Fred C. Hack - Little Known, Very Important

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Sea Pines Plantation Lighthouse

Who was Fred C. Hack and why was he important to the development of Hilton Head Island?

With all the notoriety Charles Fraser has received (justifiably so) for the founding and development of Hilton Head Island, SC, one man, seldom mentioned it can be argued, had as much impact on Hilton Head as Charles Fraser.  That man is Fred C. Hack!

After all it was Mr. Hack who in about 1949 told Joseph Fraser, Charles' dad, about the timber opportunities on Hilton Head Island.  At that time Joseph Fraser controlled substantial timber holdings and operated the Fraser Lumber Company.  Mr. Hack, from Hinesville, Georgia scouted timber for lumber companies.  He told Fraser about his planned trip to Hilton Head Island for such a scouting expedition.  Fraser told Hack that he may be interested, and they agreed by handshake that neither would take action without the other being informed.Large Tree in Harbour Town, Sea Pines Plantation                                                                                                                                 

Hack made the trip to the island and indeed found 8,000 acres of fine timeber on the southern third of the island available.  Hack wanted to lease the land, but the owners, Loomis-Thorne properties wanted to sell.  Well, Mr. Hack didn't have the financial resources to purchase the property himself so he went to Fraser.  When Fraser visited the island with Hack, he was as impressed as Hack with the timber potential.  "I never expected to see such timber, and the appeal of the island's riotous natural charm had a great impact.  We would not leave that day until we had signed an option," said Fraser.

To acquire the land, Fraser and Hack organized the Hilton Head Company.  Fraser was the major investor, holding 51% of the stock, while Hack had a 10% share.  The Hilton Head Company paid $60 an acre for 8,000 acres, and many old hands in Beaufort County thought the two had been taken by the 'high' price of the land.

Not long after the purchase, Fraser was forced to put his business affairs aside.  As a general in the National Guard and a veteran of both world wars, he was recalled to active duty after the invasion of South Korea in 1950.  With Fraser away, Fred Hack took over direction of the Hilton Head Company.  Early the following year, Hack, along with a fellow named McIntosh negotiated the purchase of the 12,000-acre balance of the Loomis-Thorne holdings on the island for $600,000.  These two land purchases by Fred C. Hack and Joseph Fraser were the start of Sea Pines Plantaion, which was the start of Hilton Head Island.  And, if it were not for Fred C. Hack, who most do not know, there probably would not be a Hilton Head Island as we know it today!

The information in this blog is taken from the book, Profit and Politics in Paradise, by Michael N. Danielson.  If you'd like information on how to purchase or sell real estate on this fantastic island, contact me. 

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