A favorite among South Carolina’s state parks, Huntington’s 2,500 acres combine a pristine beach, beautiful birds, picturesque boardwalk over a salt marsh, and history. Could a park offer more reasons to attract visitors?
We started by observing the birds off the causeway and overlook. There was such a variety: white pelicans, gray pelicans, great egrets, snow egrets, herons, storks etc. It was so much fun watching the pelicans fly and dive in formation and observing the egrets catching fish.
Next we visited Atalaya. It was the winter home of scholar Archer Huntington and his sculptor wife Anna. Its construction started in 1931, a year after Archer purchased what is now the state park and Brookgreen gardens. The building’s architecture is Moorish. It’s a square design consisting of 30 rooms centered by a 40ft tower tank where artesian water was pumped. The tower’s height allowed enough pressure for water to flow to the house. Mr. Huntington made sure that his wife’s quarters included an indoor and outdoor studio where she sculpted as well as a dog kennel, a bear den and horses stables. I loved the inner open courtyards in the center as well as the green grill work designed Mrs. Huntington. Can you imagine living a few feet from the ocean in this opulent space? I wish I could have visited it in its prime. After his death in 1955, Anna Hyatt Huntington moved the furnishing to their home in New York City but her studio was moved across the street to Brookgreen. The land was leased to the state by the Brookgreen trustees in 1960. Mrs. Huntington died in Connecticut in 1973.
Birds and Boardwalk