CHARLESTON, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — “You know this is the forgotten history that never made it into the books,” said Cubby Wilder.

In a boat or in a book.

In person or in print.

There are plenty of ways to experience history in Charleston.

But for some, that history isn’t just in the distant past but rather part of a dream for the future.

“When you walk around the ones that are undeveloped, it’s like walking around Charleston before any of us got here,” said Josh Coleman.

For the past seven years, Coleman has spent most of his time on the water giving seaside tours with Charleston Outdoor Adventures.

He’s a native of the area but just discovered some parts of history left out of the schoolbooks.

“This was only something I learned about with my own personal reading,” remembered Josh.

The history that Coleman discovered by reading, Wilder lived.

“I tell people I’m from a place called Mosquito Beach,” laughed Wilder. “They say, ‘Oh man, that’s the place!’ Thinking of all the good times they had at Mosquito Beach!”

“Good,” that seems to be the best word to describe Mosquito Beach.

“It was good dancing, good music, and good eating,” smiled Wilder.

Sitting on the lands of freedmen, Mosquito Beach was one of the few “Black Beaches” in Charleston during the Jim Crow Era.

“They say you’re free, you can go where you want to go, but that isn’t so,” remembered Wilder. “All of that was based on one thing — the color of your skin.”

Hurricanes and time took a lot from Mosquito Beach. But, even then, they don’t stand a chance against Wilder.

“My passion is to see it get restored,” he said.

Since the 1980s, Wilder’s been documenting and fighting for Mosquito Beach. In 2019, he received a grant to help restore the historic Pine Tree Hotel. It’s just the beginning.

“If we can get everything back together, hopefully, the hotel open up, (open) the restaurant; hopefully, we see a bunch of people walking back and forth,” said Wilder.

The story of Mosquito Beach is one Josh has heard in person — from Wilder himself. The two became friends while Coleman listened to his stories. Josh will be leading a new boat tour- focused on the history being made at Mosquito Beach.

“When you get someone like him talking, you learn a lot of the inside information that doesn’t make it in the history books, but it gives it better context,” said Coleman.

Even from the marsh, Wilder can still hear the music that once lit up the beach.

“In my lifetime, that would be great. That would be great,” said Wilder. “There was some fun down here — then the mosquitos came too!”

Mosquito Beach — playing a big part in history and a part in what’s to come.