Kiawah Island Background

History

Named for the Indians who hunted and fished on the island during the 1600's, Kiawah Island is a 10,000 acre island where the developer's goal truly is to preserve nature and to create a world class resort.  In 1769 the island was purchased by the Vanderhorst family.  Until the late 1800's the Vanderhorst family occupied the island, living in the Vanderhorst mansion- which still stands today (the home is private property, but you can get get a couple camera shots of the National Register of Historic Places home from the front gates).  In 1951, a lumberjack purchased the island for only $125,000.  In a short time period of only twenty three years later, the man sold the island in 1974 for $18.2 million to a resort developer.  That developer sold the island in 1993 to a different resort developer, who currently owns and operates the real estate company but spun off the resort aspects of the island to another company who has put in close to $190 million with the goal of making it the top resort in the country.  The resort opened the $125 million Forbes 5-star/AAA 5-diamond Sanctuary hotel and spa in 2004 and recently opened a new $22 million clubhouse at The Ocean Course -- site of the 2012 PGA Championship.