Rotary Club of Hilton Head proudly presents:
The 2013 Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame Honorees Announced
Billie Hack and Tom Barnwell have been named the two newest inductees to the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame. They join inaugural inductees Charles Fraser, Fred Hack, Charlotte Heinrichs and Charles Simmons, Sr. The announcement was made this evening at Rotary’s 2nd Annual Hall of Fame Concert at The Westin. November 1, 2013
Thomas Curtis Barnwell, Jr. (1935-Present)
When doors are closed to Tom Barnwell Jr., he finds a window to climb through. That has been his reputation, along with energy, focus, and perseverance. And throughout his life, Tom has been the most consistent voice for the Gullah culture on his native Hilton Head Island. He is best known for his work to improve health care, affordable housing, education and economic development here. He has helped local families clear land titles, write wills and make sure taxes are paid. Tom has helped create numerous governmental commissions to benefit the residents of the Lowcountry. Mr. Barnwell’s message is clear: “Respect. Listen. And try to improve the community, wherever you are, to the best of your ability without being rude or disrespectful to others.”
Will “Billie” Davis Stebbins Hack (1915-1998)
Shortly after moving here in 1950 with her husband Fred, Billie Hack quickly became a community leader, shaping Hilton Head Island with her principles and volunteerism. Mrs. Hack’s soft-spoken leadership helped establish a number of institutions that still undergird the community. She was one of the founders of the First Presbyterian Church, she helped organize the Children’s Center, and helped bring the public library to the Island. Mrs. Hack also helped establish the Bargain Box thrift store which has donated millions of dollars to charity. Billie Hack was described as a considerate, loving and quiet person. Her contributions to the Island were numerous and lasting, yet she was never comfortable with any attention attributed to her community service.
The Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame
Launched by the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island in 2012 as a gift to the community, the Hall of Fame honors the visionary people who have had a lasting and extraordinary impact on our community. Selection of the honorees is made each year by an anonymous group of longtime community residents from nominations submitted by the community at large. Each Hall of Fame honoree is enshrined with a brass plaque on a tabby pedestal in the Hall of Fame exhibit overlooking Jarvis Creek at Honey Horn Plantation.
Inaugural Unveiling of Hall of Fame Members!
The inaugeral unveiling of the 4 members of the Hall of Fame happened on June 2 2013 at Honey Horn. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of the Hilton Head Island Rotary Club and Honey Horn, the residents of Hilton Head Island now have a permanent home to "recognize and honor local residents, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the community."
Early History of Hilton Head Island
History of Hilton Head Island
in the 20th Century
Inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years, Hilton Head was first explored by the Spanish in the early-1500s. In 1663, English Captain William Hilton arrived from Barbados and named the island after himself. "Hilton's Head," as it was originally called, became a cotton plantation, later serving as a major base in the Civil War. Post-war, a number of freed slaves moved to the island seeking housing and work. In the early-1930s, a Wall Street tycoon purchased more than 60 percent of the island to use as a private game reserve.
In 1956, Charles Fraser developed the Sea Pines Resort, and Hilton Head's transformation into a vacation destination was begun.
Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame
Hilton Head Island has introduced a Hall of Fame to permanently enshrine the visionary people of the past and present who have had a lasting and extraordinary impact on our community. The first inductees were announced November 1, 2012.
Location for the Hall of Fame
The Coastal Discovery Museum has designated a Wall of Fame within the Museum. Each honoree will have a large bas relief with an engraved plaque detailing their achievements. Future plans include a dedicated tabby wall built along one of the Honey Horn pathways.
Who does the selecting? A dedicated group of longtime community members were chosen to select honorees. They will review annually nominations during the month of October, in preparation for the announcement on November 1st.