Group works to restore sweetgrass basket stands along Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant

Charleston County News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A Lowcountry group is working to refurbish sweetgrass basket stands along Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

More than 30 volunteers spent several hours on Saturday cleaning up sweetgrass basket stands in hopes of attracting both visitors and basket weavers.

“Sweetgrass is found nowhere else in the world except Mount Pleasant,” said Corey Austin, a member of the Mount Pleasant Culture, Arts, and Pride Commission.

Town officials say they want to continue the tradition of sweetgrass basket making by renovating the stands along Highway 17; they play a major role in the town’s culture dating back to the days of slavery.

“The predate most of us here and these basket stands represent a huge part of our history and our culture,” said Nicole Harvey, special events manager for the Town of Mount Pleasant.

The CAPS Commission said they are working to better the community. Katherine Whitaker, a chairperson with the commission, said the renovations showcase what they are striving for. “It’s all our high points, culture, arts, pride are all part of what we are doing here,” she said.

Organizers of the restoration project say making sweetgrass baskets is often a family tradition — one they want to see continue for generations to come. 

“We want our long-term goal to be to record oral histories and put these on our public art map, and eventually, we would love to have oral histories from the families who occupy the stands,” said Austin. “It’s just a great feeling to see what we have done already.”

The commission is still looking for volunteers to bring tools, and help paint and replace any wood that needs repair.

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