Two recent Hilton Head Island stories should be considered together.
The program to fashion Mitchelville into a historic park blooms and wanes -- and blooms again. Consider St. James Baptist Church, founded circa 1870 as an integral part of any Mitchelville park. North America was colonized by Europeans, establishing language, culture and law, and the biggest stain on their souls, collectively as a nation, was slavery. Descendants of Africans forcefully brought to our shores make up 13 percent of the population. The sting of slavery is still dissolving slowly 150 years after it ended.
The time is ripe for Mitchelville, the site of a town for former slaves, to be transformed into a national park site ,similar to Williamsburg, Va. To do this, adjacent land needs reclaiming in order to re-create the era. Make it a national treasure. This certainly fits within the framework of Hilton Head's tourism venue.
The second story was about Hilton Head Island Airport, a very important consideration of any Mitchelville park development. Some contend if we don't construct a mile-long runway, we soon will lose commercial service. All options now on the table leave the alignment aiming at the church like a cannon. Was Beaufort County crass in selecting this alignment or was eminent domain too onerous a consideration?
Cast a new runway, pivoted 20 degrees clockwise, and shoot it out over the marsh.
Bill WolfeHilton Head Island