About Me Fuskie Girl

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I love painting, writing, blogging, good wine, art, close friends, travel but most of all Daufuskie Island, South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Architectual Digest did a great piece on John Mellancamps Beach House in Daufuskie Island.

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The Gothic Revival House is in Bloody Point on Daufuskie Island, SC 29915. The back of the house is my favorite part. It opens up to the wide Atlantic Ocean with an infinity pool and two beautiful covered porches, both with fire places. An outdoor kitchen offers year round relaxed living right on the beach.

John Mellencamp's South Carolina Island Getaway

The musician's Daufuskie Island retreat, designed by Monique Gibson, is a striking complement to his all-American songs

Some 30 years ago John Mellencamp discovered Daufuskie Island, a relatively unspoiled spot in South Carolina, just across the border from Savannah, Georgia. Fascinated by the island's history (until the 1980s it had been inhabited largely by the Gullah, descendants of freed slaves) and enamored of its privacy (it can only be reached by boat), the singer-songwriter purchased several acres on the Atlantic Ocean. But the land sat empty for more than a decade. "I had every intention of building a house—I just never got around to it," says Mellencamp, who is also an accomplished painter, occasional actor, Farm Aid cofounder, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. (The recently released box set John Mellencamp 1978–2012 features 19 of his studio albums, including 30 Billboard Hot 100 singles.) Then one day he snapped a photograph of a church in Myrtle Beach, and the structure's shape inspired him to finally hire an architect.
The finished residence—the work of Neil Gordon, whose office is on neighboring Hilton Head Island—bears ample evidence of that church's influence, with pointed-arch windows and doors and a navelike central living hall that is ringed by a gallery reminiscent of a choir loft. Mellencamp filled the rooms with odds and ends from storage, but the home, like the property before it, "just kind of sat fallow," he says. It's not that he didn't love the area. Two of his five children grew up nearby, and he has lived part-time in the region for more than half of his life. But this particular house never felt right. Mellencamp's girlfriend, actress Meg Ryan, however, thought the place had promise, and asked last year, "Why don't you make it as beautiful as it can be?" Energized by her enthusiasm, he called New York City interior designer Monique Gibson, with whom he'd collaborated on three previous dwellings, including his Indiana home base.
The decorator headed to Daufuskie "to let the house tell me what it needed," she says. "I'd walk around on the phone and tell John, 'This kitchen makes no sense' or 'These doors are too small.'" Thus, the kitchen was redone, the doors were enlarged, and the woodwork was stained to give it depth. Gibson played off the peaked windows by incorporating their shape into the metal base of the 27-foot-long table that bisects the living hall. On one side of that space is a library rich with art books; on the other is a movie room, where classic films are a regular after-dinner feature. Mellencamp is notably partial to movies with screenplays by Tennessee Williams—he can recite whole stretches of dialogue from Baby Doll, and a prized possession is a poster of The Fugitive Kind, a gift from his friend Joanne Woodward, who starred in it.
One of Gibson's first clients was Elton John, so she is especially comfortable working with creative powerhouses. (Jon Bon Jovi is another client.) On their first project together, long ago, Mellencamp gave the designer a tight budget and a six-week deadline, all without actually meeting her: "The first time I saw him was when he rang his own doorbell," she says. Fortunately, he liked what he walked into. "John's a tough businessman, and he's very clear about how he wants to live," Gibson continues, adding that the musician's not above making his own contributions. During the improvements on the Daufuskie house, Mellencamp inquired if she had selected any art for an unusually large expanse of wall in the living hall. "When I said, 'Not yet,' he got his stencils out," the designer recalls. The result is a mural that reproduces the lyrics to his song "For the Children."
"I meant it as a blessing for the house," Mellencamp says with a grin. "Then my kids saw it and laughed at me."
Artworks by Walt Kuhn, Marvin Cherney, and Jack Levine are displa ed everywhere—from the shelves in the kitchen to the wall above the headboard in the master bedroom—the expressive social-realist portraits evoking the characters in Mellencamp's gritty songbook. (The musician is currently working on his first solo album in four years, with producer T Bone Burnett.) Mixed among that boldface art are cherished bits of ephemera, such as vintage signs from a now-demolished mental hospital; the gilt letters of one spell out the institute for wayward young women.
Gibson added warmth and texture to the airy interiors and generous porches with lots of linen and leather upholstery and furnishings that are either sculptural, comfortable, or both. But she remained acutely aware that the house serves as laboratory for one man's rampant creativity. "There is always something going on in that big brain of his," she says. "He's always making something: music, art, houses, chaos!" Mellencamp often paints in a studio located on the second floor; nearly 40 of his works were recently exhibited by the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, in a show that will travel in the fall to the Museum of Art–DeLand, Florida.
While Daufuskie is Mellencamp's refuge, he readily throws open the five guest rooms to friends and family, proof that a once forlorn and overgrown piece of real estate has become absolutely essential. "John really uses this place now," Gibson notes. "I take that as a huge compliment."

John Mellencamp

Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp at his retreat on South Carolina's Daufuskie Island; he stenciled the wall with lyrics from one of his songs. The home was designed by Neil Gordon Architect and decorated by Monique Gibson Interior Design. For details see Sources.

Dining Area

The dining table displays an assortment of glass vessels from Balsamo Antiques; RG Ironworks made the French doors.

Screened Porch

The screened porch includes furnishings by RH (the dining and cocktail tables, dining chairs, sofa, and club chair); the platter is from Balsamo Antiques.

Getting to Paradise

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Getting to Daufuskie Island, SC. 29915
First you must make your way to Broad Creek Marina on Hilton Head Island and wait for one of the few boats that arrive each day to take you on the 45-50min cruise over to Daufuskie Island. It has no bridge from or to the mainland. You start to feel all the stress drain out of your system. The tickets run about $33 a person unless you live or have a residence on Daufuskie Island. You will also pay $5.00 a day to park and can only take two bags. Golf clubs and large bags will be subject to an additional fee. Also be sure to call and make reservations. (843) 342-8687.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Congratulations to Matt Kuchar on winning the RBC Heritage Classic

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Congratulations to Matt Kuchar on winning the RBC Heritage Classic at Hilton Heads Sea Pines Plantation. The wind was heavy and it was not easy play for anyone.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Environmental Committee works for sustainable living at Haig Point

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The residents of the Haig Point community on Daufuskie Island are united by their love of the area’s natural beauty. And for the past four years the community’s Environmental Committee has been working to make sure its natural beauty endures.
 “We want to be recognized for being a sustainable and green community,” said Yvonne Clemons, chairwoman of the seven-person group that has brought recycling and water conservation initiatives to the residential development where electric golf carts are the only mode of private transportation.
 “The things we are doing are good for the residents and good for the community,” she said.
 The committee also has positioned Haig Point to be a leader in building environmentally sound homes, complete with water conservation methods and native plants that will reduce the amount of water needed for lush, green lawns.
 And while South Carolina is still behind the curve when it comes to recycling, Haig Point now has a community program where recyclables are collected from each household on a regular schedule.
 “It can be hard to break old habits, but we have to rethink our ways, Clemons said. “Recycling was the committee’s first initiative and we have made great strides, and we have saved the community money in the process.”
 The committee also is seeking recognition for its Rees Jones Signature golf course as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. And its members are revitalizing a nature trail in the center of the community that winds through an old Gullah cemetery.
 On an island-wide scale, the committee shares a common bond with the Daufuskie Island Conservancy that includes five Haig Point members on its board and has more than 100 members total.
Recycling is a once-a-week collection at curbside for each homeowner. In addition, there are recycling bins at other businesses around the island inclduding the restaurants, golf club, visitor center and mansion. The recyclables are then collected, loaded on a ferry and delivered to a company on Hilton Head.
 “You have to love this island first,” said Clemons, who relocated with her husband, Michael, to Haig Point from Columbus, Ohio, seven years ago. “I was in the fashion industry, so this is like a whole new second life to me. I love this place. And I want it to look this beautiful for a long time to come.”

Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/02/19/2958697/environmental-committee-works.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, January 30, 2014


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Jo Hill and her husband Jack relocated to the private community of Haig Point on Daufuskie Island from Atlanta because of the quiet lifestyle and the beauty of the natural surroundings. But once they settled in as full-time residents in 2005, it was what they didn’t know that got them hooked.
Together, they explored outside of the community gates and learned more about their surroundings.
“We rode our bicycles all over the small island and we got to meet people outside our gates,” Hill said. “We began to understand that this was a historical district. I had an interest in history, but never got that involved in anything like this.”
But, times have changed for Jo Hill. She now is president of the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation, and more than twothirds of the residents of Haig Point are duespaying members of the organization that was formed in 2001 to preserve and protect the rich history of the island that stretches just 12 square miles. Additionally, about 30 Haig Point members volunteer at the museum that was wonderfully restored through private donations from the Haig Point community.
Many Haig Point members also serve on the foundation board, including noted historian Nancy Ludtke, a long-time member at Haig Point, who serves as executive director and secretary of the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation.
“This island is unique,” Hill said. “Without a bridge to the mainland, many people know nothing about Daufuskie Island. And being here, we have a sense of responsibility to protect and preserve the past culture. We have a responsibility to learn from it and hold on to it.”
History tells of nomadic tribes on Daufuskie Island thousands of years ago. And in the 1800s, there were 11 working plantations on the island, with harvests of rice, indigo and cotton. Slaves from West Africa worked the plantations in large numbers until after the Civil War when freed slaves, better known regionally as Gullah, established their own identity on the island and forged their simple lives through fishing and crabbing. In the 1890s, the island was home to a large oyster canning factory and island oysters were sold around the world.
But with a change in the economy and new opportunities off the island, the Gullah population diminished from nearly 2,000 to 13 today. The Gullah people and culture are dying.
In another generation, the Gullah lifestyle will only be known through its history. So, the Historical Foundation is doing its part to keep that history alive.
“We are at a crossroads,” said board member Paul Vogel, a Haig Point resident of more than 20 years. “We have a limited time to save and record this history and culture or we will lose it.”
Members are recording oral histories with a few of the island’s life-long residents, some of whom are descendents of Plantation slaves. They have historical artifacts on display at the museum, and even have restored other significant historical buildings in the local district.
Today, the museum welcomes about 5,000 visitors a year who mainly come to the island through the one-day “Discover Daufuskie” tours from Hilton Head. The museum is open from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.daufuskieislandhistoricalfoundation.org.
Among the artifacts the visitors enjoy is a broken pottery piece dating back 5,000 years. There is also a collection of tools and coins from the indigenous population of about 1,000 AD. There is also a self-guided historical tour of the island named for Rob Kennedy, the firs president of the foundation. Kennedy was a long-time Haig Point member who passed away in 2009.
“It has been fascinating to learn of the history of this place,” said Vogel, who oversees the upkeep of the museum. “In fact, our grandchildren have even found Indian pottery pieces and Civil War items.”
Private donations from Haig Point members were used to restore an old pump organ from the turn of the century that is part of the museum collection. And their funding helped restore the Brothers and Sisters Oyster Hall that was used as a meeting place for workers in oyster harvesting industry until its demise in the late 1950s.
A joint future project of the Historical Foundation and Haig Point Club will stabilize the Tabby ruins of slave cabins from the 1830s that stand inside the club gates.
“I always tell people when they come here to find something they love doing,” says Hill. “For me, it is important to give back and make a difference.”
Most of the residents at Haig Point Club clearly feel the same.

Have you visited Daufuskie Island?

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