Mount Pleasant Magazine July/August 2023

97 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www. ShemCreekRes taurant s . com the islands Roy Williams III was an icon on Sullivan’s Island. He knew the island frontwards and backwards, inside and out, top to bottom. Not only had Williams lived on the island longer than just about any other resident, but he also wrote extensively on its history and architecture. He was even known to offer occasional tours of the island by trolley. When the island’s historical society, the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, produced a video called “Architectural Gems of Sullivan’s Island,” Williams was tapped, of course, to be the narrator. He was a gem in his own right. “Everybody loved Roy,” friend and island resident Hal Coste said. “He always had a smile. And he had a big heart.” Williams died on March 11, 2023, at the age of 87. The roots of Williams’ family run deep on the island, where his predecessors began summering in the 1800s. His grandfather purchased a house on the front beach at Station 9 in 1915 where Williams spent much of his youth, witnessing firsthand many facets of life on the island that have now disappeared. Like when the Pitt Street Bridge was the only path for newfangled automobiles to take from Mount Pleasant to Fort Moultrie, and island houses were likely cottages lacking hot water, heat or air conditioning. Or when full-time residents lived on the back beach and summer homes were on the front beach, and small familyowned groceries were scattered throughout the island and made deliveries to the locals. And when there was a movie theater at Fort Moultrie or when Battery Marshall near Breach Inlet housed Italian prisoners of war during World War II. The list goes on and on. Williams lived on the island for over seven decades. He attended Sullivan’s Island Elementary School and was a 1953 graduate of Moultrie High School. As an