Daufuskie Island was occupied by native Indians prior to the arrival of European explorers in the 16th Century. Islanders sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. Plantations covered the island prior to the Civil War when they were occupied by Union soldiers. Freed slaves then occupied the island and grew cotton until fields were ruined by the boll weevil. Canning for the famous Daufuskie Island Oysters ended when local oyster beds were closed in 1951 due to pollution from the Savannah River.
Electricity came to the island in 1953 and telephones in 1972; however, with few opportunities for work, the population shrank to less than a hundred people, leaving a legacy of rich Gullah history. In the 1980s, tracts of land facing the Atlantic Ocean were purchased, development began and the island was rediscovered as an historic treasure.
Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation