Kiawah Island, South Carolina facts for kids
|Kiawah Island, South Carolina|
Location of Kiawah Island in
|• Total||13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)|
|• Land||11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)|
|• Water||2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)|
|Elevation||13 ft (4 m)|
|• Density||148/sq mi (57.2/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1253569|
Kiawah is a sea island, or barrier island, on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Located 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina, it is operated today largely as a gated beach and golf resort — the Kiawah Island Golf Resort — with spacious villas, beaches, large and acclaimed golf courses, and other attractions. As of the 2010 census, Kiawah Island's population was 1,626, up from 1,163 at the 2000 census. The island is part of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area. Alternative spellings and variants of the name itself include "Kiawa", "Kittiwar" (in DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy), and "Kittiwah" (in George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess).
The Bass Pond Site and Arnoldus Vander Horst House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kiawah was named for the Kiawah Indians who were led by their head chieftain or cassique. In the year 1670, the cassique of the Kiawah led English colonists to settle at Charlestowne Landing.
Long held by the Vanderhorst family, Kiawah Island was purchased by C.C. Royal in 1950 for logging and timber; he went on to develop the first summer home neighborhood in 1954 along the beach and named the street Eugenia, after his wife.
In 1974 Royal’s heirs sold the Island to Kuwait Investment Corporation; soonafter, a thorough environmental survey is conducted, and a master plan for Kiawah’s development is produced. Two years later, in 1976, real estate sales commence and the Cougar Point (formerly Marsh Point) golf course was opened.
The 1980’s saw the opening of two of the seven golf courses associated with Kiawah-Turtle Point in 1981 and Osprey Point in 1988. 1988 also saw all resort assets and amenities, along with Kiawah’s undeveloped lands purchased by the development group, Kiawah Resort Associates (KRA), owned by Charles P. Darby III and Patrick W. McKinney, et al. The Town of Kiawah was also established in the same year.
Following the impact of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, KRA sold resort assets to Landmark Land Co., who would then sell the assets to William H. Goodwin in 1993. The 90’s saw the establishment of the Kiawah Island Club in 1993 and the addition of three more courses: the Ocean Course in 1991, the River Course in 1995, and Oak Point in 1997. The final of Kiawah’s associated golf courses, Cassique, was opened in 2000. Freshfields Village, a town-center type mix of shopping, dining, and services saw ground broken in 2004. That same year, The Sanctuary hotel opened on the island.
In 2013, Darby and associates sold Kiawah Partners to the South Street Partners for an estimated $350 million. This transaction included Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island Real Estate, Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island Utility, and other domestic and international holdings.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.8 km2), of which 11.0 square miles (28.4 km2) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.4 km2), or 18.36%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,163 people, 557 households, and 474 families residing in the town. The population density was 104.2 people per square mile (40.2/km²). There were 3,070 housing units at an average density of 275.0 per square mile (106.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.19% White, 0.34% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.17% Asian, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.17% of the population.
There were 557 households out of which 6.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 82.9% were married couples living together, 1.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.9% were non-families. 13.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.25.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 6.0% under the age of 18, 1.5% from 18 to 24, 6.4% from 25 to 44, 48.8% from 45 to 64, and 37.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $76,114, and the median income for a family was $83,829. Males had a median income of $60,938 versus $32,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $47,782. About 4.4% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.
Parks and recreation
Kiawah Island is widely hailed as one of the premier golf destinations on the East Coast. The island features seven award-winning golf courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, and Pete Dye. The courses snake along the narrow island, moving from the dense wooded interior of the island to the breezy oceanfront. Five of the courses are owned and maintained by Kiawah Island Golf Resort. These are the Ocean Course, Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point, and Cougar Point. Two courses are owned and maintained by Kiawah Island Club. These are the River Course and Cassique.
The Ocean Course
Pete Dye designed the Ocean Course in 1991 and the course has since proved to be one of the toughest on the East Coast. The Ocean Course was the home of the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 1997 World Cup of Golf, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2012 PGA Championship, becoming only the fourth golf course in history to host each of the PGA of America's men's major championships. The Ocean Course was featured in the 2000 movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron.
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) operates a park on the island, Beachwalker County Park, located on the west end of the island. In 2013, Forbes ranked the park's beach as the 10th best in the United States.
Walking and biking
Thirty miles of paved trails and 10 miles of beach provide a natural setting for biking and walking.
Boating and fishing
Tidal creeks, salt marshes, and the Kiawah River itself allows for various canoeing and kayaking opportunities. There are numerous water access points, including a community kayak rental dock at Mingo Point and boat storage near the 15th green of the Cassique golf course, as well as a full marina just outside Kiawah’s gate, for more expansive Kiawah Island fishing and deep sea fishing excursions. Also, Kiawah Island Club Members enjoy private access to a kayak dock in Cassique, and the Kiawah Community Association maintains a launch and storage at Cinder Creek and Rhett’s Bluff.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.