Ted Turner in Court Battle with Gullah People - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/17/02

Ted Turner in Court Battle with Gullah People

Media mogul Turner.

The Gullah people say their ancestors purchased the land 80 years ago, but Ted Turner filed a suit against them last year, claiming it's his property.

"As a kid, we usually would come down for a picnic or at the beach front to go fishing. I remember fishing a lot with my dad," recalls resident Gloria Cartwright.

Cartwright says her father was one of the 47 Gullah men who bought 320 acres of land on St. Helena Island back in the 1920s. The land was used for fishing, swimming and hunting. Now, Ted Turner has put up signs prohibiting any of these longtime traditions.

"It's important because it meant so much to them," says Cartwright, "and my father in particular, that I just want it to stay intact. I remember him, and them, working very hard to raise the money to pay the taxes."

The property has been passed down to the heirs of the men who bought the land nearly 80 years ago. They've formed a group called Lands End Woodlands Incorporated. The group says it not only has the deeds to the property, but also physical evidence: land dam lines surrounding the 320 acres. Historically, these mounds of dirt were used as property boundry lines, something that is still acknowledged on the island.

"It's been a generally accepted community way of marking property," explains Cartwright.

The Gullah families are expecting a court date this fall. They say they plan to fight it all the way to preserve their history.

We did contact Ted Turner's office and his lawyer, but could not get a comment on the issue.

Reported by: Jaime Daily

 

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