Fifteen miles north of Charleston, tucked away in the oak trees of the Seewee Outpost just a stones throw from Highway 17 in the unpretentious and quiet community of Awendaw, sits one of Charleston's more offbeat music venues--not meant to be a pun. Before I transition to the finer points related to this green space touting a bohemian atmosphere, here are a few facts about its host, Awendaw.
Though not widely known by tourists, Awendaw is a cornucopia of wildlife and natural coastal beauty. Named by the Seewee Indians, it resides at the gates of the Francis Marion National Forest and dockside to one of the countries most outstanding wildlife preserves, the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Blackwater creeks, barrier islands, salt marshes, intricate coastal waterways, fresh and brackish water impoundments and maritime forests are some of its amenities.
In the early days of the New World, Awendaws nearby Bulls Island was a stepping stone to the first European settlement in South Carolina. Settlers landed on Bull's Island to replenish their stocks of wood, water, and food before proceeding further south to what is now the city of Charleston. Awendaw itself became the home of 52 men, woman and children known as the Wappetaw settlers--Wappetaw means "sweet water" and was an early name for Awendaw. In the summer of 1696, this group left Salem, Massachusetts to escape the insane madness associated with the Salem Witch Trials.
Although this was a special Sunday event, Awendaw Green Barn Jams run from 6-10 pm every Wednesday night of the year and features a diverse assembly of music from around the Lowcountry and parts unknown. Pack up your portable outdoor chairs and get your feet dirty.