The Spirits of Hilton Head
By Terry Cermak
Inspired by the enterprising big city bartenders who created iconic New York-centric cocktails (like the classic Manhattan), LOCAL Life Magazine and Rollers Wine & Spirits have leaped to the challenge of creating and adapting cocktail recipes to celebrate Hilton Head landmarks, events, and founding fathers. This being October, we've concocted a cocktail honoring one of the island's more ghostly vestiges:
The Stoney-Baynard Ruins
Cotton planter Captain John 'Saucy Jack' Stoney built what was then called Braddock's Point Plantation between 1793 and 1810, and represent the main settlement of a typical sea island cotton plantation. Quietly tucked into what is now Sea Pines, the main house ruins are the only tabby mansion built on Hilton Head Island. Standing architectural ruins associated with the plantation include portions of the main house, a chimney footing for what may be an overseer's house, and a slave house associated with slaves working in the main house. Ruins of a fourth structure include footings for a tent, probably constructed during the Civil War by Union troops known to have been stationed there. From the National Register of Historic Places registration form, January 7, 1994:
The estate remained in the Stoney family until around 1837 when it was acquired by planter William E. Baynard. A popular island legend says the Stoney owner lost the property in a poker game to Baynard in 1840. During the Civil War the plantation was raided by the Union forces and made into their Island headquarters. Shortly later, the home burned down.
Over the years, numerous ghost stories and reports of paranormal activity surround this historic site. Some visitors claim to have seen the ghost of William Baynard wandering the site after dark...and some claim to have witnessed his entire funeral procession - including a horse-drawn hearse.
And, courtesy of TripAdvisor, there's this:
"My daughter & I visited around dusk. Large orb lurked above my head as I walked around the house, per my daughter standing elsewhere. She took photos & orb was in them. Freaked us out a bit, so we walked down the hill to our car. Large orb followed, and then a multitude of various sized orbs started appearing with the accompanying sound of many crunching footsteps in the woods. Both my daughter & I took pix with separate cameras, both of our pix had orbs. When we took pix back to room, put on her computer they looked like electrified circles with different colored lights pulsing. We believe Mr. Baynard hitched a ride home with us."
Personally, we prefer our spirits in a glass...
The Stoney-Baynard Ruins
Haunted or not, this historic little gem hidden in Sea Pines is worth a visit...and a toast or two.
1½ oz Holy City Honey Ghost Whiskey
1 oz Black Fang mead
½ oz Maraschino liqueur
½ oz fresh lemon juice
Add the whiskey, Maraschino liquer and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and double strain into a chilled goblet. Add the mead and gently stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig rosemary. Before serving, add a pea-size piece of dry ice if desired.
(CAUTION! Do not touch dry ice with bare skin and remove any remaining dry ice before drinking)