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History

A small jewel along the Carolina coast, Fripp Island has been shaped by the ebb and flow of tides, the fortunes of developers, and fluctuations in the residential community. With a three mile beach, the island claims only two square miles above sea level. For most of its history it has stood in the shadow of its much larger neighbors, St. Helena and Hilton Head Islands. During the early 18th century Fripp was owned by Sarah Harriet Reynolds, who inherited it from her father along with a large plantation on St. Helena Island. Soon after her marriage to William Fripp in 1820, the island became know as Fripp’s Island and served as a hunting preserve.

Centuries of isolation ended in 1960 when Jack Kilgore discovered Fripp and envisioned the possibility of a premier private island community and resort. Raising funds to buy the island and build the bridge were formidable tasks. Since the bridge opened in 1963, there have been six developers who have owned the resort, and each has left an imprint. One built the bike paths and Olympic pool, another increased the number of condominiums, and another developed the second golf course and the Cabana area. Although living units now number around 2,000, the 1970s and 1990s slogans “Fripp Island: Another World, Not Another Resort” and “Seaside Simplicity” continue to describe Fripp. From June to August the island is filled to capacity. However, when schools resume, the crowds diminish. A peaceful quiet returns.

Amidst much change the two constants in the island’s history have been the beauty of its natural setting and its residents who share their time and talents to create a special community. The Fripp Island Property Owners Association incorporated in 1976 has played a crucial role in caring for the bridges and roads and insuring that the island is a safe and attractive place. Additionally, the Fripp Island Community Centre with its chapel and large fellowship hall provides a place for worship, memorial services, weddings, concerts, club meetings, yoga, various exercise classes, duplicate bridge, and social gatherings. With a gently sloping white sandy beach, mighty oaks, palms, pines, vast marshes with meandering tidal creeks, an abundance of wild life, and dedicated property owners, Fripp captivates both residents and visitors.

Amenities are owned and operated by Fripp Island Golf and Beach Resort. A Club Card is required for all guests.