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LIVE!
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PREMIERE ISSUE
| 53
Each room in the inn has its own
half-bath and is only lightly furnished.
And every room's double and twin
beds are dressed in hand-stitched bed-
spreads from Guatemala. The com-
mon areas allow guests to relax out-
side of their rooms and get a chance to
meet one another.
"In the summer the living
room has board games every-
where," Brian says, then pointed
out the wall of bookcases. "And
that's our library. I rotate out most
of the books every year or so...
during meals the dining room has
at least 40 people in it."
Large iron bells hang along
one of the dining room walls.
They ring for breakfast, lunch
and dinner each day to announce
meal time.
"You can hear them all the
way down on the beach. Everyone
comes in and is seated and the
food comes out all at once. We're all
served together," Brian says.
The front porch is lined with
more than a dozen rocking chairs and,
of course, houses the old beach ham-
mock. With open views of the beach,
the porch is a popular spot, especially
at sunset. The inn's creek dock holds
kayaks for patrons. Tucked under-
neath the house are tons of sand toys,
umbrellas and beach chairs. Every-
thing needed for a day at the beach.
"It's old Pawleys in every way.
This is beach rustic. It is what it is,"
Brian says.
The Sea View Inn began in the
1930s after Pawleys had already
become a favorite of vacationers.
Among the large numbers of repeat
visitors were Will and Celeste
Clinkscales. Through the years they
became familiar with the island and
the people who visited at the same
time each year. What began as
Celeste's interest in helping the
Kaminksi's run a bed and breakfast on
the island, turned into the
Clinkscales' building the Sea View Inn
in 1937. The inn was built with the
intention of becoming a place where
the same guests could return for the
same week in the same room each
year. Their first guests were family
and friends, along with some Pawleys
Island regulars who wanted to try the
new inn in the middle of the island.
According to Brian, while the Tip
Top Inn on the northern end of the
island attracted more people from
North Carolina, most of Sea View's
patrons were from South Carolina.
Visits to the inn were quiet and relax-
ing, though visitors were kept on their
toes by the antics of Will's brother,
George Clinkscales, a professor at
Converse College and later Wofford
College, who bought the house next
door to the inn. During the 1950s,
George would reportedly fire a can-
non he had built toward the ocean
during nap time. He also kept live
turkeys and chickens under his house.
In the spring of 1952, Sea View
was sold to Thelma Albright, Alma
Hull and Loma Squires. The three
ladies, who worked at Queen's
College, had been taking annual vaca-
tions to the inn for more than 10
years. In April they bought the inn
and welcomed their first guests the
next month. The trio carried the tra-
dition of simple vacationing, but made
a few changes. They added special
events, such as guided nature expedi-
tions, artist and photography work-
shops and plantation tours, which
continue today.
When Hurricane Hazel struck
South Carolina in October 1954,
the Sea View Inn was completely
destroyed. In a letter from Al-
bright to guests on March 16, 1955,
patrons were told the inn was still
recovering from Hazel, but they
would eventually reopen. "The
plan is essentially the same as the
old Sea View; the government
required that and allowed practi-
cally no deviation," Albright wrote.
The main building was com-
pleted by 1956 and is the same
structure that remains, along with
the original cottage. Not much else
has changed through the years. In
all, the inn has only changed owners a
handful of times. The Henrys pur-
chased the inn from Page Oberlin in
2002 and kept the staff of five local
ladies.
"Our focus is on freshening up
the place," Brian says. "The essence of
the place we haven't changed. There is
almost a pride in not changing and the
guests have asked us not to... We plan
to be here another 20 years. My wife
would love to see our two daughters
married here one day."
Rooms at the Sea View Inn start
at $190 a night for a two-night stay
and go up to $275 a night for ocean
front. Reservations can be made by
calling (843) 237-4253 or visiting the
website at www.SeaViewInn.com.
Prices include three meals a day and
all the peace and relaxation you can
carry.
Christine Anderson is a freelance writer
and photographer for newspapers and maga-
zines throughout South Carolina. She lives in
Columbia with her husband and son.
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