Isle of Palms' sandy history of pirates, bank robbers

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's a day at the beach when one ventures out to the Isle of Palms. Known for its smooth sand, wild dunes, and tall palms, more than 4,000 people call the island home.

But it wasn't always so inhabited.

"It started with, of course, there were Indians here and then it was Huntington Island and there was nothing here except the Indians," said Bill Macchio.

Mount Pleasant Magazine publisher Bill Macchio writes about Isle of Palms history and its urban myths of pirates burying treasure in the dunes and others.

"There were these bank robbers from New York that came down and these bank robbers stashed some money out here," Macchio said.

But according to Macchio, the Isle of Palms really took shape when J.C. Long bought 1,200 acres of the island and started developing it in 1944.

"J.C. Long took Isle of Palms to modern times," he said.

The City of Isle of Palms sits on a 7-mile-long and 1-mile-wide island and has been incorporated for more than 60 years.

With the Isle of Palms Connector opening in 1993, the island was linked to the mainland and became more accessible for everyone to enjoy all that it has to offer.

"The Isle of Palms Connector really added the commerce we were looking for. Real estate prices went up and a lot more traffic coming on and off the island," Macchio said.

The ABC News 4 team will be broadcasting live from Coconut Joe's on Isle of Palms for the latest installment of the 'Your Neighbors' series Thursday at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be an opportunity to meet anchors Dean Stephens and Victoria Hansen after the 7 p.m. show ends.

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