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This week in print – '70s come to an end

  • Thursday, July 31, 2014

Is this the Cooper River? NO! Larissa and Alex Schiavo of Mount Pleasant took a cruise on the Yangtze River and through the locks of the Three Gorges Dam in 2008. This photo was taken just before the earthquakes in China when they found a bridge exactly like the Ravenel Bridge except there are two silver balls at the top of the main supports. And yes, the bridge in China was built many years before the Ravenel Bridge. PROVIDED

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Public services in East Cooper towns have always been innovative, trying to stay ahead of the curve in what they provide.

In an article published in the Moultrie News on March 28, 1979, the Mount Pleasant Fire Department announced a new initiative in which they were seeking the names and addresses of citizens who had handicapped people living in their homes.

According to Chief Cyrus T. Pye, the fire department, as a part of its expanding fire prevention program and in an effort to provide the public with more efficient service, obtained fire rescue stickers designed especially for the physically handicapped person.

Citizens could display the stickers to alert responders that a person might be unable to escape should a fire break out.

And in addition to offering more services to the growing population, more and more restaurants were popping up around town. Blanchard's Farmer's Daughter Bar-B-Que opened on Highway 17, just around the corner from Kmart, a 1979 article reported.

CQ's also opened in Lafayette Village, patterned after the famous restaurant of the same name in Harbour Town on Hilton Head. It was designed to be a New York-style pub.

Also that year, the third Harris Teeter opened in Charleston on the 17 bypass. Another new location was proposed for East Bay Street in Charleston. In 1979, Harris Teeter had 79 stores around the nation.

By August of 1979, trucks over eight tons were diverted from the Grace Bridge to the Silas Pearman Bridge after an inspection of the 50-year-old bridge determined that it was originally rated for 12 tons and had weathered the storm well so to speak.

On Sullivan's Island, landmarks were being demolished that year, like Sisco's Seafood Market. In addition, the Breech Inlet Tackle Shop would meet its fate by bulldozer. The 4.5-acre tract changed hands. The Pritchard family sold the land to Greenbax Enterprises who divided the tract into nine lots to be developed as single-family residences.

An article said the land was never zoned as commercial and town council members were thrilled about the development.

Salty Stafford of the Inlet Tackle Shop was quoted as saying, “I just bet they were ecstatic. They never have liked me down here, not since I fought 'em to let people fish off the Breech Inlet Bridge. I've been good to the islanders and the fishermen, and I think they'll hate to see me go. There's been a tackle shop here since before anybody can remember. Now they're just gonna kick me out. Hell yes, I'm bitter.”

Times were certainly changing in 1979. Cable TV made its debut; Storer Cable had come on the scene to offer service to parts of Mount Pleasant. The cost to have full-service cable, including HBO, was $16 a month.

Palmetto Island County Park opened in October of 1979 – one thing in the East Cooper area that has not changed. It still remains a family park with 725 acres of natural beauty.

And at the end of that year, reporter Richard McCall pondered what 1980 would have in store.

He suggested an increase in utilities to provide adequate service to the growing East Cooper population.

After a census would be completed, he explained that by using the 10-year growth rate, the Chamber of Commerce would begin enticing new businesses. In conjunction with that, Mount Pleasant officials would begin work on a growth policy plan to use as a guideline for the annexation strategy.

As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

For more updates from the desk of the Moultrie News editor, Sully Witte, please follow Sully's Scoop on Twitter @SullysScoop and like Sully's Scoop Facebook page.

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