Preserving Folly's History

Discover Folly Beach's vibrant past, a tale of war, pirates, surfing, tourism and community, through our collection of artifacts, photographs, documents and personal stories. Explore and contribute!

what we do:

We are dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying the rich history of Folly Beach, SC. and are always looking for artifacts, photographs, documents and other items to add to our archives. Please let us know if you have something to share or know of someone who does. We are also looking for folks who have lived on, worked on or visited Folly who would like to tell their "Folly Beach Story" on video. Our collection is partially displayed at the museum at the Community Center on Center Street and is the process of being digitized to be available on this site. Volunteers are encouraged to help with this digitization process and your tax-deductible donations are always appreciated!

Current Projects

Building Fund

We are currently working with the city to expand the Folly Beach Community Center to house our museum. The annex will be used for rotating exhibits highlighting different aspects of Folly Beach History. Please consider a donation to help with this project!

We collect, preserve and digitize documents, photographs, maps, artifacts etc. for use in specific displays and to be accessible on this website in the future. Please consider donating or lending to our archives!

Archival Preservation
Exhibits

Currently on exhibit in the Folly Beach Community Center is a look at a Folly Beach History timeline with photographs, posters and artifacts. When the museum space expands, rotating exhibits will highlight different aspects of Folly Beach History.

Folly Beach Stories

We are archiving the "Folly Beach Stories" of those who've lived on, worked on or visited Folly. In the new museum space we will have a listening station and also have the stories available online. Let us know if you or someone you know would like to record a story!

Digitization Project

We are looking for volunteers to help us digitize our collection. We will be working with other clubs and groups on Folly to preserve this special history but you can also help from afar by uploading and sending us digitized photos or other Folly Beach related items! Thank you!

silver iMac near iPhone on brown wooden table
silver iMac near iPhone on brown wooden table
Media & Communication

The Society is always open to media inquiries and opportunities to get the word out to interested groups and the general public. Please contact us for more information!

From our collections...

Center Street June 1952

Marlene & Marvin Estridge 1952

Flooding on Center Street March 1961

Snow on Center Street 1973

June Lockwood at Folly Drug Sundries

Earl Johnson (owner of carnival)

Folly Beach Library 1960's. Included in photo: Marcia Smith, Warren Bresnihan, Dorothy Sealy, Roger Bresnihan, Docky Bresnihan, Jeanne Smith, Robert Barber, Doreen Bresnihan, Sandra Smith

Matches from Sandbar Restaurant

Preparing for Hurricane Floyd 1999

Postcard

Morgan's Red Barn circa late 1960's

Carter's Barbershop circa 2000

Island Living 1992

Washout after Hurricane Hugo 1989

Zoning map 1966

City Hall circa 1995

Civil War cannon balls found after Hurricane Matthew 2016 Photo: Airman 1st Class Sean Carnes, USAF

Folly Beach "Float Frenzy" 1996

Radio card for William Cooper 1962

Sections from Folly Beach Civic Club "Birthday Calendar" 1969.

First Sandspur, February 1978. Courtesy FB Civic Club

OUR COLLECTIVE STORY

Folly Beach Stories!

We've talked with some of our past and present residents to hear their stories...here's a sample of a few of them. Come back often as we add more!

2016: Mayor Tim Goodwin remembers Songwriter/Musician Rick Huff...

2016: Frank Adams talks about Tiny's, and other stores where Bert's is now...

2016: Jackie Morphesis remembers her childhood on Folly...

2016: LaJuan Kennedy remembers Jesse Parker, "heading shrimp" and dynamite fishing!

More "stories" will be added periodically, check back often! Also, please contact us if you have a story to share -- we'd love to hear it!

2016: Marty Morganello remembers the sad day a surfer was lost at Folly...

2023: Mary Rhodes remembers children playing with airplane tire...

2023: Rhodes family reminiscences...

2016: Chase Mitchum and Wit Abdo talk about a ceremonial relighting of the Morris Island Lighthouse...

2016: Former Civic Club President Chris Lewis and former Sandspur editor Anna Lewis discuss the club and a bit of Sandspur history...

Postcards from the collection of the Boston Public Library:

War comes to Folly Island...

Section Coming Soon!!

Folly Beach contributed in many ways to the war efforts from the American Revolution to the Civil War to World War II. In 1863-65 Folly was home to the African-American regiments, the Massachusetts 54th and 55th, and other Union troops. During the second world war soldiers on horseback patrolled the shores watching for German U-boats off the coast. As in most communities in the US, Folly has contributed soldiers, sailors, airmen and support over the years in defense of our country.

Library of Congress

Gen. Gilmore's HQ Folly Island 1863

Surfing on Folly Beach

Section Coming Soon!

The surf on Folly Beach is some of the best in the Southeast...and surfing has a rich tradition on the island. McKevlin's surf shop opened in 1965 and Folly hosts the Wahine Classic, the Ice Box Open (started by Ocean Surf Shop), and other events sponsored by Surfers Healing and the Warrior Surf Project.

History of the Folly Beach pier!

Section coming soon!

Hurricanes: defining moments for Folly, her beaches and her people...

Section coming soon!

Pirates, rumrunners and criminals...

From Blackbeard to brutal murderers, Folly has had it's share of the not-so-virtuous! A colorful past, to say the least...

Section coming soon!

You didn’t come this far to stop...

Links!

Here are some links to places to find bits of Folly History:

Charleston Museum: https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/research/collection/

Use this link to get to the photograph collections. Most relevant to Folly are the "Beaches and Islands" and "Morton Brailsford Paine Photographs" (scroll through to Folly Beach, about page 11).

SC Historical Society: https://schistory.org/archives/start-research/

A good index of what is available, search "Folly".

Low Country Digital Library: https://lcdl.library.cofc.edu/

You can search on main page, try just Folly to get Folly Beach and Folly Island. There is a good interview with former Folly resident Susan Breslin as well as some old photographs.

City of Folly Beach: https://cityoffollybeach.com/

Folly Beach Civic Club: https://follycivicclub.org/

The Folly Beach Historical Society Board:

Tim Goodwin, Charlotte Goodwin, Lee Gessner, Wes Graham, Nancy Moore, Katherine Houghton, Anderson Still, Regina Anderson, Dennis Ashley

We'd love to have you join us!

VOLUNTEER!

Volunteers are needed in the following areas:

Interviewers: Using FBHS camera, interview subjects for "Folly Stories.

Acquition outreach: Visit people willing to share their photographs, artifacts, etc. and arrange for a donation or loan.

Filing/Cataloguing: Go through the collection, organize and file, enter into digital catalogue.

Scanning/Cataloguing: Scan items in collection, enter into digital catalogue.

Promotions: Help write and produce promtional materials, advertising.

Fundraising: Create and implement fundraising ideas, help write grants and appeals.

Exhibitions; Help design exhibits for both website and museum.

Get in Touch

For inquiries, donations, or collaborations, please reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you!