A new video shows viewers a Lowcountry maritime tradition that hasn't changed in more than a century.
The video, with sweeping views from high above the May River, puts a spotlight on traditional oyster farming with the Bluffton Oyster Company, reported to be the last hand-shucking oyster house in South Carolina.
"Basically what we're doing now is the exact same methods that were done back in the early 1900s when there were 25 or 30 almost identical places doing the same thing," the business' owner Larry Toomer, also Bluffton's mayor pro tempore, says.
The video shows baskets of shrimp being unloaded from a larger boat and oysters being shoveled from smaller boats that leave the dock every day just before low tide.
Oyster shuckers work at a long white table opening the oysters that come in.
"A lot of the workers we have working now worked for my father and my grandfather, and some of their kids are actually working now," Toomer explains. "The May River has fed and provided a source of income for thousands through the years."
The Bluffton Oyster Company is located in an iconic building on Wharf Street at Oyster Factory Park in Old Town.
"A lot of people sold their property. A lot of people built marinas and just did things that are a lot easier to make money than bogging in the mud harvesting oysters and dealing with mother nature," Toomer says. "But I guess I'm just a chip off the old block, or whatever, because I want to keep it alive.
"The river is like my life. That's my office."
Charlie Clark, vice president of communications for the chamber, said three videos were produced with the travel website that has a substantial social media following, especially among millennials looking for unique travel experiences.
A second video is titled "Experience Bluffton in 60 Seconds" and shows scenes from Old Town shops, the Bluffton Farmers Market, a paddleboarder on the May River and landmarks like Church of the Cross, among others.
Clark explained about the video series: "It allows us to shine the spotlight on amazing hidden gems that a traveler might not normally know about."