“H” is for Hilton Head Island [Beaufort County; population 33,862]. Located in the southeast corner of the state, Hilton Head Island is the largest of the islands that flank South Carolina’s Atlantic coast. Prior to the Civil War, Hilton Head planters grew rich off the production of sea island cotton. During the war, the island was occupied by Union forces—and after the war, much of the island reverted to nature. In the 1960s, Charles Fraser and his Sea Pines Company developed Sea Pines Plantation, an oasis of taste and natural beauty amid the hodgepodge that characterized much of the Atlantic coast. Hilton Head Company and other developers followed Fraser’s lead with resort hotels and gated communities. Many of the islands black residents, however, remained on the bottom of the economic ladder. Hilton Head Island is named English explorer, William Hilton.