Show cover of 278 to Lighthouse Road

278 to Lighthouse Road

A podcast about Hilton Head Island and the lowcountry. This show explores the history of the area along with tourism, business, environment and more.


Post Civil War Hilton Head
Rich Thomas shares what was happening on Hilton Head during the post civil war era through the founding of the Hilton Head company and the creation of Sea Pines by Charles Fraser. Rich explains how logging, phosphate, turpentine and agriculture thrived in the area until the building of the first bridge in 1956 and development of the island into a tourist destination.
37:14 7/22/22
Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas.  General Gordon Granger informed the enslaved that the Civil War had ended and they were free. What many people do not realize is that emancipation of the enslaved started right here on Hilton Head Island. In this episode we talk with Rich Thomas about what happend on HHI during the Civil War and how President Lincoln was not the first to order an emancipation of the enslaved. Rich weaves a tale of the trials and tribulations of Mitchelville and its catastrophic ending. The story of Mitchelville is another example of how a small sea island was at the center of American history.  
56:41 6/17/22
A conversation with author Annell St. Charles
Author Annell St. Charles is a long time property owner and lover of Hilton Head. In this episode we find out how she discovered Hilton Head, why she used Hilton Head as a setting for two of her novels and what she enjoys most about the island.
28:30 9/14/21
The founding of Palmetto Dunes with E.G. Robinson
E.G. Robinson was a founding partner of Palmetto Dunes. In this episode E.G. shares with us the beginning of the resort community, the challenges they faced with the property and his relationship with Charles Fraser. E.G. also tells us about Hilton Heads original lighthouse and the Blue Lady.
61:12 9/3/21
Lowcountry Agriculture with Rich Thomas
Rich Thomas joins me to discuss lowcountry agriculture and the impact Rice, Indigo and Sea Island Cotton had on the growth of South Carolina.
26:47 8/21/21
Lowcountry Art: Charlene Gardner and Four Corners Gallery
Charlene Gardner is the owner of Four Corners Gallery in Bluffton. In this episode we talk about art and artists in the lowcountry, the galleries offerings and why supporting the local arts is important for a community.
22:48 8/6/21
Meet Charlie Ryan, author of "My life with Charles Fraser"
Charlie Ryan is the author of "My life with Charles Fraser". In this episode we talk with Charlie about the book, how it came together and his conversations with those who shared stories about their relationship with Charles Fraser. 
49:19 7/29/21
Albert the Gator, Charles Fraser & JFK: Meet David Pearson
If there is one person who had the biggest impact in putting Hilton Head on the map besides Charles Fraser it would be David Pearson. In this episode David shares with us the story behind two photos that went worldwide and garnered major attention for the island. David also shares some of the creative marketing tactics he used and how he "kidnapped" a Sports Illustrated editor which resulted in one of the first swimsuit issues being shot on the island. We also discuss Charles Fraser, golf, Arnold Palmer and more about HHI. But we begin the episode with David's amazing story about JFK and November 22nd, 1963. This is a must listen!
46:40 7/1/21
Bonus Music Episode for 4th of July
Welcome back Brian Eichenberger from the podcast "Rock and Roll Bedtime Stories". One of the artists Brian and I discuss once owned property in Sea Pines back in the 1990's. That is the only connection to HHI in this show. Brian and I talk about five songs with American themes or connections. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Kid Rock, U2 and John Mellencamp. Enjoy this musical detour as we travel down 278 to Lighthouse Road.
28:40 6/30/21
A Night at the Movies: Park Plaza Cinema with Lucie Mann
Park Plaza Cinema is the long time movie theater at the south end of the island and located near the Greenwood gate to Sea Pines. In this episode we talk with Lucie Mann about the theater they have owned since 2010. Lucie shares with us some of the renovations and updates they have made over the past few years, the delicious menu options available and what's on tap at the bar. Lucie also shares the difficulty of the past year, her trip to petition the governor of South Carolina and how the support of their raving fans helped the theater survive through forced closures and reduced capacity. We finish the episode with some of the things that Lucie loves about HHI.
30:23 6/24/21
Bonus Episode: June 23, 2021 Sea Turtle Update
Amber Kuehn from the Sea Turtle Patrol provides an update on the Sea Turtle Nesting Season. Find out how it is going on HHI!
04:27 6/23/21
Golf and sports on Hilton Head: A conversation with Mark King
Mark King is a long term resident of Hilton Head. He has been involved in the golf and sports industry during his career on the island. In this episode Mark starts with the different ownership groups involved on Hilton Head over the years, the development of golf and the impact the game has had on island growth and the local economy. We discuss the Harbour Town Golf Links and the Heritage tournament. He also share some of his other favorite courses and golf holes. Mark shares his thoughts on Charles Fraser and we finish with a short discussion about the development of tennis in Sea Pines.
71:37 6/17/21
Reflections on Sea Pines and Charles Fraser with Jim Light
Jim Light worked in Sea Pines with Charles Fraser in the late 60's and 70's. He guided Sea Pines through some very rough financial times when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates significantly. Jim shares stories about working with Charles, developing tennis in Sea Pines and the challenging times for the community.
44:20 6/10/21
Pirates with Rich Thomas
Pirates were common in the waters around Hilton Head Island. Rich Thomas joins us in this episode to share stories and the history of Blackbeard, Calico Jack and a couple of lady pirates that raided and pillaged cargo ships headed to Europe. Could any of their buried treasure be on Hilton Head Island? 
31:16 6/3/21
Let's talk about HHI and 80's summer beach music
I am joined by Brian Eichenberger from the podcast "Rock and Roll Bedtime Stories" as we discuss Hilton Head and some classic 80's summer beach songs. Brian is an expert researcher and musicphile and reveals some behind the scenes stories about  Katrina and the Waves, Corey Hart, Don Henley , Bananarama and Martha and the Muffins.
42:00 5/28/21
The sweetest job on the island. Welcome to the Chocolate Canopy
The Chocolate Canopy is a Hilton Head tradition. Started in 1982 it is currently owned by Chris and Nancy Paris. In this episode Nancy shares the story of how they ended up on the island and then owning not just one but two candy stores. Nancy also shares some secrets about what makes their chocolate so special and the secret behind the best salt water taffy you will ever taste. 
38:48 5/27/21
You have what in your backyard? A conversation with Chip Collins
Chip Collins is a 28 year resident of Hilton Head and owner/broker of Collins Group Realty. In this episode we talk about visiting Sea Pines as kids, current growth challenges in the area and how the vision of Charles Fraser helped Hilton Head sustain the impacts of Hurricane Matthew. We also learn about some great charitable project his team is involved with and what may be the most unique feature ever in a backyard.
45:39 5/20/21
Hilton Head Island - What's in a name?
Hilton Head Island has had lots of names over the years. Rich Thomas shares with us the history of the names of HHI and the history of some of the more well known and obscure street and location names on and around HHI.
23:46 5/13/21
Reflections on Sea Pines and Charles Fraser with Jim Chaffin
Jim Chaffin of Chaffin/Light talks about the early days of his career working in Sea Pines. Jim reflects on working with Charles Fraser and dealing with some of the challenges of the development. Jim also talks about Harbour Town, the lighthouse project and a very memorable ride with Fraser on the Compass Rose.
55:40 5/6/21
Santa Elena - The first true settlement in America
Santa Elena, built on what is now Parris Island, was the first long standing settlement in what would become the Colonies. Rich Thomas, a local historian, takes us through the story of Spanish and French battles for the area, the establishing of Santa Elena and how a bad case on indigestion may have changed the course of American history.
48:41 4/29/21
The Master Planning of Sea Pines with Stu Dawson
Stu Dawson is a principle founder of Sasaki, a planning and design firm in Massachusetts. In this episode Stu shares with us his introduction to Charles Fraser, developing the master plan for Sea Pines in the 1950's and designing Harbour Town and the famed lighthouse. Stu also tells about a very interesting car ride with Fraser and what he and some golf buddies found on the 17th hole during a round of golf. 
30:08 4/22/21
Burnt Church Road - Unraveling the story behind the name
Melanie Beal Marks is a preservationist and historical researcher. She worked on the Garvin Garvey House preservation project in Bluffton and recently researched the history of Burnt Church Road. Join us as she discusses both projects. We talk about the history of the Bluffton area, her research methods and how difficult it is to solve these historical mysteries. Her book is available at the Burnt Church Distillery and at
26:49 4/17/21
Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Patrol
Amber Kuehn is the head of the Hilton Head Sea Turtle Patrol. Amber shares with us what the patrol does and the challenges for the turtles during nesting season . She also give advise and tips for how everyone can help the turtles have a successful nesting season and how to support their mission.
30:58 4/10/21
Hilton Head Heroes
The Hilton Head Heroes Foundation was founded by Gregg and Lindy Russell. They provide free one week, all expenses paid, trips to children who have serious medical conditions and their families. The heroes house has been open for 20 years and has hosted over 1,000 families at this point. Gregg Russell shares the story of the house from its beginning until present day. He also shares the story of one of the heroes children who shared the stage with Gregg in Harbour Town. 
36:29 4/3/21
Gregg Russell Part 3
In Part 3 Gregg talks about the state of Ohio, Sandwiches and the making of Come Away Home. Gregg also shares some stories about his world travels including being interrogated in the back room of a Columbian airport. He also shares his love of the Liberty tree, the lighthouse, signs and the Harbourtown Playground. We wrap up with how he hopes his career will come to a close and the song I Love This Harbour.
37:00 3/27/21
Gregg Russell Part 2
In part two of the series Gregg tells us about his family, changes to the island over the 80s and 90s, what he believes is the best improvement to the island and some thoughts about the new bridge project. Gregg also opens up about his relationship with PGA great Payne Stewart and the impact that Payne's sudden death had on Gregg, his family and his career. Gregg also shares a funny story about Payne and PGA star Paul Azinger. Gregg explains how the Hilton Head Heroes House idea came to him and its beginnings. We wrap up the episode with Greggs favorite song that he has written, Come Away Home.
42:03 3/20/21
Gregg Russell Part 1
Gregg Russell the longtime performer in Harbour town joins us to talk about his beginning days at the Sea Pines resort on Hilton Head. Gregg tells the story of his living situation and the kindness of Charles Fraser. Gregg also shares what the island was like when he arrived, what he did in the offseason and what his favorite restaurant is. He also shares the story of his favorite song he wrote to honor Hilton Head and the Low Country. We end the episode with one of his songs.
34:37 3/14/21
Amber Kuehn from Spartina Charters of Bluffton, SC and Hilton Head Island
Meet Amber Kuehn, owner of Spartina Charters. Amber is a lowcountry native and provides eco tours of the May river and waters around Hilton Head. Amber is a marine biologist and runs the Sea Turtle Patrol on Hilton Head. Her tours are educational, entertaining and provide amazing insight into the complex eco system and environment that exists in the lowcountry waters. Amber explains why the pluff mud smells like it does. Her boat holds 24 people and is a great excursion for families and small groups. Tours last 2 hours and she even has a touch tank on board. 
31:12 3/7/21
278 to Lighthouse Road Introduction
An introduction to 278 to Lighthouse Road.
02:38 3/7/21