Visit The Hammock Shops and Celebrate National Hammock Day
By Kimberly Duncan
Thousands of years ago, hammocks were created to get slumbering souls off the ground away from creepy-crawlies. Today, it’s the ultimate symbol of relaxation, and none is better known than the famous Pawleys Island Hammock – a hammock whose unique design has remained the same for well more than a century. It’s a hammock so strong and comfortable its handmade design has endured — unchanged and unchallenged.
The first Pawleys Island Hammock was constructed sometime in the late 1800s when John Joshua Ward, a riverboat captain with deep roots on The Hammock Coast, grew frustrated by the lumpy straw mattresses used on the river barges he steered up and down the Waccamaw River (a busy stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway) to and from Charleston. In his effort to score a comfortable night’s rest, he toyed with alternatives.
First, Capt. Josh tried a canvas creation, but it was nearly as hot and uncomfortable as the prickly straw. He tried knotted string, but the necessary knots made it equally uncomfortable. After considerable trial and error, a hammock of soft cotton rope evolved. It was expertly woven, not knotted, and its comfortable width was held open by a curved “spreader bar.” That bar lent a cradle-like curve and kept the soft material from collapsing onto itself. The novel design also allowed air to circulate making the hammock a relatively cool place to rest – even during the South Carolina coast’s sultry summers.
That’s the story of the original Pawleys Island Hammock – the hammock that endures as centerpiece to a couple of dozen exceptional shops and dining venues in Pawleys Island. The much-lauded development, beautifully landscaped and brimming with history, is aptly known far and wide as The Hammock Shops. And they’re all set to celebrate National Hammock Day on July 22. There will be hammock weaving demonstrations and other fun stuff still taking shape. Porch rockers and the famous hammocks, ubiquitous throughout Pawleys Island and the Lowcountry, beckon one and all to linger and make memories of the Best. Vacation. Ever.
Visitors will find a bit of everything from Southern collectibles, fashionable clothing and shoes, locally designed jewelry, original art, fine wine from ‘round the globe, snazzy pet supplies, home accessories – and frankly a lot more than there is room to detail. Onsite eateries serve awesome sandwiches (some on huge, homemade biscuits), chef-inspired cuisine, newsworthy milkshake, more than one fine outdoor bar and the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of a juicy all-American hot dog or ice cream cone savored on a shady bench beneath age-old oaks.
The Hammock Shops Village delivers shopping and dining that’s a lot less mall and a lot more magic. Located on Highway 17 in Pawleys Island, it is open daily, seven days a week. Don’t miss the opportunity for a memorable day of shopping, dining and relaxing in the heart of SC’s Lowcountry. And by the way, hammocks make great gifts! Never met a soul who doesn’t want one!