Trademark Attorney in James Island SC
If you are a successful business owner, protecting your intellectual property rights is one of the most important steps that you can take to safeguard your company. Often, hiring a trademark attorney in James Island to register a trademark is an arduous process that results in outrageous hourly fees and complicated paperwork.
At Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the trademark registration process as straightforward and cost-effective as possible, so that you can focus on growing your business while we take the necessary steps to protect what you have worked so hard to build.
Unlike other law firms, Sausser Summers, PC provides flat fee trademark services at an affordable price. Our goal is to eliminate the uncertainty that comes with hourly work, so you know exactly how much your total expenses will be at the outset of our relationship.
With a BBB A+ rating, we are consistently ranked as one of the top trademark law firms in the U.S. We aim to provide you with the same five-star service that you would receive from large firms, with a modern twist at a rate that won’t break the bank.
How Sausser Summers, PC Flat Fee Trademark Service Works
Our flat fee trademark process is simple, streamlined, and consists of three steps:
1. Choose your trademark service and provide us with information about your trademark through our online questionnaire. Once this is complete, you will pay the flat fee for us to move forward.
2. Our trademark lawyers in James Island will conduct an extensive search to make sure you are in the clear to register your trademark. Once our search has concluded, we will send you a legal opinion letter informing you of our search results.
3. Our trademark attorneys will file your trademark and provide updates throughout the registration process.
Our three-step process lets you:
• Work one-on-one with an experienced trademark attorney in James Island who will consult with you at your convenience.
• Save your hard-earned money with our flat fee trademark services.
• Gain access to a licensed trademark attorney who will file your trademark application.
• Get updates on your trademark application as it moves through the registration process.
• Focus on running your business while Sausser Summers, PC handles the hard work. No headaches, no hidden fees, no tricks.
Trademark Services at a Glance
Whether you need help maintaining your current trademark or require assistance canceling an abandoned mark, Sausser Summers, PC is here to help. Here are just a few of the trademark services that we provide to clients:
Comprehensive Trademark Search – For many entrepreneurs, this is the first and most crucial step to take when it’s time to safeguard your business and intellectual property. Your trademark attorney in James Island will conduct a thorough search of the USPTO Federal Trademark Database and each U.S state’s trademark database. We will also perform a trademark domain name search and a trademark common law search on your behalf. We will follow up with a 30-minute phone call, where we will discuss the results of our trademark search and send you a drafted legal opinion letter.
U.S. Trademark Filing – Once your trademark lawyer in James Island has completed a comprehensive trademark search, the next step is to file a trademark application. We will submit your application within 1-3 business days and keep you updated on its USPTO status throughout the registration process.
U.S Trademark Office Actions – These actions are essentially initial rejections of your trademark by the USPTO. Applicants have six months in which to respond to this rejection. For a flat fee, your trademark lawyer from Sausser Summers, PC will compose a response on your behalf so that you may continue to focus on your day-to-day business tasks.
U.S Trademark Renewal – If you already own a trademark, Sausser Summers, PC will renew your registered trademark so that it remains current. Extended protection varies depending on how long you have held your trademark. We encourage you to visit our U.S Trademark Renewal page to find out which renewal service best fits your current situation.
U.S. Trademark Cease & Desist – Whether you have been accused of infringing on someone’s trademark and received a cease and desist letter or have found an infringer on your own mark, it is imperative that you respond. If you have received a letter and do not respond, you might be sued. If you find an infringer and do not demand that they stop, you may lose your trademark rights. To discuss the best course of action for your situation, we recommend you contact Sausser Summers, PC, for a risk-free consultation at no additional cost. Once you speak directly to one of our attorneys, we will send your cease and desist letter or respond to the one you have received for an affordable flat fee.
Statement of Use – If you plan on using your mark in commerce, you must file a Statement of Use to notify the USPTO. This filing must take place six months after you receive your Notice of Allowance. For an affordable flat-rate fee, your trademark attorney in James Island will make any requisite filings on your behalf. Before you decide on a course of action, we encourage you to contact our office at (843) 654-0078 to speak with one of our attorneys. This consultation will help us get a better understanding of your situation and is always free and confidential.
Additional U.S Trademark Attorney Services
In addition to the services listed above, we also help our clients enforce their trademarks, monitor trademark filings, and even help protect business owners from trademark infringement on platforms like Amazon and Etsy.
Have questions about our flat-fee trademark services? It would be our pleasure to speak with you at your earliest convenience, so that you can preserve the one asset that sets you apart from everyone else: your name.
Assessing the potential impact of new urban development on flooding
The City of Charleston, South Carolina, is currently considering approval of two proposed urban developments on James Island. The proposed Central Park development would involve the conversion of 10.35 acres of woods and wetlands, including grand oak trees and dense undergrowth, into 38 single-family lots. The proposed Riverland Oaks development would involve the conversion of 28.6 acres of woods with grassed areas and pockets of dense vegetation into 146 single-family townhomes. Due to the timing of submission of the stormwater management plans for the two
developments, the Central Park development is being evaluated under the older Stormwater Design Standards Manual (2013), while the Riverland Oaks Development is being evaluated under the newer Stormwater Design Standards Manual, which became effective on July 1, 2020.
The communities adjacent to these proposed developments already experience significant flooding on a routine basis, and citizen activists have been able to show that the existing drainage system is inadequate under current conditions. The community is concerned about the impact that the destruction of these wood and wetland habitats to create more impervious surfaces will have on their properties. The goal of this project is to determine whether the stormwater management plans for the proposed Central Park and Riverland Oaks developments are consistent with the respective stormwater manuals under which they are being evaluated.
For a brief introduction to the situation in James Island from the perspective of a local resident, click here.
- 11/16/17: Live5 News story “James Island subdivision gets preliminary approval in flood-prone area“
- 7/7/18: Live5 News story “James Island residents deal with several feet of flooding after Saturday storms“
- 7/21/18: Live5 News story “James Island neighborhood sees critical flooding after SCDOT attempts improvements“
- 7/30/18: Post and Courier op-ed “Who in Charleston deserves to suffer from flooding crisis?“
- 6/24/19: Live5 News story “James Island residents concerned about proposed Central Park Cluster development“
- 12/25/19: Live5 New story “Thousands of gallons of wastewater flow into James Island Creek during heavy rainfall“
- 1/22/20: Live5 News story “James Island residents ask for federal help after concerns over James Island Creek
- 1/30/20: Live5 News story “Municipalities agree to work together to improve water quality at James Island Creek“
- 6/29/20: Post and Courier article “Environmental challenges reemerge for Charleston development once hailed as green“
- 7/6/20: Live5 New story “High bacteria levels found in Lowcountry waterways“
Since first meeting with Thriving Earth Exchange in April 2020, the James Island team has grown to encompass residents living near both the Central Park cluster and the Riverland Oaks cluster. Together, residents have worked together and with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League to commission a report by an external stormwater expert, Dr. Steve Emerman, about the state of the current stormwater system and its ability to accommodate further development. The report is available here and at the bottom of this page.
Residents are also working hard to ensure that their local politicians read and respond to the report. Their ask is simple: fix the current flooding before allowing any more development on James Island.
- 5/12/20: Live5 News story “James Island neighbors waiting for flooding solutions“
- 8/12/20: Dr. Emerman testifies at the Charleston Drainage Council meeting. His testimony is linked at the bottom of this page.
- 8/17/20: “There has to be a better way to handle flooding on James Island“, an op-ed by concerned residents, is published in the Post and Courier.
- 8/18/20: Thriving Earth Exchange and the Anthropocene Alliance co-hosted a community webinar and Q&A in which Dr. Emerman shared the key points of his study with residents from across James Island.
- 8/23/20 Dr. Emerman responds to a Post and Courier article about making development improve drainage.
- 8/30/20 Dr. Emerman’s op-ed “Why development has not improved drainage in Charleston” is published in the Post and Courier.
- 9/5/20 Dr. Emerman speaks with the Charleston city council about development and flooding on James Island
- 9/6/20 Dr. Emerman’s letter to Mayor Tecklenburg following a meeting with the Director of the Department of Stormwater Management
- 9/7/20 Post and Courier article “James Island residents concerned new subdivisions would increase flooding in neighborhood“
- 9/8/20 City Council meeting in which 14 residents provided comments asking the City of Charleston to hold off on permitting any new development until stormwater drainage improvements are implemented.
- 9/13/20 Dr. Emerman’s letter to Kristy Ellenberg at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control regarding a meeting held Sep. 10.
Franny Henty is a long-time resident of James Island (20+ years) and is a mother and a grandmother. As a local realtor, she is intimately familiar with James Island and its people, and is committed to protecting the island for both her clients and her grandchildren. Franny has personally experienced flooding and its associated costs, and is concerned as a realtor about the constant and increasing threat to both long-time residents and new arrivals. She dreams of the day when yards and living rooms don’t flood and one can safely fish and kayak in the many streams and channels on James Island.
Susan Milliken is a community activist who is passionate about protecting and preserving the sea islands of Charleston County, SC. A resident of James Island for over 22 years, Susan and concerned residents founded “Save Harbor View Road” in the early 2000’s when trees and greenspace were threatened by a county road widening project. After success in convincing Charleston County to redesign the project to save trees and greenspace, “Save James Island” was organized as a small group on Facebook concerned about the massive over development of James Island. Now some 10 years later, “Save James Island” has grown to over 4,500+ local residents who are focused on taking action when poorly planned development proposals threaten our trees, greenspace, creeks, rivers, marshes, native wildlife, flora and fauna on our unique Low Country island. A former Texas attorney, Susan spends most of her time now advocating for South Carolina municipalities to adopt better development practices with the help of local residents through “Save James Island”.
Jimmy Mazyck is a James Island native and a retired firefighter who has lived in Laurel Park for 21 years. In order to save his neighbors and himself, he has been cleaning ditches and pipes on a volunteer basis for years. Nevertheless, his entire home floods several times per year. He is the lone member of the James Island ditch patrol, and has contributed enormously to documenting the poor state of stormwater infrastructure on James Island.
Theodosia Wade has been a member of the Laurel Park subdivision on James Island since 2010 and is an Emeritus Professor of Pedagogy in Biology at the Oxford College of Emory University. As someone who has taught environmental science for over 20 years,she is concerned about the flooding in her neighborhood, as well as the resulting septic system failures, which threaten not just residents but also all the leisure opportunities visitors come to James Island for. Who wants to kayak on a creek that reeks of sewage, or risk being stranded when roads overflow?
Julie Hallman is a local real estate agent and a 10-year resident of the Woodland Shores community. She has long been concerned about the over-development of James Island and has experienced local flooding as a result of new construction in her area. Julie believes that when you take away all the things that make a place special, you risk ruining the community itself.
Dr. Steven H. Emerman has a B.S. in Mathematics from The Ohio State University, M.A. in Geophysics from Princeton University, and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Cornell University. Dr. Steve Emerman has 31 years of experience teaching hydrology and geophysics and has 66 peer-reviewed publications in these areas. Dr. Emerman is the owner of Malach Consulting, which specializes in hydrologic modeling, especially related to forestry, mining and urban development.
Dr. Kirstie Dobbs received her PhD from the Political Science Department at Loyola University Chicago and her BA in International Studies and French at Butler University. She is currently a full-time lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at Merrimack College, where she teaches in the Early College Program. Working at the intersection of both Comparative and International Politics, she analyzes political behavior in transitioning democracies. Her broad objective as a scholar is to empower young people and their communities to act as powerful agents of change. She bridges this commitment with her research by working with the public to create new opportunities for collaborative engagement on resolving local and global issues.
Anthropocene Alliance (Aa) is a Florida-based nonprofit that builds grassroots coalitions in communities impacted by climate change and environmental abuse. We provide support and training to community leaders, and connect them to the government agencies, nonprofit programs and pro bono professionals that can help them. We help them rally, protest, and organize to stop flooding, mitigate global warming, and end environmental injustice.
Our core initiative, Higher Ground, is the largest flood survivor network in the country. The network is composed of 51 member-chapters from 20 states plus Puerto Rico, serving a total of 500,000 flood survivors and their neighbors.
Save James Island opposes the massive development occurring on James Island that threatens our island’s character, history, beauty, wildlife, and quality of life.
We work with the James Island community to Preserve and protect the green spaces, trees, waterways and marshes of James Island; advocate for appropriate zoning, infrastructure improvements, storm water management, and building design standards tailored to our unique community; and advocate for a bike and pedestrian-friendly James Island, with increased public transportation and affordable housing options for residents.
We also support local businesses. Please join us in doing so.
James Island Report by Dr. Emerman Download
James Island Drainage Council Testimony Download
Dr. Emerman response to Aug 10 Stormwater Mgmt Director letter Download
Dr. Emerman response to Aug 23 Post and Courier op-ed Download
Dr. Emerman letter to Mayor Tecklenburg Sept 6 Download
Dr. Emerman letter to SCDHEC Sept 13 Download
Top 25 most popular James Island Bugle articles of 2017
Last year on December 28, the James Island Bugle went live when I accidentally pushed the wrong button. I had meant to start us up on January 1st! Oh, well.
2017 was an interesting year for me, personally, having this very all-encompassing “hobby” become a major part of my life. Initially I was intent on having a new article on every weekday, and almost blew a fuse after a couple of months of spending every free minute on the Bugle. Then I remembered: this is supposed to be fun! And so I dialed it back and made the decision to write articles when I wanted, to edit and post articles as they came to me, and to work hardest on keeping our Events and James Island in the News pages on the website and the Facebook page full of up-to-date information on James Island.
And I HAVE had fun. I’ve met so many amazing people, seen parts of James Island I wasn’t even aware of prior to the Bugle, and learned to relax and enjoy the ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too.
So the first year of the James Island Bugle is almost over, and below are the top 25 most viewed articles since we got started. I have to thank all of the writers who contributed their time and energy this year: Gretchen Stringer-Robinson, Rick Stringer, Kathy Woolsey, Liz McCafferty, Thomas Ambrose Bierce, Susan W. Pidgeon, Shawn Halifax, Katie Dahlheim, Garrett Milliken, Henry Horres, Nancy Hadley, Paul Hedden, Becca Savage Lovett, Gary Davis, and Gary L. Dyson. Thanks to Henry Horres for contributing multiple poems – really, the ONLY poetry that anyone contributed! I especially want to give bear hugs to Gretchen Stringer-Robinson, Rick Stringer, Liz McCafferty, Susan Pidgeon, and Nancy Hadley for contributing multiple articles in our first year. Rock stars, all of you!
A very important addendum
I can’t believe I forgot the very most important person of all: Lani Mustard Stringer! Lani made the very first contribution to the Bugle – our logo. She put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort into making it just right. Without it, we’d have a sad looking website, instead of the wonderful, happy, beachy logo we have that represents us every day. Thank you so much, Lani. I feel like a heel for not mentioning how vital you are when I first wrote this! You are the best.
The top 25 articles of our first year
This was one of my more recent articles, and it was by far the most viewed article of the year. One of the genuine pleasures of making the Bugle is having the opportunity to meet people like Sean Mendes and his wife Cellie Mendes, two people who make the Blues Cajun Kitchen, Roadside Seafood, and now Gillie’s the fantastic places they are. They make wonderful food, and they are lovely human beings on top of all that. Every time I have a conversation with either of them, I walk away feeling warm and happy.
Meeting Joel Lucas was another wonderful event in my year. He’s so obviously in love with cooking and making eating out a memorable experience, and he once made me a tuna dish that was so good it almost made me cry. Seriously, I still think about that meal. All the time.
Written by Gretchen Stringer-Robinson, this was one of the very first articles we posted, and it was insanely popular at a time when we had a very small audience. Having so many people read this fabulous historical overview of the Island in such a short time really made me think, “Hey, this Bugle thing might just work!” Also, who knew local history was so popular? Or that James Island had so much interesting history to talk about? Now that our History section has filled up, I know that James Island has even more history than I would have ever thought, but this article is what started my education.
This was my first article on a restaurant, and it was a genuinely moving experience meeting Angie Bellinger. Sitting at a table in her dining room on a Saturday, a day off for her, and talking about her fascinating life – I won’t ever forget it. The fact that Workmen’s is a one-woman show amazed me, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s the astounding Ms. Bellinger.
Liz McCafferty contributed both photography and articles to the Bugle this year. Her article on Mr. Curtis touched a chord for many James Islanders who benefitted from his band directorship for 21 years at James Island High School. My favorite quote from that article is from Steven T. Mack, JICHS Marching band Color Guard instructor and assistant to the band director: “In this day in time it’s more important than ever for kids to learn that regardless of what your background may be, if we all work together we can do anything. Mr. Curtis has made an environment where this happens.”
Meeting Norma Lemon at the Island Breeze on Mosquito Beach was a special occasion for me not only because I got to meet Norma, but because I had never set foot on that little strip of land before. I didn’t even know it existed! I learned all about the history of Mosquito Beach and what led Norma and her fiancé Norman to create the Island Breeze restaurant. Our conversation led to another extraordinary day for me, de-littering Mosquito Beach with other James Islanders who showed up for the day. I hope Norma gets her wish and Mosquito Beach becomes as popular as it was in its heyday.
Nancy Hadley provided this opinion piece, and apparently a lot of people agreed with her! There does seem to be a bit of a learning curve for some people in regard to the road changes in that area, and Nancy reminded a certain select (hopefully now non-existent) audience, “You are being arrogant and lazy and you are going to kill somebody. Please stop. Nobody should be in such a big hurry that they are willing to risk lives rather than take the detour which this new traffic pattern requires”. Right on.
I wrote this in frustration at seeing dead televisions on the side of the road all over James Island. I used my next door neighbor as the scapegoat for this article. Luckily, he’s a good natured guy. He not only thought it was pretty funny, but he actually took his TV to the drop off!
Nancy Hadley, who works at the Fort Johnson Marine Center, brought us this short piece. I actually knew about the Marine Center and have vague memories of visiting it as a child, but I didn’t realize it was a place that I could visit now. Back in October I got to attend the special event they have every two years that features myriad learning stations about the work they do and tons of activities for kids. It is an extraordinarily beautiful place. And it wouldn’t have even been on my radar if not for Nancy.
The Lighthouse Point Neighborhood Association picked a beautiful day for their annual picnic and the unveiling of a new historical marker at the Indian Mound Park in the neighborhood. The site was populated by Native Americans at least 3,000 years ago, and later it served as the home site for a colonel in the militia during the Revolutionary War. Of course, there’s lots more of the history in the article, featuring the full texts of the speeches made at the unveiling.
I can’t remember where I first saw Becca Savage Lovett’s response to a Facebook post on how to find shark’s teeth, but I had a good laugh. And then I sent her a message and encouraged her to turn it into a Bugle post. And her pointers are funny because they’re true!
Yes, it’s the dry stuff of politics, but writing this article helped me understand the complicated set up on James Island in terms of its division between Town of James Island, City of Charleston, and the unincorporated areas. And, apparently, people have some very serious opinions about whether or not unincorporated James Island should join up with the Town of James Island and the City of Charleston.
Yes, people love to read about food, and James Island is definitely joining the foodie culture. You may think waffles are rather run of the mill, but then Sergio Tosi brought the real deal from Belgium. Lately he’s been showing up on Saturdays at the Town Market on Fort Johnson Road, and I count browsing the stalls at the Market while eating one of his waffles as a singular pleasure.
I met owner Jack Warren to learn about, among everything else, where the name came from (hint: actual grumpy goats were involved), but it’s really all about the food. As Jack said, “Good food, good service. We really tried to make a value-based menu, having enough lower priced items that you could come in and get a taco and a beer multiple times a week.” They are already growing in popularity because they truly do have great food and fast, genial service.
Wherein I tried to see how many things I could do in James Island in a single day. As it turns out: a lot. As I say at the end of the article, “I invite any of you who like to write to do as I did: pick a day when there’s a lot on the James Island calendar, have an amazing day, take a lot of pictures, and then write about it. It’s the sort of thing we will be happy to post on the Bugle! You’ll be famous!” The Editor disagrees with me, and no I’m not schizophrenic.
I briefly mention in the “Day on James Island” article doing some trash pick up. In this piece I go in some detail about a trash expedition and spend some time raging and shaking my fist at the ne’er do wells who think that the ground is somehow like a trash can. I recently started over again, 10 months later, on the same side of the road project. It was not as bad as last time, thankfully. And I used the time to have deep thoughts, so that was good.
Katie Dahlheim writes about her extraordinary project which has continued to grow and expand since she sent me this article in April. It’s hard not to be proud of a James Island resident who has done so much to help people with food insecurity in our area. At the end of her piece she writes, “I believe that people are inherently kind and want to help others, but sometimes it’s difficult to find tangible ways to put that desire into action. This is a local, direct way of helping people in our community.” You’re a good human, Katie Dahlheim.
This article basically serves as both a primer on how to figure out where you stand as a voter on James Island (that complicated district thing again) and who was running the election. It turned out to be a hotly contested race, with a run-off that was down to a handful of votes. As is often true of these extremely local elections, your vote really does matter a lot.
Gretchen Stringer-Robinson reviewed this book for us, and says, “This is something you don’t think about when you go to a restaurant: who was there before, how they worked, what their concerns were, and what the concerns are today.” In addition to reviewing the book, she interviewed Robert Barber and Andy Weiner to get more details. For any of you who have grown up going there, the many pictures and stories paint a picture of a slice of local history that you may have known little to nothing about.
For Black History Month, Gretchen Stringer-Robinson wrote about the slaves of James Island and gave a list of books for those who are interested in reading more about it. She wrote, “Slaves helped build this nation and many individuals on James Island can trace their lineage to slaves on local plantations.” It’s a difficult history to look at, but Stringer-Robinson reminds us of the folly of ever forgetting this horrible heritage.
“What a remarkable occurrence that the last battle of the Revolution was fought right here on James Island.” I’ll say! I got another history lesson about James Island on the day of the official unveiling of this historical marker, and if history is your jam, you can read everything that was said that day in the article. There is a concerted effort underway to place more historical markers on James Island, and this is part of that effort.
This article was posted last January. Seriously, I can’t wait for the day when the project is done. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is sick of looking at the orange and white Daleks*.
My very first article for the Bugle. Gosh, I was so young and passionate back then.
This was the first part of Nancy Hadley’s series on oysters, which I loved, loved, loved. If you ever (a) eat oysters, (b) roast oysters, or (c) all of the above, you should read this series. Unless you are already an expert on oysters, like Nancy.
Finding these photos in our family albums was a cool moment for me. I liked that it showed my family’s personal piece of James Island history, but I really loved looking at my spitfire grandmother as a little kid. For fans of local history, this is a look at a location that no longer exists and is part of the educational story of James Island.
A fish story or three
Whew, that was a whirlwind! So, being the Editor of the Bugle, I am going to add my favorite series of articles to your reading list for the day. Now, I’m not a fisherman. Many of you don’t fish, so maybe that’s why the articles of Rick Stringer didn’t get into the top 25. Whatever, those articles are all awesome, and I’m going to tell you about them and encourage you to go read them because they’re both fun and interesting.
- First, there was Meeting a great white shark, wherein Rick Stringer has a special moment with a very well-known fish. “I decided to pull the anchor and drift, laying down for a nap. I was awakened by the sound of a rod banging in the rod holder.”
- Next up was Channel bass by any other name, a happy memory trip of boat trips around Morris Island during the 50s and 60s looking for channel bass. “To get to the island they would run the boats full speed, sliding up the mud bank to the island. Burger beer may have been somewhat involved…”
- Finally Rick wrote Spiny Dogfish in the winter waters, where we not only get to learn about this weird little shark, but get the story of the author being stranded. “I was preoccupied with the fishing and failed to notice a fog bank coming in my direction until it dropped on top of me.”
Yes, Rick Stringer is my uncle, so maybe I’m biased, but I love these stories so very much, and I want you to read and enjoy them too!
Finally, thanks to all of you who read the James Island Bugle. It’s been a fascinating year for me, exploring this cool place and the people who live and work here. I’m grateful for everyone who reads the Bugle and follows us on Facebook. I hope 2018 is as interesting and full of surprises. For now, with a few weeks left in December, I’m going to focus on eating too much and loving my family, as is tradition. Cheers!
*Daleks are evil space creatures on Doctor Who, a British sci-fil import that is wonderful.
The James Island Bugle shares news about the James Island, South Carolina and brings you stories about people, places and events. We are all all-volunteer, no profit news site. If you would like to contribute, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commentary: The town of James Island is far from a ‘paper town’
In his Feb. 12 column, Brian Hicks discouraged the incorporation of Johns Island and referred to the town of James Island as a “paper town.”
This is nothing new from Brian Hicks. Incorporated for a final time in 2012, the town of James Island is far from a paper town.
In my tenure as a council member since 2014, I have witnessed the implementation of an annual budget (currently upwards of $4 million) that has provided infrastructure upgrades, major projects and community support that benefit residents of the entire island.
Some of these initiatives include the following:
• Sidewalks in Harbor Woods and on Camp Road, Quail Drive, Seaside Lane and Dill’s Bluff Road ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
• Greenbelt-funded park projects include the popular Pinckney Park on Fort Johnson Road and the future Brantley Park on Folly Road. These park projects have been a welcome addition to the town’s Dock Street Park in Bayfront. A James Island history trail is in the works.
• Traffic calming projects have been completed in several neighborhoods to slow dangerous cut-through traffic.
• Drainage and flooding issues are being addressed, including 30 drainage basins that have been identified in an engineering study initiated by the town. Drainage improvements have been completed or are in progress in Quail Run, Lighthouse Point and Honey Hill.
• The town is leading in the implementation of the Rethink Folly Road Plan. Mayor Bill Woolsey chairs a committee of stakeholders with a focus on making Folly Road more attractive and safer for pedestrians and cyclists. This plan includes trees and green space in natural buffers. The town funded the construction of the first bus shelter at Folly and Camp roads.
• We have passed a plastics reduction ordinance and a resolution to oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing with the support of local conservation groups.
Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.
• The town is leasing the former Camp Road county library branch for use as a vital community center.
• Many projects have been completed or are planned to care for grand trees along our island’s roads and scenic byways, including planting trees to replenish our urban canopy.
• A town of James Island Market with outdoor movies, music and wares from local merchants is enjoyed by all.
• Annual town community events include the Tree Lighting, Egg Roll, “Lights On” with our island’s safety providers, JI Arts Silent Art Auction and SC Arbor Day. James Island Pride hosts community cleanups and welcomes all islanders to help clear our roads of litter and debris.
• The town assists local organizations, including James Island Outreach, JI Exchange Club and JI Arts. We support island recreation programs for youth, along with helping to fund sports and fine arts programs at James Island Charter High School. Our Repair Care and Helping Hands programs help needy residents with home repairs and yard maintenance.
• We have made public safety a priority through funding the Island Sheriff’s Patrol via the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
• Our award-winning Town Hall provides meeting rooms and a 135-person capacity venue for public use.
As far as incorporation on our neighboring Johns Island goes, let us know what we can do to help. The town of James Island is not a paper town. Far from it.
Garrett Milliken is mayor pro tempore of James Island.
James Island (South Carolina)
Drawbridge over Wappoo Creek leading to James Island
Fort Johnson, with Fort Sumter in background
Dock with surrounding marshes on James Island
James Island is one of South Carolina's most urban Sea Islands; nearly half of the island sits within Charleston city limits. The island is separated from peninsular downtown Charleston by the Ashley River, from the mainland by Wappoo Creek and the Wappoo Cut, and from Johns Island by the Stono River. It lies inshore of Morris Island and Folly Beach.
Fort Sumter, located on an island just off the eastern tip of James Island, is the site of the first battle of the Civil War. Bombardment of Fort Sumter was started from Fort Johnson which is located on the eastern portion of James Island. Several significant military engagements took place on island, including the battles of Secessionville (1862), Grimball's Landing (1863) and Grimball's Causeway (1865). All of these battles were alternately known as the "Battle of James Island".
On Nov. 14, 1782, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Colonel of the Continental Army, led the last known armed action of the Revolutionary War against the British and nearly was killed. Later, The Continental Congress named Kosciuszko Brigadier General for his service in both the North, including his assistance to General Gates at the Battle of Saratoga, and brilliant efforts assisting General Greene in saving the South Region Army from Cornwallis' forces.
James Island land was long largely agricultural with Sea Island cotton forced-labor farms covering much of the island. Growth accelerated after World War II and James Island became a suburban bedroom community to Charleston.
As of the 2000 census, the United States Census Bureau reported that 33,781 people lived on the island. About one-half of the island lies within the city limits of Charleston, and the remainder of the island is made up of the Town of James Island and unincorporated areas.
There has been political discord concerning the incorporation of portions of the island into the City of Charleston. The town of James Island has been founded on three occasions. Three incorporations were overturned as a result of legal suits filed by Charleston. The third incorporation attempt was in contention in another legal suit by the city, and on November 7, 2008, the town's incorporation was upheld by a Circuit Court judge. The city of Charleston filed an appeal of the decision to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Ultimately, this ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court.
A fourth attempt at incorporation was successful, upheld by the courts and uncontested by the city of Charleston. There is now a legally formed Town of James Island.
As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of James Island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area and the larger Charleston-North Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The public schools on James Island are part of the Charleston County School District and include Harborview, Stiles Point, James Island and Murray-LaSaine, and Apple Charter Elementary Schools; Camp Road Middle School, and James Island Charter High School. The high school interscholastic teams are the Trojans and wear blue and orange uniforms.
James Island had two high schools in the past: Fort Johnson High (mascot Trojans) and James Island High (mascot Rams). The two schools merged in 1983 on the Fort Johnson campus. The first school year for the combined school was 1983-1984 (class of '84).
- Stephen Colbert, comedian and political satirist, lived on James Island for part of his boyhood, along with his 10 brothers and sisters.
- Langston Moore of the NFL Detroit Lions, attended James Island High School.
- Samuel Smalls, the man upon whom the novel Porgy and subsequent opera Porgy and Bess are based, is buried in the cemetery beside James Island Presbyterian Church.
- Gorman Thomas, Major League Baseball player, grew up on James Island and played baseball for the original James Island High School.
- Roddy White, Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Atlanta Falcons, attended James Island High School.
James Island: a brief historical overview
by Gretchen Stringer-Robinson
James Island is more than fast-food eateries, banks, offices, schools, and subdivisions. The island once was home to American Indians, American Revolutionaries, possible pirate collaborators, Confederates, slaves, freedmen, and people just trying to make a living.
The actual island on which the City of James Island sits is a bit over 35 square miles. It runs nine miles long and seven miles wide.
The Stono Indians
The Stono Indians inhabited the island, living among the native pine and hardwood, farming and hunting for food. Archeologists have uncovered Native American artifacts from as far back as 600 B.C. on the island.
When the settlers came to the area in 1670, the Stono Indians initially got along well with the newcomers. But as we all know, that didn’t last. The idea of “owning” an animal was foreign to the natives and after they had killed livestock, the colonists started killing the natives.
There was an Indian rebellion of the Stono and the Kussoe in 1674 which (again, you guessed it), did not end well for the Indians. They were defeated, sold into slavery, and sent to the West Indies. By 1684, the natives had given their lands to the Lords Proprietors.
They didn’t like those northern winters
One of three settlements created by the colonists, James Towne was created in December of 1671 and populated with colonists from “New Yorke.” They didn’t like those northern winters and they didn’t like the taxes, either. So you see, we’ve had a Yankee influx from the very beginning.
There is no existing plat to show where the exact location of the town was on the island, and a survey done in 1685 does not show the town. It is very possible that what is now McLeod Plant
ation was the site for the town; it was near the river and easily accessible.
The island we call James Island was initially called Boone’s Island, possibly after John Boone, who settled here in 1682. In true James Island fashion, he was banished by the Lords Proprietors for helping the pirates who plagued the coast. I certainly hope that’s true and that they paid him in treasure. I think we should start digging immediately.
Settlers were given ½ acre lots in the town and 10-acre lots for farming adjacent to the town. About 1693, James Island appears in the public record. Usually the landowners harvested timber for ships and naval needs, or raised cattle and pig for export (once processed) to the West Indies. The slave population was lower in the 17th century because of lower labor requirements.
In the mid-1700s, indigo and rice became the main cash crops in South Carolina. This resulted in a slow increase in the slave population.
The American Revolution and the War of 1812
During this time, of course, the American Revolution affected the island. Initially, the British held Fort Johnson but the fort was taken by William Moultrie in 1775. When 50 British ships and 3,000 men were sent to attack Charleston, the fort and its 50 cannons helped hold them off.
Later, the British sent Sir Henry Clinton to James Island via Johns Island, and he and his men settled in near Wappoo Cut. From there, they set up their siege lines to take Charleston, which they did in 1780.
The War of 1812 would see Secessionville (then known as “Stent’s Point”), and Lightwood Plantation (n/k/a McLeod’s Plantation) used for instructional camps. A battery was built on Battery Island (southwest end of James Island) and on the marsh of the Stono River, known as Fort Palmetto. No real military action occurred on the island although there was a skirmish on the Stono River.
Malaria and Cotton
Throughout the 19th century, malaria waged its own war against the families of South Carolina. Records show that the mosquito-borne disease was the main cause of death for children. The planters would move their families to summer homes with ocean breezes in Johnsonville (near Ft. Johnson) or Secessionville by May 20th.
Slaves remained on the plantations; apparently they were not as affected by the disease. The planters’ families would return about mid-October or November, after the first frost.
It was in the mid-19th century that cotton “took over” James Island. Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, invented in 1793, made cotton easier to clean. Cotton seeds had arrived in South Carolina from the Bahamas in 1786. James Island’s timber had been thoroughly removed, so much so that plantation homes were shut in March because of dust storms rushing over the island. The land was ready for a new crop.
Cotton made the land valuable again. Sea island cotton was a finer grade than cotton from the Bahamas. James Island grew long-staple cotton, and was one of the largest producers in the South. Sea island cotton was worth up to six times more than upland cotton and many white planters became rich.
With its nearness to Charleston, and the money-making properties of the land, James Island became the most valuable of the sea islands. While this was a boon for the local planters, it was a bane to Africans who were shackled, forced into slave ships, and brought to the Americas.
The innate value of a cotton crop resulted in a huge increase in the need for slaves. Cotton is labor intensive. Slaves were needed to carry the marsh mud used for fertilizer to the plantations, and to spread the marsh mud (which was sometimes mixed with manure), to hoe and to pick the cotton. Cotton and Whitney’s cotton gin were not friends to the black man and woman.
The Civil War
In April of 1861 the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Ft. Sumter, from Ft. Johnson. You can visit the site of the first skirmish between Union and Confederate troops at Sol Legare Island and the Battle of Secessionville (June 16, 1862), where Confederates successfully repelled a Union attack and saved Charleston. Oddly enough, we live right on top of these sites with subdivisions and paved roads running alongside them.
The Civil War devastated the island. James Island, with its strategic value to Charleston, housed over half of the Confederate troops in Charleston. Those troops needed supplies and so livestock and crops were used to feed them; homes were used and/or torn down for supplies. McLeod’s Plantation was used as a division hospital.
When the Confederates evacuated Charleston and the surrounding areas, the Federal army moved in, occupying McLeod Plantation. The brave men of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts, made up of free black men, were quartered in the slave quarters. Ultimately, only six homes were left standing on the island.
Reconstruction brought more uncertainty to the island. Congress directed that anyone who fought or worked for the Confederacy would be subject to seizure of his lands. In 1865, Major-General Sherman issued Special Field Orders No. 15, giving 40 acres from any confiscated lands in S.C. or Georgia to each freedman family.
This was a boon to the newly-freed slaves, but a disaster to the white planters. Of course, five months later, Andrew Johnson issued the Amnesty Proclamation and all lands not sold through the courts were returned to the original owners.
Lands seized by Sherman were under the control of the newly formed Freedmen’s Bureau and they were returned to the original owner if he swore a loyalty oath, had proof of ownership and proof of pardon. White House Plantation was the first plantation on James island to be returned to its owner, E.M. Clark, although some of the freedmen were accommodated if their claims were proven valid.
The Freedmen’s Bureau controlled McLeod Plantation and used it as a regional office and Provost court. By the end of 1866, most plantations (with the exception of McLeod Plantation) were returned to their original white planter-owners.
Two hundred, eight freedmen’s families were given land on James Island. Some were later abandoned, others were bought out; still others were accommodated by the white planters. Some of these individuals did not stay on James Island, but went to Charleston or up North, hoping to make a living there. Other freedmen and women moved to the island from other counties, to farm. By 1880, there were 2,500 black residents on the island and 2,600 white.
The price of land was a problem back then too!
The white planters faced additional obstacles after the war: several of the older generation had died, and the younger generation did not have the experience in planting their ancestors had. In addition, the land was not as valuable and labor was not certain, so cash advances on crops (to buy seed, rebuild, etc.) were difficult to negotiate.
It sounds horrible since no human should be regarded as chattel, but with the loss of the slaves the property owner’s assets were lowered, contributing to the difficulty in obtaining loans.
It wasn’t any easier for the freedmen. Most had been trained in planting, but they had few (if any) assets. If the white planters lacked experience, imagine a newly freed slave trying to negotiate for seed money. Add to this flooding rains and infestations of caterpillars in 1867 and 1868, and you have almost insurmountable obstacles for black and white alike.
By 1872, white planters routinely planted only a portion of their lands, rented some land to black farmers, and used stores which gave credit to black laborers up to their weekly wage, at 15%-20% interest. By this time the black farmers were tenant farmers, cultivating between 5-20 acres.
Later, the white planters would form the James island Agricultural Society (July 4, 1872) to monitor the number of acres planted as well as the type of fertilizer used, planting dates, and method of cultivation. Apparently this paid off because by 1880, James Island Sea Island cotton brought very high prices.
Land prices on the island rose again, since by 1880 no white planter owed any real debt. Northern speculators had come down, invested, and lost money; they did not stay. Land could not be bought on James Island except at an exorbitant fee.
The labor and sacrifice of black planters
At that time, there were 48 black planters who now owned horses, hogs, and cows as well as about 1,600 acres on James Island. Their yield was estimated at 600 acres in corn, 200 acres in potatoes and corn, and 800 acres in cotton. All this by hard labor and sacrifice.
Think about it, 15 years before they had no assets for seed money and were, in fact, considered assets themselves. By 1870, blacks had other sources of income. A great example of this is Tony Stafford, who had a 14-year charter to run a ferry from James Island to Charleston.
Good times come and go and in 1883, a heavy rain of over five inches destroyed the cotton crop; 1885 brought a hurricane with 125 mph winds, 1893 brought not one, but two hurricanes and, for good measure, a blight on the cotton crop. By the 1890s, inland cotton had improved enough to adversely affect the price of Sea Island cotton.
While many black and white planters continued to farm the land, growing potatoes and other “truck crops”, cotton was no longer an option. A boll weevil invasion beginning in 1910 destroyed the last of the Sea Island cotton business by 1922. James Island was no longer as valuable as farm land, but the location remained the same: close to Charleston.
Bridges and cars and subdivisions change the scene
Progress was made even while the cotton industry was dying and land owners looked for other income. A permanent bridge over the Wappoo was built in 1899. Automobiles appeared although the roads were often made of mud and oyster shells. The Wappoo Bridge was replaced with a concrete construction in 1956.
Sale of land for development became a new source of income. William Ellis McLeod sold an option for land to the Country Club of Charleston in 1922 and the golf course was built by 1926. The island’s first subdivision was Riverland Terrace, built on 75 acres beginning in 1925.
The 1940s would see lots for sale in the Country Club Subdivision, as well as the development of Woodland Shores, Wappoo Hall, and Lawton Bluff, even though Lawton Bluff would not be accessible by bridge until 1961. Centerville was developed in 1952 and Bay Front appeared in 1956.
By the end of ’56, there were twenty subdivisions on James Island, including Laurel Park, Lee-Jackson Heights, McCall’s Corner, Clearview, Eastwood, King’s Acres, Teal Acres, Greencrest Acres, Old Orchard, King’s Acres, Bur-Claire, Riverview, Secessionville, and Clark’s Point. With subdivisions came schools and churches and commercial development. Subdivisions were built on, over and beside old batteries and other historical sites.
Remembering the past, looking to the future
James Island continues to grow at a frantic pace and it is important to remember the past. Future columns will explore the history of various churches, schools, organizations, and the contributions of our citizens. Native Americans, slaves, settlers, planters, entrepreneurs, and families, all have contributed to make James Island one of the best places to live in South Carolina. There’s a whole lot of history crammed into our 35 square miles.
Bostick, Douglas W. A Brief History of James Island: Jewel of the Sea Islands. Charleston S.C.: History Press, 2008.
Hayes, Jim. James and Related Sea Islands. Charleston, S.C.: Jim Hayes, 2001.
Bostick, Douglas W., and Monica Beck and Susan Kammerand-Campbell. “Proposed Restoration & Interpretation McLeod Plantation James Island, South Carolina,” Sea Island Historical Society, 1999.
Edit on 1/19/2017: December of 1860 was changed to April of 1861. Thanks to Adam J. Moore for the correction. Also, “St. Johnson” was changed to “Ft. Johnson”. The new sentence reads: “In April of 1861 the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Ft. Sumter, from Ft. Johnson.”
Gretchen Stringer is our History Correspondent and an Adjunct History Instructor at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and Central Carolina.