Prior to the opening of the first bridge to Hilton Head Island in 1956, Bluffton was a sleepy little town on the May River, a place where folks from Savannah and the inland portions of South Carolina would vacation each summer in their cottages.
When development met its stride on the Island in the 1970′s, the people of Bluffton proudly withdrew to the peace and serenity of their small village and proclaimed their allegiance by printing bumper stickers that declared, “Bluffton is a State of Mind.”
Development around Bluffton wad admittedly sluggish at first. In the early ’70s, a group of investors purchased a tract of land off-Island and, in 1974 and 1975, began marketing Moss Creek Plantation as a private gated community with no resort guests. Moss Creek got off to a slow start, partly because it was way ahead of its time. The perception was that it was “way out there.”
The same was true in 1980 when John and David Welton of Toronto began developing Rose Hill Plantation in Bluffton, and when former Sea Pines executives, Jim Chaffin and Jim Light, along with Dr. Peter LaMotte, developed Callawassie Island.
In the early 1990′s, the pace gradually began to pick up. Upscale golfing communities such as Colleton River Plantation, Spring Island and Belfair Plantation sold briskly from the start.
When the Del Webb Corporation purchased acreage outside Bluffton for their East Coast Sun City retirement community in 1994, the whole equation changed.
Today Bluffton is one of the fastest growing towns in South Carolina, utilizing a town manager style of government. The many neighborhoods around Bluffton offer amenities to suit nearly every taste, including golf, equestrian, marsh and water views. Combine that with shopping opportunities, from outlet malls to big box retailers to wonderful local shops, and add a short trip to the beaches of Hilton Head Island or Savannah for fun, and it’s easy to see why so many are choosing to call Bluffton home.
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