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History of Fripp Island

In the days of yore, this majestic 3,000-acre island was a popular oasis for world explorers and a quiet retreat for treasure hunting pirates who sailed the seas preying on ships of all nations. Because of its reputation for being a pirate hideaway, stories about Blackbeard, pictured above, and his buried treasure on the island still persist.

 

History did not record a name for Fripp Island until the 17th Century when the island was deeded to Captain Johannes Fripp, a swashbuckling privateer, who like other letter-of-marquee men and pirates of that time, sailed the Seven Seas in search of gold and treasures. Captain Fripp was a big powerful man whose reputation as a skillful sea warrior marked him as a fearful foe. For reasons unknown, Captain Fripp never gained the notoriety of Blackbeard and other scurrilous pirates of the time being a privateer of sorts made it possible for Captain Fripp to take sides with any nations paying the highest price for his services. England needed all the help she could get at the time, so King Charles of England made Captain Fripp an offer he couldn’t refuse.

 

It proved to be a good arrangement for both England and Captain Fripp. Fripp was given the responsibility of defending the British encampment located in nearby Beaufort against marauding Spanish and French, a task accomplished successfully. With the French and Spanish unable to penetrate the English stronghold in Beaufort, the English had time to further reinforce the coastal defenses of Beaufort. On behalf of England, King Charles officially deeded this island to Captain Johannes Fripp.

 

The island became known as Fripp’s Island. Captain Fripp settled there, married a woman by the name of Martha Scott and had a family. The Fripps became one of the wealthy southern families prior to the Civil War. Unfortunately, most of the records of the Fripp family were destroyed when the courthouse burned during the Civil War. Several descendants and namesakes of Captain Fripp still live in the Beaufort area.

Development of Fripp began in 1961. Before then, the island served as a favorite hunting and fishing spot. In 1963, the half-mile access bridge was built to connect Fripp and Hunting Islands. By 1971, Ocean Point Golf Links had opened and the first homes had appeared. The Fripp Company, Inc., purchased the island’s undeveloped land and amenities in 1991. During the next decade, more than 20 million dollars in capital improvements were completed. In January of 2001, the Fripp Island Company, LLC purchased the amenities and some undeveloped land.

 

On January 31, 2003, the Fripp Group, Inc., purchased Springtide Village at Fripp, LLC. The purchase included over 7 acres of property along with the Fripp Island Real Estate Co., the visitors’ welcome center building at the entrance to Fripp Island, SpringTide Market, Mangos retail space and Channel 7 cable television (L.O.C.). In addition, the acquisition included the corporate office buildings and miscellaneous support facilities for the Fripp Island Company, LLC, owners of Fripp Island Resort.

 

The principals of the Fripp Group, Inc., are committed to the positive development and improvement of Fripp Island properties and amenities on behalf of all residents and property owners on the wonderful island we call home.