Not too many years after we had been married, Deb and I began a custom that we have managed to carry on for many years now. Our anniversary is just after the New Year and it has become an opportune time to get away for a few days. Depending on where you go, hotel rates are often lower during the off-season and it’s a chance to explore what the East coast has to offer in the way of smaller resorts, boutique hotels, and inns.
We’ve enjoyed staying at a boutique hotel in historic Charleston, SC; the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg, VA; the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA; and the Savage River Lodge in MD along with others. Large or small, they’ve each had their charms and we’ve revisited several over the years.
One of our favorite locations was the Inn on Daufuskie Island, SC (Melrose Resort) where we enjoyed New Year’s Eve and southern hospitality. In January of 2008, the resort was just over 20 years old. The landscaping was mature and well kept, the Inn’s rooms didn’t appear dated, and the southern-style inn, with it’s plantation shutters and wide verandas, seemed to have been built sometime in the previous century. The ferry ride over to the island was brief and, though no cars are allowed on the island, getting around via golf carts and bicycles was an enjoyable change of pace.
According to the Post and Courier “Melrose comes with a 50-room inn, 15 rental cottages, a marina and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. It occupies a prime spot along Calibogue Sound on a spit made famous by the late author Pat Conroy, who wrote about his time teaching school kids on Daufuskie in “The Water is Wide.” A film version starring Jon Voight in the title role “Conrack” followed in 1974 .https://www.postandcourier.com/business/on-business-idled-south-carolina-resort-is-out-of-bankruptcy/article_85012a88-32be-11e8-8f38-c7908cf90837.html
Searching online for an anniversary destination this year got me reminiscing about our time on the island: perhaps it was time for a repeat visit. I couldn’t find their website so I searched for “The Inn at Daufuskie Island.”
Strangely enough, I found several videos on YouTube of the Melrose Resort taken by urban decay explorers, people who take videos on abandoned properties. What had happened to this secluded resort that had appeared to be forgotten by time?
In 2009, a year after we had stayed at the inn, the owners filed for bankruptcy. The resort was sold and several years later the new owners filed for bankruptcy protection. There were several newspaper accounts of the last owners having been indicted in a Ponzi-like scheme, ostensibly to raise money for the refurbishment of the resort.
The resort is now out of bankruptcy and likely to be sold again, though the devastation brought about by hurricanes and neglect look to be too much from which to recover.
Still photos are from the YouTube video which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/awvgUCcKCcU
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:26-27