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rgrego 07-08-2007 06:55 AM

Did you Know? A little Parris Island History
Recently read this in our Beaufort County Council minutes and thought it interesting enough to share.

Did You Know …About Parris Island?

Mr. Gary Kubic, County Administrator, stated Parris Island was not always a military base. In 1698, the Lord Proprietors of Carolina gave Parris Island to Robert Daniel; although it was originally called "Port Royal Island.” When the Spanish lived on it, they called it “Santa Elena.” From 1701 to at least 1736, it was called “Archer’s Island.” During the antebellum period, it was generally referred to as “Parris Island.” According to the Geographic Names Information System of the United States Geological Survey, other names attached to the island are “Burris Island,” “Parry Island,” and “Parriss Island.”

In 1917 Parris Island was designated as Marine Barracks, Paris Island, South Carolina, spelled with one R. On May 3, 1919, the Marine Corps directed that the correct spelling of Paris Island should be with two R's. Officially, the Marine Post became Marine Barracks, Main Station, Parris Island. The following year, the United States Geologic Survey Board on Geographic Names decided that the Marine Corps had the spelling right: “Parris” with 2 Rs would be the proper way to spell “Parris Island.”

According to Dr. Stephen Wise, Parris Island Museum Director, it took another decade for the South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Society to unquestionably declare that Parris Island was named after Colonel Alexander Parris, the third documented owner of the Island once the English settled the colony.

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