When we arrived in Bluffton in 1972 our little village was a mostly agrarian community. There were big farms all around us that grew many kinds of vegetables. Stoney Crest Campground was a daffodil farm, and every spring it was a gorgeous sight. The daffodils were picked and shipped by train to large cities in the North.
The Ulmer family had many acres of farm near Buckingham Landing. They grew beans, squash, tomatoes and lots of other wonderful vegetables we were allowed to pick at certain times. Bubba Crosby had a large farming operation, too, and in the fall we picked pumpkins that he grew on land near where Home Depot now sits.
We lived at Buckingham Landing then, and in the winter there were many oystermen who would pole their bateaux past our house in the early morning and return laden with piles of oysters as the sun was setting. The oystermen "poled" their boats because they worked the oyster beds when the tide was low so motors were of no use. That was a very hard and demanding life for them, and I think that is why not many are willing to do this now. The oysters were taken to Mr. Toomer's oyster factory at the landing down the street and off-loaded there onto large trucks. Then they were whisked off to market.
Migrant workers arrived at these area farms by the hundreds at vegetable picking time. They would work the fields and pick all day for about two or three weeks until the season was over, and then -- as if by magic -- disappear upcountry to the next vegetable crop. There are farms near Beaufort that grow crops, tomatoes, cucumbers and melons that still are picked and shipped to other parts of the country.
Never miss a local story.
David and Agnes Pinckney and their family had a dairy farm on Pinckney Colony Road. The cows had to be milked every morning at a very early hour. I remember many times at Tommy and Clare Heyward's parties David saying to Agnes "Come on, girl, we got to go. I have to get up at 5." Then after a few minutes, they would hop on David's motorcycle and tool off to the farm.
The dairy farm is no more and maybe that is a good thing. It appears as though America has fallen in love with milk from other sources. So long, cows; hello, soy, almond and coconut milk.
I was looking at all of the products in the dairy case and it is mind boggling. There are all sorts of high protein drinks and "milk" products. Our love affair with Bessie seems to be waning. David can stay up later now and sleep longer, but I bet he doesn't.
All of us who remember what Bluffton was like miss so many of the good times we all had together and look forward to what the future brings to our speck on Earth.
In the early part of the 20th century in the South, people held "tacky" parties where everyone had to dress in the most unfashionable way they could think of. They sure would be surprised to find out that nowadays, as Cole Porter penned, "anything goes."
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.