You may want a new good “beach read.” You might need a good way to entertain your youngsters. It’s raining. Or you may want to know more about Hilton Head’s history. Whatever your need, take time to visit one of the Island’s two popular libraries.
At the Heritage Library, which has one of the most comprehensive historical and genealogical collections of its kind, you can read Captain William Hilton’s report of his 1663 sighting of Hilton Head. Research the Patriots who fought and died here during the American Revolution. Learn about the antebellum plantations and the Gullah culture kept alive by the isolated descendants of Sea Island slaves.
If you are interested in researching your genealogy, the library has skilled volunteers to help you, plus access to extensive on-line sources. There are frequent classes and workshops.
The Heritage Library owns and maintains two historic sites open to the public: Fort Mitchel, a Civil War earthworks relic in Hilton Head Plantation; and the antebellum Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery, at the intersection of Mathews Drive and William Hilton Parkway (US 278).
The Heritage Library, located at 852 William Hilton Parkway, is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Visits during other days or times are available by appointment. There is a nominal charge for research for non-members; a limited number of free one-hour genealogy checkup appointments are available.
The Hilton Head Public Library has a number of offerings for visitors. You can purchase a library card for non-residents so books and movies can be checked out. They have computers available for public use, and the Wi-Fi is free. Don’t miss the Friends of the Library Bookstore where you can buy gently used books as low as $1. The library also hosts a number of free programs for children and adults, including monthly book clubs. The Hilton Head branch is located at 11 Beach City Road, just off William Hilton Parkway (U.S. Hwy. 278) on the North End. For information about their hours, programs, and other branch locations, call (843) 255-6500.
Heritage Library Foundation (843-686-6560)