Have you ever driven down a road in the Lowcountry and wondered where the name came from?
Some road names, like Leg O Mutton Road on Hilton Head Island, have origins shrouded in mystery.
Despite making many attempts to track down the history of that road name, it seems that no one was really sure as to where it came from.
Many of the roads were named after local plantations, politicians, conquistadors or were influenced by local culture, said Linda Piekut, executive director at the Heritage Library Foundation.
Some, usually the more unique ones, are even named after local characters.
Most importantly, our road names tell the history of our area.
For example, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on St. Helena is not an uncommon road name. But it holds a special significance to the Lowcountry. That road is where the Penn Center is, which is where Martin Luther King Jr. frequently visited and wrote most of his famous, “I have a dream” speech.
Ribaut Road in Beaufort, which is one of the more commonly mispronounced street names in Beaufort County, was named for the French explorer Jean Ribaut, who established a settlement on Parris Island in the 1560s.
Deallyon Avenue on Hilton Head, while spelled differently, was named for the Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, who claimed Hilton Head Island for the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church in the 1520s, according to an article written by Rev. Robert E.H. Peeples in 1974.
So the next time you’re driving in Beaufort County, take a minute to appreciate the history that lent its name to the road you are on.
Delayna Earley: 843-706-8151