Another Glorious Day

Another Glorious Day

We had cause to celebrate a few weeks ago, but we didn’t pause to celebrate. As the 30th anniversary of opening our Shoppe at the Top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse came and went on March 20, it was on the one hand just another day. On the other hand, of course, the day was glorious.

On just about any day in March of just about any year, springtime is in full flower on Hilton Head Island, and for 30 years, millions of folks have come here to the Lighthouse to take in the view. Sunsets over the glowing horizon, the gentle tides of Calibogue Sound, the vision of Daufuskie Island – the paradise beyond – this is the view that makes memories and inspires new discoveries.

A Thousand Ways to Share It

From the webcam that lets you wave to the folks who couldn’t make it to the selection of mementoes you can bring back home, there is something at the Shoppe at the Top that suits your own sense of discovery and makes it yours to keep. With these choices at your fingertips, it’s hard to believe that the lighthouse stood for fully two decades before we opened the Shoppe!

Part of the original vision that became America’s favorite vacation island, the Harbour Town Lighthouse was conceived as a landmark, a symbol that added the sense of place to Harbour Town. In the process, the lighthouse came to stand for Hilton Head Island as a whole. And yet it stood still and empty for years.

More Than a Symbol

At first, the lighthouse was simply an imposing tower with 114 steps leading up to an observation deck. Although it offered spectacular views of the surrounding Calibogue Sound, the Harbour and the famous 18th hole of the Harbour Town Golf Links, a simple chain stretched across the doorway, signaling no access.

Realizing that the lighthouse should be staffed for security and safety reasons, a talented area entrepreneur, Mark King, conceived the idea that the top floor of the lighthouse would make an excellent spot for an aerial gift shop.

And then Came Nadia

The Shoppe at the Top became reality because of an extraordinary woman who is known as the Lighthouse Keeper, Nadia Wagner. Nadia is hard to miss. She has a smile that could serve as the lighthouse beacon itself, an infectious laugh, and a delightful, welcoming manner. As if that weren’t enough, consider that for several years Nadia was solely responsible for stocking and restocking the gift shop – 114 steps each way – with armloads of boxes and supplies.

Nadia and Club Group founder Mark King have since opened The Maritime Gift Galley on the ground floor that offers books, nautical artifacts, and memorabilia to visitors. The Maritime Gift Galley is a place where captains of industry and technology mingle with visitors and guests, where children and grandparents mix with yachtsmen and connoisseurs. It is quintessential Hilton Head Island.

If the Shoppe at the Top is for mementoes, then the Gift Galley is for keepsakes. Together they make it possible for lighthouse visitors to take home and share the memory of a view that is simply beyond compare. Come join us and see for yourself.