MCVL Realty Expands to 3 MLS’s

MCVL Realty has built a niche serving the rural area between the Charleston/Mount Pleasant and Georgetown/Myrtle Beach metropolitan areas. Geographically, this is a huge niche extending 40 miles from end to end, but because of it’s rural nature, the number of active properties is only in the hundreds. By focusing exclusively on this niche, we are truly able to follow a radar-like observation of the daily activities of the market to provide expert service to our clients. As part of our promise to deliver top notch service to our buyer and seller clients, MCVL Realty has expanded our access to include new Multiple Listing Services (MLS’s). In addition to being able to access sold comparables and list properties for sale in the Charleston-Trident MLS (which includes residential properties in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties) we are now able to do the same for commercial properties in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester and the Coastal Carolina MLS which includes both residential and commercial properties in Georgetown, Pawley’s Island, Murrell’s Inlet, and Myrtle Beach.
MCVL Realty is still very much devoted toward the idea of serving the rural area between Mount Pleasant and Georgetown and east of Hwy 41 to include McClellanville, Awendaw, Huger, Honey Hill, and Shulerville, but the Santee Rivers have always been a very abstract border with some great rural properties just beyond them that we can now more easily represent. More than anything, this new MLS access gives us the ability to list our listings in both region’s MLS for much greater exposure. One of our listings for sale in McClellanville can now be seen by agents in the Grand Strand and listings that we pick up just north of the Santee river can be seen by agents in Charleston. Our growth in the commercial division completes our desire to be a truly full-service brokerage able to help the needs of every client in our area no matter the property or transaction type. We want people to know whether they want to buy, sell, or lease long- or short-term and whether they have or need land or a home, residential or commercial, that we are here to help.
Did You Know? The general public thinks of the MLS as a database of properties. In actuality, it is a contractual agreement that brokers make with each other to agree to cooperate with each other and provide compensation when due. When you list your property with MCVL Realty you sign a listing agreement with us promising to pay our brokerage a commission upon sale of your property. We in turn make a promise to other brokerages that we will share a specific portion of that commission with them if they bring the buyer when we enter that listing into the MLS. By having these agreements in place ahead of time, agents do not need to be concerned with their compensation and can put their clients’ best interest first.

What's the Deal with the Stormwater Utility Bill?

Only a few weeks after successfully reducing my Charleston County property tax bill. I received yet another bill in the mail. This time it was a Stormwater Utility Bill for $36, which just goes to prove that the government will always get what the government wants out of you, it just might take them a few tries.

According to Charleston County’s Stormwater Fee webpage this is supposed to assist with managing runoff and preventing pollution from being carried into our waterways. The fee is supposed to only apply to residents of unincorporated Charleston County and a few municipalities that asked for them to administer the fee on their behalf. I spoke with Mary Duke, McClellanville’s town administrator, who advised that McClellanville is not one of these municipalities and it’s residents should not have been billed. After several days of calling I finally heard back from a representative of Charleston County who confirmed that residents of McClellanville should not have received this bill and this was an error on the part of the County. He said in order to remedy the situation you can either call for an appeal form to be mailed to you or you can go online and fill one out here. Be sure to include your TMS# (which can be found on the bill) and state that you live within the town limits of McClellanville and the bill does not apply to you in the comments section.

I have to wonder if Charleston County’s repeated “errors” are more than a coincidence and that they’re not trying to make up the difference between their enormous spending budget and significantly less tax dollars from new growth and rising property values that they anticipated as if it were guaranteed to them. So, I am not telling anyone not to pay this bill if it arrives in the mail, but if you live in McClellanville proper I would appeal and wait for a response before you pay.

Note: I’ve already talked to one other resident of the town who received this letter, but if you live in the inside the town limits and received one please leave a comment below so the Town will know how many people were incorrectly billed. Also be sure to tell your friends and neighbors.

Fast and Easy McClellanville Gifts

McClellanville St. James Santee Book Just in time for your holiday shopping I’ve added a new feature to the website. Who wants to burn half a tank of gas driving to the mall and spend all day aimlessly looking for hard-to-find gifts when you can point and click and be done in a few minutes. Through an affiliation with, I have added lots of great McClellanville authors and books to my website. You can browse through the titles and add ones you like to a “shopping cart” then when you’re all done just click “proceed to checkout” a nd you’ll be taken to There you can continue your shopping for more books, DVD’s, CD’s, and just about everything else under the sun or checkout.
McClellanville Home in the Village Book McClellanville Cookbook The Village Museum and Arts Council also have lots of great local books (including most of these) so please visit them for more helpful holiday shopping ideas. doesn’t have every local book, but are there any books that you see that I’ve missed? Please leave a note in the comments with your suggestions and I will be sure to add them to the list.

McClellanville ARB, New Town Park,, Business Association, and More

I know I’ve been writing fewer and fewer posts lately, but I wanted to write an update entry to explain and to discuss a few interesting things I’ve been up to and heard lately.
First, I’ve been spreading my wings a little and working on a new website about Awendaw Real Estate . The site focuses on the waterfront communities and neighborhoods that spot the coastline of our neighbor to the south, which also enjoy a proximity to Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge and Francis Marion National Forest. McClellanville will always be first in my heart, but I’m taking a moment to diversify my business structure while the market is slow and will return to writing more McClellanville articles in the coming months. So please tell all of your friends about and let me know what you think.
I also decided to do my civic duty and have joined the Architectural Review Board, which oversees construction and signs in the historic and highway commercial districts of McClellanville (I’ll write more on that later). It seems like just yesterday when I “retired” from being Town Marshal, but McClellanville seems to be in shortage of volunteers lately, so if you’ve been sitting on your hands with nothing to do on Monday nights offer your services and fill a vacancy.
I am also thinking about creating a local businesses association/chamber of commerce/visitors bureau that would provide more exposure for local businesses and promote low-impact tourism in the area. It’s exact shape and direction will depend on the amount of involvement received from the community, but the organization will not seek to change McClellanville, but to organize and promote businesses in order to increase revenues and improve all facets of life in McClellanville. If you’re a business owner or organization leader please feel free to contact me for more details and to provide your input.
As you can see I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, I’ve just been otherwise entertained. So here are a few things that slipped through the cracks that you might find interesting.
Kathryn Basha, the town’s zoning administrator, told me that the idea I suggested for a park in McClellanville at the fork in the road between Pinckney Street and Old Cemetery Road may come to fruition. The town would purchase the land from Mayor Rutledge Leland at a discount with funds provided from Charleston County Greenbelt Funds and hopefully create a boardwalk to provide a scenic view of end of Jeremy Creek and connect Silver Hill and the Historic Districts existing sidewalks in addition to a passive park. g
Charleston as a Frontier Town by Robert Behre in the Charleston Post and Courier – Here is a book review of local authors Susan Bates and Cheves Leland’s most recent book, Proprietary Records of South Carolina Volume Three, which compiles some of Charleston’s earliest records to provide a side of the Charleston (as well as a map) that has not been seen by the public before.
Carolina Shrimpers in Uncertain Waters by Elizabeth Leland in Charlotte Observer – Here is a great article about shrimping focusing on a trip with David Donnelly on the “Village Lady” that was published in the Charlotte Observer. Be sure to click the links to the slideshow and videos as well.
Finally, I wanted to share a link to MSNBC’s hurricane tracking website, as Tropical Storm Hanna zeros in on the lowcountry. It’s up-to-date, quick and easy with a projected storm path and intensity. I absolutely hate the local news for things like this because regardless of the storm they start with “the sky is falling, run for the hills” routine every time. It’s always the same thing, a week before the storm they start telling people to evacuate and DON’T OPEN YOUR FRIDGE! Hanna doesn’t look like it’s going to be that strong and the projected path has it crossing over Savanna, meaning that Hilton Head and Charleston area will get drenched, but we should be that bad off.

McClellanville Featured in Boating and Waterfront Magazine

  In case you missed the most recent issue of Carolina Currents Magazine, it features a great article called McClellanville – Escape into History by Rob Lucy. 

 In my opinion, it’s the best article I’ve read about McClellanville from an outsiders point of view.  I grew up in McClellanville and have been writing about it for over a year now (publicly) and have a hard time providing as much information with as much imagery as this article is able to provide.  

McClellanville Marina on Jeremy Creek  The article explores McClellanville from a different side than most of us see it (or originally came to know it), that of the Intracoastal Waterway traveler.  Hundreds of tourists a year enter McClellanville, not passing under the blinking light on Highway 17, but putting by a blinking channel marker on the Intracoastal Waterway in a yacht, sailboat, or houseboat.  They stay for a night or two, partaking in our seafood and maybe a stroll through the Museum and the Arts Council and then slip back off without a trace.  It’s nice to have these visitors, for their smiles remind us of what we are so lucky to have every day. Jeremy Creek in McClellanville, SC

Otter Creek Trail: Kayak/Canoe

Otter Creek Trail in McClellanville, SC

It doesnt look like much on the map but otter creek is an exceptional trip that shouldnt be missed if youre a nature or wildlife lover. Its short length makes it the perfect way to wind down in the afternoon and early evening or start your morning off on the right track.

Directions: From blinking light McClellanville, take Pinckney Street into “The Village”, near the end of Pinckney Street turn right at the Town of McClellanville sign into the McClellanville Boat Landing. Access to Otter Creek is possible from any dock or other Jeremy Creek entrance point, but this is the most convenient launch point and is open to the public. Otter creek entrance is on the opposite side of the Jeremy Creek than the boat landing and slightly more to the south (toward the Intracoastal Waterway).

Requirements: Canoe or Kayak, PFD (life jacket), paddle, bug spray (if the bugs are bad), and a camera (if you can juggle one in a boat without dropping it in the water). No need for much else because its so short.

Special Notes: Otter Creek is a tidal creek which runs completely dry at low tide. The entrance at Jeremy Creek is shallow and only accessible at about a half tide or higher. Consult a tide chart, if the tide is low and going out dont risk getting stranded in the middle of the creek.

Trip Length: 1.5 – 2 miles (including paddle back out). An hour if you paddle slow and enjoy every breathtaking moment.

Difficulty: Easy – This isnt a paddle thatll impress the guys back at the office, but it is quite scenic and natural. Very short and calm waters on the most windy of days.

Sites to See: Lots of Nature – From the moment you enter Otter creek keep your eyes peeled for egrets, herons and other wading birds. Ive seen ducks, kingfishers, and a green heron. Palmettos, cedars, and honeysuckle can also be seen along the banks.

I guess I have to put some kind of liability statement in here to protect myself. Watersports are inherently dangerous, Im not responsible if you somehow manage to get hurt or die, so dont come after me with any lawsuits.

Submit Your Photos and Stories to

Filming for The New Daughter at Arts CouncilFilming for “The New Daughter” made for an exciting week in McClellanville for many people last week. I finally got the stars settled in their new homes for the next few months. Filming in the town wrapped up Friday evening with some exterior shots at T.W Grahams and the Arts Council, followed by a party at T.W. Grahams for the cast and crew. Several locals were chosen as extras in the movie and lots of people snuck pictures of Kevin Costner and all the rest of the cast. As different as this all was, theres always something interesting going on in this little town.

The New Daughter Filming in McClellanvilleIm always looking for great local stories and pictures of McClellanville. I cant be two places at once so theres usually some interesting event, great sunset, or funny story that I miss. If you ever come across something that you think would benefit the other readers of MyMcClellanville, please feel free to share it with me. If you are planning an upcoming event, send me everything that you want to say about it and I will be happy to help you spread the word. If you just had a great vacation in McClellanville or you want to share your knowledge or Kevin Costner Filming at TW Grahamsexperience about a local place, person, or thing, your contributions are always welcomed here. I cant promise I will be able to use everything that is submitted, because there just isnt enough time in the day to write about all the wonderful things happening in McClellanville.

Send your stories and pictures via email to DanielWBates (at) Yahoo (dot) com. If you dont have time to write out an email you can call me in the evenings and tell me about it too.

Kevin Costner Poses for a picture with my wife

My wife successfully stakes out Kevin Costner and gets her picture taken with him, Cheer Up Kevin!

McClellanville Recycling Reminder

How Much Recycling Do You Generate Every Month?Just a reminder for anyone interested in supporting the recycling pick-up cause that I will be addressing the Town Council at this months meeting at the Town Hall on Monday, February 4th at 7 p.m. This is about one months worth of recycling from the three people at my house. Imagine how much recycling each of the approximately 200 homes in McClellanville produces every year. Now imagine the amount of trips to the dump by each person that means and how many people dont bother because of the hassle. I hope to see you at the meeting. You dont have to speak, in fact the meeting will go on for days if everyone speaks, but you can show Town Council how you feel about the issue. Thank You, Daniel Bates

14 Foot Alligator in McClellanville

Word usually gets around in McClellanville when there is an alligator in Jeremy Creek. In all my time on the water, Ive never seen one, but I occasionally hear reports of sightings and Ive seen them in freshwater ponds in the area. Theyre usually young gators less than 6 feet in length that dont stay long in their search for fresher water, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw this 14 foot long alligator just standing there only a few feet from Pinckney Street. McClellanville Alligator

OK, you got me. This isnt a real alligator, but one of local artist, Lee Arthurs, most recent creations. Made entirely out of driftwood the amount of detail that went into the creation of this sculpture is incredible. Every bump and knot in the wood looks just like a real alligators skin and the twists in the wood look like an alligators bulging arm muscles. Lee Arthur Alligator Sculpture

Lee Arthur McClellanville Artist and SculptorThe alligator can be seen on display at Arthur Studio & Gallery at 851 Pinckney Street. You truly have to see this work of art up close to appreciate the artistry, these pictures do not do it justice. Stop by and take it, or another one of his paintings or sculptures, home with you.

Lee Arthur is one of many local, talented artists that call McClellanville their home and find it to be the perfect inspiration for their work. If youd like to make McClellanville youre new home, contact me today.

Bud Hill: a McClellanville Hero

Bud Hill - Village Museum director, McClellanville Hero, and all-around nice guyWhether you live in McClellanville or have just driven through it once, you have seen the work of Bud Hill. Evidence is all around if you know where to look, but he rarely takes credit for any of it. As director of the Village Museum since its formation in 1999, Selden “Bud” Hill has his hands quite full, but he always has time for the community that he cares so much about.

Bud Hill Awarded Order of Silver Crescent in McClellanville, SCAt the Village Museums last Annual Oyster Roast in November, Bud was finally recognized for all his hard work in the community by being awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent. This is the highest civilian honor awarded by South Carolinas Governors Office for local community service. The Order of the Palmetto is awarded for community service at the statewide level.

The plaque reads “In recognition of the dedication, commitment and leadership for the benefit of South Carolina and her citizens”¦”.

I asked Bud what he considered to be his greatest community service, and without pause he emphatically claimed the Village Museum as his proudest accomplishment ever in his life. He said, “the events I plan give me great pleasure, but they are fleeting. The Museum is something that will outlive me and can be passed down from generation to generation.” The cold cinderblock walls have been warmed with the history of our ancestors and exhibits that show off the past lives of McClellanville. Its these future generations that Bud devotes much of his time to, giving museum and walking tours and visiting local schools to talk about the history of the area and instilling them with a sense of heritage.
Village Museum is next to the Town Hall at the end of Pinckney Street
As director of one of the finest small town museums in the state, Bud isnt just in charge of the exhibits inside the Village Museum, but also for its advertising, marketing, budgeting, programming, event planning, fundraising, and anything else you can think of! Bud will gladly tell you that none of it would be possible without the generous donations from the community and museum members (which he has grown to over 750 families), but it never would have reached the level that it has without Buds leadership.

Bud does much more than run the Village Museum though. Almost every local event that goes on passes across his desk. He is always willing to help others celebrate their latest achievement with events like book signings, art shows, and concerts. When someone comes up with a good idea, Bud helps them see it to fruition and then gives them all the credit. Hes also been there in times of celebration, sadness, and respect to organize events such as the Veterans Day ceremony and Fourth of July celebrations.
Bud Hill preserving McClellanville's History for future generations

I recently spent an afternoon at the Village Museum in the “Family History Room” upstairs combing through the newspaper articles collected about McClellanville going back to the early 1800s, and Bud was there to help me and expound on each story I read. He has a wealth of knowledge about the area and its people, and more importantly, doesnt mind sharing his knowledge with others.

His genealogy work on the families of McClellanville is vast and growing by the day. As people come to learn more about their families, they share things that are missing and fill in the blanks. Bud is registered with the South Carolina Archives and is always willing to assist people in search of their own family tree.

My fondest memory of Bud goes back to my early teenage years when he had just returned to McClellanville. T.W. Grahams had just gotten a few pool tables, but I didnt have a clue how to play. Bud taught me the principles of the game and a few tricks of the trade. He didnt just tell me how to do it, he took the time to show me until he knew that I got it.

I doubt that this is the “dedication, commitment and leadership” that he was recognized for when awarded by the governor (because I never did become a leader in the pool halls), but it goes to show his character. Bud cares about the Village, its history, its homes, its people, and its future. He simply wants to make McClellanville the best that it can be; nothing more, nothing less.

South Carolina History Lesson:

Can you name these two symbols?

Name the two symbols featured on South Carolinas state flag?
If you said a palmetto tree and a crescent moon, you were wrong! The crescent shape on South Carolinas flag does not represent a moon, but is probably a gorget, or neck guard. The other item is indeed a palmetto tree and was added to the flag after its logs were used in the construction of Fort Moultries walls and successfully absorbed the British cannon balls.

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