Edgar Allan Poe and Sullivan's Island Branch Library
1921 I'On Avenue
Since March, 1977, the Sullivan's Island / Edgar Allan Poe Library has been uniquely housed in renovated Battery Gadsden, a former Spanish-American War four-gun battery. Previously, the library had been located in the Sullivan's Island Elementary School building and then in the Township Building. At the opening ceremonies on March 11, 1977, in the newly renovated quarters, County Council Chairman Lonnie Hamilton, III noted the unusual use of a former military facility by quoting from Isaiah 2:4, "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares."
The library is named for author Edgar Allan Poe, who was stationed on Sullivan's Island as a private in the United States Army in 1827 and 1828, and who used the island setting as the background for his famous story, "The Gold Bug."
Battery Gadsden was named for Brigadier General Christopher Gadsden, Colonel, 1st South Carolina Regiment, and Brigadier General Continental Army, who died on August 28, 1805. The Battery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in July, 1974.
Battery Gadsden was designed to mount four six-inch guns on pedestal mounts with fixed cartridges. Battery Gadsden was officially transferred to the Artillery on September 10, 1906. The four guns were removed for service in France in 1917, and the carriages were scrapped in 1920. The walls of the battery are two feet thick, a solid protection for the 15,000 books in the 2,000 sq. ft. library. The library circulates more than 35,000 books annually.