The continuing role of the foundation in history education and the preservation of the remnants of our collective pasts took on new and greatly expanded dimensions with the acquisition of the assets and obligations of The Hilton Head Island Historical Society in the summer of 2005. At the time it was the oldest cultural organization of its kind on Hilton Head Island having been formed in 1982. Its former responsibilities for the preservation and maintenance of two significant sites from the Island’s past now rest on the shoulders of The Heritage Library Foundation.
The Fort Mitchel site in Hilton Head Plantation contain the remains of a coastal defense battery erected in 1862 to protect the southern approaches to Port Royal Sound by way of Skull Creek from incursions by Confederate gunboats based in the Savannah River.
The Zion Chapel-of-Ease Cemetery at the intersection of Mathews Drive, William Hilton Parkway, and Folly Field Road is the location of the Island’s first Episcopal Church built around 1786 at that location to serve the needs of island planters and their families during the heyday of the sea island cotton boom.