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History of Indigo Run

Our Community History

The logo and street names used by the Indigo Run community are related to our historic connection to England and in particular to the Elizabethan era.

The leaves in the center of our logo represent the Indigo Plant.

The Indigo colored background and the gold color of the indigo leaves and accent circle relate back to England and the Elizabethan Era in particular.

The deep blue color represents the rich color of dye obtained from the lucrative new Indigo crop. During the Elizabethan Era the deepest colors, as those produced with the indigo dye, were more expensive to produce and therefore limited to higher status clothing worn by the wealthy.

The gold color indigo leaves and the circle around them add a sense of royalty. People who were allowed to wear the color gold during the Elizabethan Era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were Duchesses, Marquises, and Countesses. Dukes, Marquises, and Earls.

Our street names carry through the connection to The United Kingdom and to Royalty; i.e.:

    Baldwin – British Prime Minister 3 times in the 1920’s and 1930’s
    Balmoral – Royal family residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    Wentworth – an exclusive golf club in Surrey, England

Our Island History

In 1562 French explorer Jean Ribaut established one of the earliest colonies in the Lowcountry naming it Port Royal (current day Beaufort County). Four years later, Pedro Menendez established the Spanish colonial capital Santa Elena on Parris Island. English development did not commence until 1663, when then King Charles II granted the Coastal Area to 8 Lord Proprietors. They named their territory “Carolina.”

While exploring the Port Royal Sound in 1663, English Captain William Hilton, sighted the high bluffs of the island, and named it for himself, “Hilton Head.” The word Head refers to the headlands visible to them as they sailed the uncharted waters.

In 1771, Colonial John Barnwell was granted a thousand acres on the NW corner of Hilton Head Island by the Lord Proprieties. Twenty-five families lived on Hilton Head Island by 1766.

Although many of Hilton Head Island’s best-known neighborhoods are called “plantations,” the island was once home to real working plantations. In fact, the term “plantation” traces its roots to the island’s agricultural history in the 1700s.

In the 18th-century, Hilton Head ‘s working plantations grew a wide range of lucrative crops including indigo, rice, sugar cane and cotton. Before the Civil War, slaves worked the land, which proved remarkably fertile and productive. This sea island, like many others along the South Carolina and Georgia coast, was largely cut off from the mainland. This isolation helped many slaves retain West African dialects and traditions. They developed an identity over the years known today as Gullah. This culture of farmers grew much of their own food. The art of basket weaving from their sweetgrass is still practiced by the Gullahs today.

By 1739 Eliza Pinckney realized that the growing textile industry in Europe was creating world markets for new dyes, so she began cultivating and creating improved strains of the indigo plant from which the valuable blue dye can be extracted. In 1745-1746 about 5,000 pounds of indigo were exported from this area; within two years that volume grew to 130,000 pounds. Indigo became second only to rice as cash crop, since cotton did not gain importance until later. England led the Industrial Revolution in the textile industry and was therefore a major importer of our indigo. 

Our Military History

Hilton Head Island played a significant role in 4 major wars:

The Revolutionary War:

As talk of the Revolution escalated in the Colonies, Hilton Head Island sided with the Colonists, Daufuskie Island, just 1 mile south of the Island, was occupied by the Tories. During the war, the British burned Plantations on the Island and captured slaves who were later sold in the West Indies. After the war, the Island made a healthy recovery. It became the “Golden Age”, as the crops of cotton, indigo, and rice flourished.

The War of 1812:

The British invaded and burned most of the houses near deep water. When the War was over, the Island’s booming economy returned.

The Civil War:

Union forces captured and occupied the sea islands of the Lowcountry region soon after the first shots were fired in 1861 at Fort Sumter in Charleston. Union forces reached 50,000 on the Island as Hilton Head became Headquarters for the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Black males on the Island and in the surrounding area were pressed into service, becoming the first Black troops for the Union. The money they earned as soldiers enabled them, after the War, to buy land on Hilton Head Island.

General Thomas W. Sherman build a series of earthworks around the northwest corner of the island to defend against  attacks from Confederates across Skull Creek. Fort Mitchel  (located in the current Hilton Head Plantation) was one of these, strategically located in such a way that cannon shells could be fired across Skull Creek towards Pinckney Island and out towards Port Royal Sound.

World War Two

The Leamington Lighthouse was the site of Camp McDougal, used by the Shore Patrol. Gun emplacements for target practice our over the Atlantic are still visible south of the Hyatt Hotel in Palmetto Dunes Plantation.

Future of Indigo Run

Hilton Head Island is viewed as one of the preeminent destinations in the country for those seeking a quality lifestyle with superb recreational venues, extraordinary weather and beautiful beaches. Indigo Run has earned the reputation as one of the most attractive residential communities on Hilton Head Island … our little slice of paradise.Our community is envisioned as a home for discerning, caring and active people of diverse interests that share an exceptional quality of life; where residents enjoy comfort without pretention in a setting noted for its natural beauty, casual elegance and proximity to all that matters on Hilton Head Island; and where the natural environment is respected, protected and augmented by amenities and services that make life safer, richer and more pleasurable for all.

The bright future for Indigo Run will be accomplished by adhering to responsible management principles and sound fiscal policies that protect quality of life and enhance property values; ensuring compliance with all governing documents; communicating and acting on matters of importance in a timely and thorough manner; governing with honesty, integrity and respect; striving for excellence in service, facilities and reputation; and providing a safe, secure and aesthetically pleasing community preserved for the enjoyment of all. Our Mission Statement is based on this principle and enforces the value Indigo Run places on sound fiscal management and planning. It states:

Maintain and implement a comprehensive Strategic Plan that improves the overall community and enhances property values by:

Ensuring the infrastructure is well maintained
Providing excellent customer service
Prudent financial oversight
Effective leadership
Clear communication with key stakeholders

Items reviewed yearly include our infrastructure. It is our goal to preserve and enhance the fences, buildings, signs, irrigation systems, roads and tree canopy and take appropriate action in a timely and financially sound manner. This proactive approach results in a sound and sustainable budget.

Another yearly review involves our fiscal resources. Our goal is to assure we are able to maintain the Capital Reserve Account to meet the community needs for capital replacements and future improvements, while building a safety net for emergencies.

The Indigo Run Board of Directors and the General Manager and IRCOA staff take great care in involving the owners in setting our future goals. We put immense pride in our communication efforts which include: email blasts, website, community bulletin boards, quarterly newsletters, and flyers.

We believe that the future of Indigo Run is bright and secure as long as we continue to: ensure compliance with all governing documents; communicate and act on matters of importance in a timely and thorough manner; govern with honesty, integrity and respect; strive for excellence in service, facilities and reputation; and provide a safe, secure and aesthetically pleasing community preserved for the enjoyment of all.

The future horizon of Indigo Run is boundless.