Monday, June 19, 2006

McClellanville: The Wolf is Knocking

[ FOR BETTER RESOLUTION, CLICK ON IMAGE ] According to its cornerstone, this stately structure was built in 1921 in the quiet coastal community of McClellanville, SC. From 1901 there had stood a school building on this site, an indication of that community's dedication to the proposition of public education. It is today a public middle school.

McClellanville is that quintessential sleepy little coastal community which is surviving yet in the face of thundering, predatory development. It is not as old as Charleston or Savannah, but it has retained a far greater percentage of founding families down many generations. The town has a very solid sense of itself and a pride in its people and their way of life which defies fashionable notions. It is an anomaly in today's rootless, trendy, tradition-free society. McClellanville is no hotbed of multiculturalism, but it has made some peace with the realities of social engineering.

In the early 1980s, the Charleston County School District considered selling the building as it had fallen into disuse. When desegregation began to wax, public schools began to wane in some Southern communities and especially here. By and by with the infusion of new residents, the political dynamics of Charleston County politics overrode McClellanville's opposition to reopening the school for public attendance. The resistance movement used euphemistic arguments of environmental, engineering and traffic safety, while the insurgents used sanctimony and the law to win the day.

Neglect by state and federal governments and a complete absence from the tourism radar had helped preserve McClellanville over the years. That and a decided lack of general prosperity was a preservative for most southern coastal communities. The rabid propulsion of urban sprawl is headed like another hurricane up from Mt. Pleasant, SC, toward this vulnerable town. Some of the newer folks, those insurgents from the middle school to do, have come to love the pace of life in McClellanville. Perhaps their initiative and the resolve of long term residents can provide a concerted effort to hold off that wolf which is surely at their door.


Anonymous Ellen said...

Isn't it simply the loveliest place? I do hope they'll send that wolf packing.

Do yourself a favor: Just go along with your 'stang when he insists on touring Mount Carmel. Don't argue. Just go. He knows something.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Yes, Ellen, it is beautiful, but endures only so long the community has the will to preserve their town and way of life. The wolves buy their way in these days.

The GT's instincts have been sound so far and may well steer us toward Mount Carmel. Your comments are always welcome.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with ellen " You send those wolves packing!" It is a beautiful place and a beautiful town.I used to live in belle isle. I have friends who live there. Preserve our southern heritage.I hold it dear in my heart.Tell developers to TAKE A HIKE! WE DON'T NEED THEM! GOD BLESS TO ALL!

10:39 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We read that 400 new homes are planned for McClellanville. That alone will change life in that little paradice.

If we could just get the state to put a bounty on developers, there might be hope.

Thanks for your comment.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Daniel Bates said...

I'm writing an article on development in McClellanville for my website and thought you did such a great job with your description of the town, especially for someone that isn't from here. Can I quote you with a link to your site? I'll send you a link to the article when it's finished.

12:33 PM  

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