Coffin Point Plantation is a historic plantation house located off of Coffin Point Road. Once a prosperous sea island plantation, it’s estimated that the home was built around 1801, and like many early 19th century homes on Family Island it features a tabby foundation. Coffin Point has a very nice private beach area and everybody loves the visually striking 1/2 mile long ‘Avenue of Oaks’ that leads to the plantation house. Adding a mystique to the area, Beaufort’s purported witch doctor Sheriff J.E. McTeer purchased the land in the 1950s and lived in the house, no doubt bringing his hoodoo magic with him.
This little swath of quiet, out of the way beach is a favorite among the locals. Located several miles down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on St. Helena Island adjacent to historic Fort Fremont you may (or may not) find Land’s End Beach. A great spot to swim, fish or gather in the Beaufort sun, it’s a quiet spot only accessible by one road, or by climbing down a rock embankment leading from the grounds of the Fort. Any given day will bring you a few locals, a few surf fisherman and a few out-of-towners who were lucky enough to stumble upon it. It always brings plenty of peace.
When you’re traveling to the southern end of the island you’ll find the Gay Fish Company and its fleet of shrimp boats docked in the windy creeks that cut through the pristine marshes. The quintessential Lowcountry sight to see, sometimes you’ll even catch them coming in or going out for the day.
Hidden in plain sight are three remarkable buildings that bear witness to a history of faith and self reliance. Built from wood, no more than 20 feet by 20 feet, the small frame houses are simple structures. Originally built during the pre Civil War era by plantation owners as a place of segregated worship, the praise houses became central points in the community in the ensuing years, as places of worship, but also a meeting places and even as self governing “court houses” for the self reliant African American community on St. Helena Island. As most relied on walking or riding to get anywhere on the island, having a community meeting place close to home was important. In 1932 there were twenty five praise houses on the island. There are only three known remaining praise houses on the island today: the Mary Jenkins and the Croft Plantation praise houses, both on Eddings Point Road, and the Coffin Point praise house on Coffin Point Road.
The St. Helena Prayer Chapel along Sea Island Parkway has been called “the littlest church in the Lowcountry.” The sign out front asks motorists to simply ‘pray as you pass’. The spot certainly shows off the character of the island and lets you see that the church and faith in daily life played a vital role in the building and shaping of St. Helena.