Arcadia Publishing has done it again with Daniel Island, a photographic history penned by father and son team Michael K. Dahlman and Michael K. Dahlman, Jr., both residents of the titular location near Charleston.
According to the book: “The history of Daniel Island (which spans 4500 years) lies just beneath the surface. Revealed in half-buried artifacts and forgotten manuscripts, it is uncovered piece by piece in the stories and legacies of agriculture, industry, recreation and development.”
Island resident Michael K. Dahlman is a member of the South Carolina Historical Society and the author of a biography of the 16th century life of St. Margaret of York. With a lifelong interest in industrial archeology, he was inspired to explore his community’s history by the chance discovery of an old brick. He was joined in this endeavor by his son Michael, Jr., a student at Bishop England High School who has a deep interest in Civil War history and marine archeology.
Michael Dahlman talks about how he and his son got the idea to write Daniel Island, saying, “We share a love of history and a desire to know about the place we call home. Shortly after moving to Daniel Island, it became apparent that the true story of Daniel Island had not been put together, and what we could find was very fragmented and inconsistent. Within a few months, Michael had found ruins in numerous places in the woods of the island, and I found a handmade brick that really spurred us to understand Daniel Island. The more we learned, the more realized thatthis story needed to be shared with those that live and work here. The idea of a book was mostly a joke between us until we were introduced to Arcadia Publishing and owner Mr. Richard Joseph. With his (and his editor’s) politely forceful pushes, we committed to an ‘end of 2006’ deadline.”
The Dahlman’s used an array of sources to bring their book to life. Online resources from the SC Department of Archives and History and visits to the SC Historical Society provided enough information to create an outline. The outline was filled in with information gleaned from books and interviews with historians, city officials, archaeologists and lifelong residents.
Readers will be interested to learn that Daniel Island’s history spans an amazing 4,500 years of human activity and the island’s artifacts are among the oldest in the state. Daniel Island is deeply integrated with the history of the Carolina colony and the city of Charleston. Readers may be particularly fascinated by the first-hand stories of families who lived and worked on the island in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as tales of the raids that took place on the island during the Revolutionary War.
The Dahlmans will be signing copies of their new book at a launch party at Vincent’s Pizza on Daniel Island on Tuesday, February 13 from 6:30 – 8 pm. For more information, call (843) 278-1582.