Hilton Head Island History
1663 - Capt. William Hilton sailed from Barbados, on the Adventure, to explore lands granted by King Charles II to the eight Lords Proprietors. Hilton Head Island takes its name from a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound.
Mainland Connection and Modern Era 1949-1990s
1958 - First deed to a lot in Sea Pines Plantation was signed. Beachfront lots initially sold for $5,350. By 1962, they were selling for $9,600.
1958 - Telephone service was offered by Hargray Telephone Company. The first Hilton Head office did not open until 1960.
1959 - The island's first golf course, the Ocean Course, designed by George Cobb, was built in Sea Pines Plantation.
1960 - The McIntosh family subdivided 360 acres of The Hilton Head Company to start Spanish Wells.
1961 - Port Royal Plantation was developed by Hilton Head Company, led by Fred Hack.
1965 - The Sea Pines Medical Center was built. It was staffed by a retired doctor who lived in Sea Pines but served the entire island community.
1965 - Hilton Head Island had its first rural mail route established.
1967 - Sea Pines Plantation installed the island's first gates. 1967 - The Palmetto Dunes area was acquired from the Hilton Head Agricultural Company by Palmetto Dunes Corporation, headed by William T. Gregory, for $1,000 per acre.
1967 - The Hilton Head Airport opened.
1969 - Harbour Town village was completed. The full-time population of the island was 2,500.
1969 - The first Heritage Golf Classic played at Sea Pines' Harbour Town Links.
1970 - Island Packet newspaper was first published. 1970 - The Hilton Head Company started Shipyard Plantation.
1971 - Sea Pines acquired land on the north end of the island, which was developed into Hilton Head Plantation.
1974 - The swing-bridge was struck by a barge which forced island residents to travel off the island on a pontoon bridge constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The bridge was closed for six weeks.
1975 - The island's full-time population by this time was 6,500. Over 250,000 visitors came to Hilton Head.
1975 - Hilton Head Hospital was completed.
1979 - Hurricane David missed the island, but high winds left beach eroded and destroyed several Singleton Beach homes.
1982 - A four-lane bridge was built to replace the two-lane swing-bridge to the island. The island's full-time population was 12,500.
More than 500,000 visitors came to Hilton Head in 1982. 1982 - Wexford Plantation and Long Cove Club were developed. 1983 - The Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a municipality.
1985 - Hilton Head's Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the town council. The population was over 17,000 full-time residents.
1987 - The town council passed the Land Management Ordinance of the Town of Hilton Head Island.
1989 - The Cross-Island Parkway project was approved. The Parkway's bridge spans Broad Creek and links the south end of the island to the north end. 1995 - The permanent year-round population exceeded 28,000 people. The island had over 1.5 million visitors.
1995 - Construction on the Cross-Island Parkway began.
1996 - The Master Land Use Plan for Ward One was started by the Town.
1997 - Cross Island Parkway opened in January. The total cost was $81 million for construction, land acquisition and planning.
1997-2008 - The town has borrowed more than $78 million over the past 13 years to buy land across the island. Since the early 1990s, it has spent almost $150 million to buy a total of 1,717 acres. Land under the town’s control represents 5 percent of all developable land within the town limits, and 19 percent of all developable land outside gated communities.