Project to document oral accounts of life on Cainhoy peninsula
Wed, 03/09/2022 - 9:07am admin
The Daniel Island Historical Society is working to ensure that the stories of the past remain part of the present and are shared with future generations. The nonprofit organization has partnered with the College of Charleston’s Department of History to launch a new oral history project on the Cainhoy peninsula called “The Cainhoy Collective.”
The endeavor is the first of its kind on the Cainhoy peninsula, with the specific mission of collecting oral histories from individuals whose families have called this historic area home for generations.
The Daniel Island Historical Society has awarded College of Charleston student Riley Conover an internship/research assistant position to lead the Cainhoy Collective through an independent study this semester. In addition to conducting interviews with elders in the community, Conover will study the history of the region, learn oral history techniques and archival research methods, and present her findings at a public community presentation offered by the historical society on April 19, 7 p.m. at Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel
Island. Conover is currently a senior, double majoring in communications and international studies.
Through the life histories of interviewees, the project is designed to create an archive of the past that will serve as an important and needed resource for understanding the communities of Cainhoy, Huger, Wando, Jack Primus, and others on the Cainhoy Peninsula. The historical society is exploring possible repositories for the digital interview files and written transcripts, including the Avery Research Center for African American Culture and History, the Keith School Museum, and the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.
The Daniel Island/Cainhoy peninsula area, once a vastly rural community located “Behind God’s Back,” as described in the book of the same title by Herb Frazier, is now home to more than 15,000 residents. The area is rich in family history with ties to both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, along with generations of African American community members whose ancestors were once enslaved on plantations on the peninsula.
Fred Lincoln, a longtime member of the Jack Primus community on the Cainhoy peninsula, was Conover’s first interviewee. Lincoln serves on the board for the Keith School Museum and sees the Cainhoy Collective project as an important learning tool.
The Cainhoy Collective oral history project is seeking elders who grew up in the community to be interviewed. If you would like to participate, or if you know someone who would be a good candidate, email Bain at firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants will receive a CD with the audio recording of their interview, plus a written transcript.