Tripadvisor

#14. Melvin’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (427 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 925 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464-3448– Read more on Tripadvisor

#13. Southern Roots Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (91 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Barbecue– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 2544 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29414-5325– Read more on Tripadvisor

#12. Cumberland Street Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (184 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 5 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401-2603– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#11. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (35 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1622 Highland Ave, Charleston, SC 29412– Read more on Tripadvisor

#10. Melvin’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (132 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 538 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-3002– Read more on Tripadvisor

#9. Duke’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (94 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 331 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412-2548– Read more on Tripadvisor

#8. Bessinger’s Barbecue

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (578 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1602 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869– Read more on Tripadvisor

#7. Home Team BBQ – Downtown Charleston

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (134 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 126 Williman St, Charleston, SC 29403-3113– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#6. Rodney Scott’s BBQ

– Rating: 4.0 / 5 (552 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1011 King St Corner of King Street and Grove Street, Charleston, SC 29403-4140– Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Poogan’s Smokehouse

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,207 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: Barbecue, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 188 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123– Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. Home Team BBQ – West Ashley

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (476 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-5301– Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. Swig & Swine

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (2,182 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826– Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Queology

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,445 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)– Type of cuisine: American, Bar– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 6 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2062– Read more on Tripadvisor

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#1. Lewis Barbecue

– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (839 reviews)– Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)– Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American– Price: $$ – $$$– Address: 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828– Read more on Tripadvisor

9 Best Small Towns to Live in the Carolinas

If you're looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can't go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. From the historic streets of Beaufort to the sunny beaches of Sullivan's Island, each of these towns has its own unique appeal. And with a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you'll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places.Waxhaw, NC ...

If you're looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can't go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. From the historic streets of Beaufort to the sunny beaches of Sullivan's Island, each of these towns has its own unique appeal. And with a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you'll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places.

Waxhaw, NC

Nestled in the heart of Union County, Waxhaw is a remarkable small town with a population of just over 16,000 people. This picturesque community is known for its beautiful historic homes, brick-lined streets, and friendly Southern hospitality. With its close proximity to Charlotte, Waxhaw is the perfect place to call home for those who want to experience all the benefits of city living while still enjoying the peace and quiet of a small town.

Summerville, SC

With its idyllic setting and friendly Southern charm, it's no wonder that Summerville has been nicknamed the "Flowertown in the Pines." This picturesque small town, which is located just 30 minutes from Charleston, is home to more than 53,000 people. Summerville is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, as well as its variety of shops and restaurants. And with a number of annual festivals and events, there's always something going on in this lively community.

Pinehurst, NC

Pinehurst is a historic small town located in the heart of North Carolina's sandhills region. This charming community is home to just over 16,000 people and is known for its beautiful pine trees and golf courses. In fact, Pinehurst is home to some championship golf courses, making it a haven for golf enthusiasts from all over the world. If you're looking for a small town with a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere, Pinehurst is the perfect place for you.

Aiken, SC

Aiken is a small city with a lot to offer. Located in the heart of South Carolina's horse country, Aiken is home to more than 30,000 people. This historic community is known for its beautiful antebellum homes, as well as its lively downtown area, which features a variety of shops and restaurants. Aiken is also a popular destination for equestrians, as it is home to several world-class equestrian facilities.

Beaufort, SC

Beaufort is a small city with a big history. Located on the coast of South Carolina, Beaufort is home to more than 13,000 people. This historic community is known for its beautiful homes, as well as its scenic waterfront setting. Beaufort is also a popular destination for those who enjoy the outdoors, as it offers a variety of opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

Davidson, NC

Davidson is a small town with a big heart. Located just 25 minutes from Charlotte, IT is home to less than 13,000 people but is packed with charm. This vibrant community is known for its lively downtown area, which features a variety of shops and restaurants. Davidson College, a highly respected liberal arts school, also calls Davidson home. And with its close proximity to Lake Norman, residents of Davidson have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Sullivan's Island, SC

Sullivan's Island is a small island community located off the coast of South Carolina. This beautiful island is home to more than 2,100 people and is known for its sandy beaches, historic fortifications, and lush forests. Sullivan's Island is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to a variety of unique and interesting bird species. If you're looking for a small town with a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, Sullivan's Island is the perfect place for you.

Isle of Palms, SC

Isle of Palms is a small island village also located off the coast of South Carolina. This lovely island is home to more than 4,000 people and is known for its sandy beaches, golf courses, and luxury resorts. Isle of Palms is also a popular destination for nature lovers, as it features a variety of parks and nature trails.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach is a small town located in South Carolina. It was voted the best small town to live in the Carolinas. Myrtle Beach is well known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and family-friendly attractions. With a population of just over 30,000, the town is home to several famous golf courses and is also known for Ripley's Aquarium, Broadway at the Beach, and Barefoot Landing, to name a few.

Myrtle Beach is a great place to live if you're looking for a small town with a lot to offer.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a small town to call home in the Carolinas, you can’t go wrong with any of these nine charming communities. With a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities to enjoy, you’ll never find yourself bored in any of these delightful places. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring today! Do you have any tips or tricks for living in a small town? Let us know in the comments below!

Why Confederate flags are flying in the middle of Charleston Harbor

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ship...

Charleston’s contradictions often are clearly visible from the city’s harbor.

Near the historic district, which has benefited from stringent preservation efforts over many decades, new hotels and apartment buildings rise. The soon-to-open International African American Museum located on Gadsden’s Wharf confronts Confederate flags flying above Castle Pinckney on Shutes Folly in the middle of the harbor.

Those flags, when they appear, greet thousands of people a week on the water — vacationers on cruise ships, mariners on commercial vessels, tourists on harbor tours or private boat charters, visitors to Fort Sumter who take the ferry that passes Shutes Folly. The flags also are viewed from the land by thousands more every week who walk through Waterfront Park or along the East Battery.

Some visitors to Charleston who go on boat charters wonder aloud about those flags. Why are they there? Who decides to raise them? What message do they convey about the Holy City? Others voice their support.

Many don’t recognize the Confederate flags when they fly on Castle Pinckney because they are always the lesser-known divisional or national banners, never the Southern Cross that became the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which is the one most closely associated with the Confederacy and the one that provokes the most controversy.

So it can come as a surprise when visitors learn that the flag on Shutes Folly is, say, the “Stars and Bars” or The Citadel’s battle flag, or South Carolina’s flag of secession.

On the water

The island has three parcels, according to Charleston County GIS records. The southernmost parcel is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp 1269. The other two are “undevelopable” and slowly fading away. One is deeded to Henry Laurens; the other to the Mary Simons Estate. The whole island now is a bird sanctuary. Visitors are forbidden.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans looks after the old fort, but restoring it and maintaining it would cost a fortune, so the installation is left to endure the elements and the nesting birds with little human intervention.

Every month or so, an SCV member rides a skiff to the castle and changes the flag. The idea is to raise flags that have historical significance, though sometimes one will see the Irish flag in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or the Italian flag to mark Columbus Day. At the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the group raised a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag to show solidarity.

For Carolina Day, which marks the patriot victory over British forces at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776, the state flag (or a historical version of it) will flap in the breeze. For the Fourth of July, the U.S. flag is hoisted.

But during other parts of the year, the SCV often raises a Confederate flag of some kind.

Sailboat charter captain Mark Stetler said he tries to avoid mentioning the flags until one of his guests ask about them, then he’ll strive to offer a neutral response, keeping politics off the boat.

“The discomfort starts with me,” he said. “I try to say as little as I can.”

But, often, he will feel the need to offer some explanation, so he tells his guests about Castle Pinckney, its history and its current status, and he’ll tell them that Confederate flags don’t always fly there.

The typical response is “stunned silence,” he said. Sometimes he will get an eye-roll or perhaps a question or comment alluding to the imposition of the Antebellum South and the Civil War onto the year 2022. He’s never hosted a guest who expressed support for the flags, he said.

Chris Rabens, a powerboat charter captain, said he passes by Castle Pinckney with his guests frequently. Usually, they are too immersed in the experience of being together on the water to pay much attention to serious matters such as South Carolina history, he said. A few will show interest.

Some guests are enthusiastic, uttering expressions of support for the Confederate cause (“The South will rise again!” they might shout); others question the motivations of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or voice mild disagreement, Rabens said.

“I get a broad spectrum,” he said.

Tamara Butler, director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, said the fort, its history and the Confederate flags that sometimes fly in the middle of the harbor are evidence of the city’s inherent contradictions and unresolved racial and economic tensions — and of the efforts among some to reconcile all that.

“It’s really important for people to see that Charleston is still trying to figure itself out,” Butler said. “My hope is that people will use controversial things (such as Castle Pinckney’s flags) to question their significance.”

The city is a place of public history, and it’s nearly impossible to ensure that all of it is presented and explained, she said.

“I can’t contextualize the fingerprints in the bricks; I can’t be there every time someone sees them,” Butler said. “So we need to have conversations about who’s responsible for public history work in the city.”

Charleston needs to invest more in the people who can do that work, and to ensure that African Americans are included, she said.

“Charleston sells itself as a progressive city, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Butler said.

The old fort

The island of Shutes Folly, little more than an eroding sandbar now, once was much larger and greener. Joseph Shute bought the island from Col. Alexander Parris in 1746 and tried to grow orange trees. The farm ultimately failed, but that’s not likely what gave the island its name. Rather, it was the manmade buildings that did so. A “folly” is a decorative structure, often grand and picturesque, that one might find in a large garden — or on a little-used island.

Shute’s “folly,” in this case, perhaps refers to Castle Pinckney itself, which has become solely decorative. Or it refers to the small grove of trees that once stood on the island’s highest ground.

The South Carolina Ports Authority acquired the island in 1958, but didn’t use it and soon tried to give it away.

It gifted the old fort to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 in 1969, but it was returned to the state Ports Authority in 1984.

On June 21, 2011, the authority sold the remains of Castle Pinckney to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Fort Sumter Camp for $10. A year and half later, the nonprofit Castle Pinckney Historical Preservation Society was incorporated. Its website, castlepinckney.org, provides access to historical documents and photographs, and describes the history of the fort, a chronology of its use, and an accounting of efforts to preserve it.

Shutes Folly has had some sort of fortification on it since 1742. An early earthen and timber structure used during the American Revolutionary War was replaced with a larger log-and-sand fort in 1797, named for Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

An 1804 storm destroyed the log fort, but a replacement made of brick soon rose on the site. It was completed in 1810, and was used during the Civil War as an arms depot and a stockade — first for captured Union soldiers, then for Confederate blockade runners.

In 1878, a lighthouse was built there, along with a lightkeeper’s residence, providing its illuminated warning until 1917.

Castle Pinckney, though once armed and garrisoned, was not much used during conflicts and has come to be known as the poor stepchild compared with forts Sumter, Moultrie and Johnson.

Object vs. symbol

Philip Middleton, former commander of the SCV’s Fort Sumter Camp, said his group’s stewardship of Castle Pinckney includes keeping people off the island, protecting the nesting birds and what remains of the historic brick fortifications, and cutting back the profuse growth of vegetation each winter.

“We have been very circumspect,” he said. “We’re proud to be completely inoffensive.”

Unfortunately, restoring the old fort and doing more to interpret its history has been cost-prohibitive, Middleton said.

Messages left for four other SCV members in South Carolina went unanswered.

Castle Pinckney’s history cannot be contextualized properly without public access of some kind, said Michael Allen, a former National Park Service park ranger and former member of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. Many people don’t realize they’re looking at a Confederate flag, he added.

A flag, if framed and labeled and hung on the wall of a museum, is merely an object for consideration. Flying it atop a flagpole in the public sphere effectively transforms it into an active symbol, Allen said. The banners, then, are not unlike Confederate monuments. Put a statue in a museum and one can provide the necessary context, he said. Put it on a pedestal in the public square and one is making a political statement, whether intended or not.

“So this raises questions about honoring the past,” he said. “Whose past do we honor, and how?”

Kyle Sinisi, a history professor at The Citadel, said Castle Pinckney is a historic installation and flying banners that had been raised above the fort in the past is appropriate. Fort Sumter also once flew a variety of flags, including Confederate flags, he noted.

Fort Sumter no longer displays Confederate flags of any kind.

“Flags add good context,” he said. “They turn (Shutes Folly) from a sand spit with some ruins on top of it into something that has a story. ... To me, it’s just a great shame that we can’t make it a tourist hot spot. It’s so tantalizing, it is so close and yet so far.”

Dominion Energy lists Sullivan’s Island Sand Dunes Club for sale with $19M offer in hand

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was us...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.

The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

The energy company sought the state Public Service Commission’s permission to sell the property for $19 million to a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital called SDCC Island Resident Club. In February the commission instead required Dominion list the property for sale and solicit bids.

“This simply means that Dominion Energy will need to determine whether other potential buyers exist,” said Rhonda Maree O’Banion, Dominion’s media relations manager.

“After the competitive bidding process is complete, Dominion Energy will report back to the commission and if necessary, update its request for approval to sell the Sand Dunes property,” she added.

The sale to Navarro’s company has been anticipated on Sullivan’s Island, a barrier island with fewer than 2,000 residents where the average home sale price in 2021 was nearly $3.2 million according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

One year ago the town signed an agreement with Navarro’s company that laid out plans to potentially renovate the club and operate it for island residents.

Beemok, the February 2021 agreement says, “desires to purchase the property from its current owner, renovate the clubhouse and operate the club.”

The agreement also says “the town believes a club with membership limited to town residents and property owners” would be desirable if the club were sold.

“That’s what we were expecting was going to happen,” Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said. “Mr. Navarro and his group have worked closely with the town.”

The agreement is non-exclusive and the same conditions apply to the property regardless of who were to buy it, he said.

The agreement says the price of membership in the club would not exceed the cost of operating the club, and the town would get to review confidential financial statements to ensure that provision.

Residents and town property owners could become members, and nonmembers could still use the pool for a fee comparable to what municipal recreation departments charge in Mount Pleasant or on Isle of Palms, the agreement says.

The address is considered a large property that’s most valuable as a potential site for new homes according to an appraisal submitted by Dominion, but the clubhouse is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The property would not be the first iconic Charleston-area locale purchased by Navarro’s companies if his bid is successful. His companies own the Charleston Place hotel, purchased last year for $350 million, and the Credit One Bank Stadium on Daniel Island.

Efforts to reach representatives of Beemok Capital and the company’s public relations firm by phone and email were unsuccessful Friday.

The sale of the property would not change Dominion Energy’s utility rates or pricing according to the company’s Public Service Commission filing.

In 2021 Dominion turned over more than 2,900 acres of property as part of a $165 million tax settlement with the S.C. Department of Revenue, resolving a three-year dispute over taxes owed on parts and materials purchased to build the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, which was not completed. The Sand Dunes Club was not a part of that deal, but other former clubs and retreats in Aiken, Lexington and Georgetown counties were, and some of those will be added to the state’s park system.

Brian Symmes, spokesman for Gov. Henry McMaster’s office, said the state had been interested in the Sand Dunes Club property, but the cost was too high.

“There was interest in it being part of the settlement agreement, but at the end of the day it was just much too expensive,” he said.

The more than 2,900 acres South Carolina acquired, which included the Pine Island Club on Lake Murray, cost the state about $50 million — the amount Dominion’s tax debt was reduced in exchange for those properties. The Sand Dunes Club property, less than 4 acres, would presumably have cost at least the $19 million Beemok Capital has offered, and make for an unusually expensive park purchase.

The tax settlement was a part of the relief provided to ratepayers, shareholders and governments who sued after Dominion’s predecessor SCE&G abruptly ended construction at the V.C. Summer site in 2017.

Sullivan’s Island restaurant opens with fresh fish, ’1970s-inspired’ beachside aesthetic

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood an...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood and beach-themed cocktails Tuesday through Sunday.

The Towills are the owners of design and hospitality firm Basic Projects. Kate, head of design for the Charleston-based company, has led the design of residential and commercial properties, including an athletic club and Basic Projects’ two other restaurants: Basic Kitchen and Post House.

Alongside her husband, Basic Projects head of operations Eva Suarez and other members of the team, Kate led the two-year renovation of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, where she set out to create a 1970s-inspired beachside aesthetic. Her goal was to give the space a fresh look with elements honoring Sullivan’s Seafood, like a framed flag and original menu.

A place that feels new and nostalgic all at once.

“That’s been the biggest compliment that we have received is (people saying) ‘Oh it feels like it’s been here forever,’ ” Kate Towill said.

Leading the kitchen as executive chef is Davis Hood, who grew up on Isle of Palms with his brother Nathan, culinary director of Basic Projects. Hood, who recalls walking by the Middle Street building on his way to Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, is focusing on sustainability at the new Sullivan’s Island restaurant.

Local purveyors like Abundant Seafood, Tarvin Seafood, Lowcountry Oyster Co., Vertical Roots and Peculiar Pig Farm dot the Sullivan’s Fish Camp menu.

“It’s not your average fish camp in my eyes,” Hood said. “The whole concept of snout to tail cooking, we’re trying to bring that vibe but with fish. Understanding that the ocean is such an important part of our lives and not trying to have any waste.”

If there is one dish that epitomizes this approach, it’s the Sullivan’s Island Gumbo that features Tarvin Seafood shrimp, clams, okra, lobster broth, dayboat fish and Anson Mills Charleston Gold Rice. The West African style gumbo’s gluten-free base is made using chicken bones, lobster shells, shrimp shells, fennel, celery, palm oil and Bradford Family Farm okra, which replaces a roux as the stew’s thickening agent.

Ben Towill said the gumbo, along with the pan-roasted fish of the day and tempura nori tuna with furikake aioli have been some of the restaurant’s top sellers in its first weeks of service.

“We feel like the menu’s been received really well,” Ben Towill said. “Guests and everyone have felt really comfortable which has been a big bonus.”

Fresh seafood isn’t the only element that gives Sullivan’s Fish Camp that desired beachside feel. Self-described “fruity” cocktails like the tequila-based Sumter’s Watch, rum-based Sullivan Swizzle and the frozen paloma will immediately put patrons on island time.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and lunch is currently served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The restaurant plans to eventually serve lunch and dinner daily.

For more information, visit sullivansfishcamp.com or call 843-883-2100.

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