Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another Edition of New South Hunt Club

If you were attending Gaston Day in 2006, you may remember the publication of my book, New South Hunt Club. This book tells the story of a group of Gastonia businessmen who purchased more than 2000 acres, including 4 miles of beachfront, on Hilton Head Island and operated a fabled deer hunting club there from 1917 to 1967. Several current Gaston Day students (Bill Henry, Charles Henry and Micaela Smith) had grandfathers who were members of this club: the Hilton Head Agricultural Company. Through my friendship with George F. Henry, III, then Gaston Day School Board Chair, and particularly his parents, Dougie and George Henry, Jr., I was introduced to the history of this club and the Gastonia connection. Recognizing my interest, Dougie Henry gave me a fantastic collection of historic hunt club photographs. More than one hundred images in all.

With these photos as inspiration, I began to research the history of the hunt club. I interviewed surviving hunt club members and sought out published records. The David Belk Cannon Foundation, headquartered here in Gastonia, agreed to underwrite the cost of publication so long as the proceeds from book sales came to Gaston Day School. John F. Blair, Publisher, in Winston-Salem published the book in 2006 and, to my surprise, sales were brisk and the book was favorably reviewed in the South Carolina Magazine of History . In fact, sales were so brisk that the book sold out in just over four months, and Blair was reluctant to do another print run. Ever since, people have regularly asked me where they could find a new copy. Regrettably, my answer has always been that there are no more new copies available, and used copies are expensive and hard to find.

Until now. Last year, my wife Sarah Park and I decided to publish a new edition. Sarah Park, a graphic designer and writer, designed the book and published it using an on-line service. John F. Blair is distributing it. Copies are available on Amazon, locally at Medical Center Pharmacy (Gastonia) or People's Pharmacy (Clover), or from me. If you are interested in learning about this chapter of local history or you have a link to Hilton Head, you may enjoy reading my book.