Test your knowledge of Daniel Island history!
The most recent question for the Daniel Island Historical Society’s “What do you know?” history trivia contest was challenging. Thanks to all who participated. Unfortunately, we had no winners. Here is the question that was in the May 18 edition of The Daniel Island News, as well as the correct answer:
Question: What industry/building used to be located on Raven’s Creek (Raven’s Creek is between Barfield Park and the Sales Center - the boardwalk crosses over it)? Hint: There is a historical marker there.
Answer: The Raven Creek’s location on the Wando River made it a desirable spot for industrial activities. It was navigable at low tides which was ideal for several landings that were built for the use of the movement of goods and supplies. The main focus of the creek was the mill, which was originally called the “Daniel Island Mill.” It was run by John Sanders until it was foreclosed after only a few months. Maurice Simons took over the ownership of the mill and it was renamed “Simon’s Rice Mill.” The mill was located near the mouth of the creek.
In 1815, The Charleston Times newspaper stated that “the tract contains an excellent Mill Pond, (and) is said to be one of the most valuable seats for a mill in this state and has on it a large Machine for pounding rice.”
Water was used to power the mill to pound the rough rice. This type of mill was introduced into South Carolina by an Englishman, John Lucas. By 1797, Lucas had built 25 water-powered rice mills along the coast of South Carolina. John Drayton, in his 1802 book “A View of South-Carolina, As Respects Her Natural and Civil Concern,” would explain how a water-powered mill worked: “ The rice field banks, in this case, form reservoirs (or ponds) for the mills; into which the floodtide is introduced, through locks or flood gates, which that of themselves with the turn of the tide. And as soon as the ebb tide has made about two or three hours, the mill commences its operations and works until a quarter flood or more.”
The mill would operate from 1813 until 1822 when it was severely damaged by a hurricane. It would not be rebuilt because technology had changed to “steam power” therefore eliminating the need to locate the mills along the water.
Daniel Island Historical Society’s “What Do You Know” Trivia contest is going to be on hiatus for the summer. To keep up to date on their events, please “like” the Daniel Island Historical Society Facebook page or visit their website at www.dihistoricalsociety.com.
(Sources: “Daniel Island” by Michael K. Dahlman and Michael K. Dahlman Jr., Brockington and Associates, Archaeology Reports for Daniel Island and “Home UpRiver, Rural Life on Daniel’s Island, Berkeley County South Carolina” by Martha A. Zierden, Lesley M. Drucker and Jeanne Calhoun.)