Hunting Island Timeline



Hunting Island Lighthouse1940-1941—Records show that the public was starting to use Hunting Island for recreational purposes: 1387 cars and 5717 people visited the island from July 1940 until June 1941. It was brought to a halt by the outbreak of World War II

1942—In April 1942, the US entered World War II, and the CCC halted its work on Hunting Island. Except for the causeway, most structures built by the CCC have been destroyed by hurricanes and erosion.

April 15, 1942— the Army Air Corps began using the lighthouse as a radio station. In November, the Coast Guard took over the island to protect the coastline. The park remained closed to the public until the end of the war.

1947—DDT was used during World War II to eliminate malarial mosquitoes at battle sites. Although areas of malaria in the US had been greatly reduced since the 1800s, the coastal south was still heavily infected. Beginning July 1, 1947, DDT was applied to eliminate malaria in the US south and by 1949, the country was declared free of malaria. This made places like Hunting Island much more hospitable. However, DDT was a double-edged sword. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring publicized the effects DDT had on wildlife, especially birds, whose shells became too thin to support the parent’s weight. By 1972 it was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency and many bird populations rebounded. 

1950s—Electricity was run to the island and construction resumed. Bathhouses were constructed at the north end for African-Americans and at the center for White-Americans.

1966—Facilities at Hunting Island remained segregated until July 1966, when all South Carolina State Parks were desegregated after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1962—The beach receded 100 feet during winter storms.

1967—The South Carolina Forestry Commission transferred ownership of the island to the newly formed Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

1993—Friends of Hunting Island was formed as a non-profit organization to support the work done at Hunting Island State Park.

1993—Vietnam War scenes in Forrest Gump filmed on Hunting Island

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Site LogoHelp us keep Hunting Island State Park a special place

We need only two things to provide the services and projects you see described on this website: your participation and your tax-deductible membership fees. For one $40 membership contribution, you and your family can join Friends of Hunting Island and have unlimited access to the park for one year. All members are encouraged to participate in any of our on-going projects. If you do not wish to join, but want to donate to our efforts, click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Hunting Island.