Surfside Beach Historical Society

Fund Raiser to preserve the last historical lot in Surfside Beach

Mr. Sabe Rutledge, who was born into slavery, but was emancipated, was the last person buried at the Ark Plantation in the Town of Surfside Beach in 1952. His descendants remain in the area and participate in the Surfside Beach Historical Society. 

The 3,194 acre plantation had a 3-acre cemetery. The very last undeveloped lot that was located in the  plantation cemetery is now for sale. The goal is to preserve the property for use as a memorial garden.  The Ark Plantation Home site is already owned by the town, and this purchase would enrich the heritage of the Town of Surfside Beach. 

Educational markers, events, property tours, and other activities such as the Annual Living History Day that is held the first Saturday in November are hosted by the Historical Society.  

The Society ardently hopes to purchase, preserve, and dedicate the property to honor the memory of those who were buried at the Ark Plantation, which includes plantation owners, colonial and ante-bellum slaves and others who might have been unfortunate to pass while visiting the plantation.

If you would like to donate to help purchase this property, please send a check payable to The Town of Surfside Beach, Attn:  Historical Society, 115 US Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, SC 29575The town is not able to accept credit cards for this fund raiser.

NOTE:  If the goal is not met, donated funds will be reserved for use by the Historical Society as prescribed in the Surfside Beach Town Code of Ordinances Section 2-62(d).

Click here to see the Secretary of State Charity Designation.



Officers for the term 02/07/2018 to 02/07/2020:

Joyce Suliman, Chairman                  Sadie Parmely, Treasurer
Cad Holmes, Vice Chairman              Mary Mabry, Publicity
Sherry Singleton, Secretary               Ben Burroughs, Historian

The Hon. Robert F. Childs, III, Town Council Liaison

Duties:  The Surfside Beach Historical Society shall serve to collect and preserve the history of the Town of Surfside Beach through collection of records, documents, photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, and other means, and to promote and provide access to the town’s history for current and future generations. 

Resolution #12-121

Ordinance #15-0814  

Qualifications:  The Surfside Beach Historical Society is open to anyone interested in researching, preserving and documenting the Town of Surfside Beach history.

Meeting Schedule: The Surfside Beach Historical Society 2018 Meeting & Event Schedule is:

Meetings:  February 7. April 4, June 6, July 10*, August 1, October 3, December 5

Events:  March 10, BBQ Festival, June 12 Tour Ark Plantation Site, 3rd Avenue South & Willow Drive,  2:00 p.m. each tour day; July 10 Tour Ark Plantation Site; August 14 Tour Ark Plantation Site; October 6, Family Festival; November 3 Living History Event at Ark Plantation Site; December 8 Christmas Parade.  

Events are held on Surfside Drive. Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. at the Floral Lake Clubhouse, 617 Lakeside Drive, in Surfside Beach (two blocks west of Ocean Boulevard at 6th Avenue South).  The July 10th meeting will be held at The Ark Plantation Site.

The Society welcomes and invites everyone interested in the town's history to join them and to participate in their work. 

Historical Survey                                                        The Ark Plantation History, Dr. Ben Burroughs

For more information about the Historical Board, please contact Town Clerk Debra Herrmann at 843.913.6333 or

02/07/2018 No Agenda PDF
08/02/2017 No Agenda PDF
07/06/2016 Agenda PDF
04/06/2016  No Agenda PDF
03/02/2016 PDF PDF
02/03/2016 PDF PDF
01/2016   No Meeting  
12/02/2015   No Agenda PDF
11/04/2015   No Agenda PDF
10/07/2015  No Agenda


10/07/2015 Board Meeting    No Agenda PDF
09/2015  No Meeting  
08/19/2015  No Agenda PDF