Can you believe this mid-century vista shows the same hectic intersection of Coleman and Whilden where drivers can now spot the likes of The Shelter and Page’s Okra Grill?
Today, the boulevard hosts a bevy of restaurants and businesses, a far cry from this quaint scene featuring a rustic welcome sign and bait-and-tackle shop. Sixty-some years ago, the quieter thoroughfare led visitors to the fanciful public gardens of Pierates Cruz; to local elephant “Suzie Q” (one-time mascot of the nearby WCBD-TV station); and to the bustling docks of Shem Creek, where the shrimping industry was in its prime. Photographed in 1957, the two-lane Sullivan’s Island Road would soon be renamed after Mount Pleasant’s then-mayor, Francis F. Coleman, in what was just one of the major changes the town saw during his 14-year term. By the time he retired in 1960, the population had more than tripled, climbing from 1,500 to 5,000. That’s nothing compared to the 90,000-plus folks who today reside in the East Cooper burg, but the promise of “Real Home Town” charm—and pleasant memories a plenty—live on.
Photograph courtesy of South Carolina Department of Transit