Hanif Haynes, President of the Pin Point Betterment Association, Ossabaw Foundation Board Member, and guest of our member Dr. Tom Thomas, told us about the history of the people of Ossabaw Island and Pin Point communities. Mr. Haynes was born and raised in the Pin Point community. He attended Savannah State University, Savannah Tech, and is employed by Gulfstream. He was a radio announcer at Savannah State for many years.
He went on to describe the history of the Pin Point Museum and how it came to be what we now see. Mr. Haynes’ presentation was accompanied by pictures of Ossabaw Island, of slaves on board a slave ship, of the harvesting of indigo by slaves brought to Ossabaw for that purpose. During the course of his presentation, Mr. Haynes showed photographs of his family members, of which there were many, and friends and neighbors who shared the life on Ossabaw. In passing he also mentioned Mrs. West, the only remaining survivor of the owners of the mansion on Ossabaw, who still lives there.

Mr. Haynes told us about the tabby cabins; tabby is the name of the exterior finish of the old cabins on Ossabaw, which were inhabited until the 1980s. Tabby is a substance created from a combination of ground oyster shells and sand and water, and most cabins had it on the outside surface.

The Pinpoint community was established by African-American families after a series of hurricanes wrecked homes on some of the barrier islands, including Ossabaw. Mr. Haynes’ family was among those who came to Pin Point, and his great-great grandfather was among the first to purchase land there. “My family has been there from the beginning,” he told us, and showed us photographs of them.

Mr. Haynes turned to the subject of the Museum (which is visible from Diamond Causeway) and which used to be a building for the processing of oysters, crabs, etc., providing jobs for the Gullah Geechee community from 1925-1985. The museum is in its fourth year of operation, is managed by the Coastal Heritage Society, and has experienced increases in the number of visitors at a steady pace since its opening. Mr. Haynes’ pictures of the Museum introduced members of its current staff and the exhibits to be seen by visitors. These exhibits serve to remember the past of the community of which it is a part, and of the (hard) life they led on Ossabaw, other barrier islands, and in Pin Point itself. His presentation ended with a glorious picture across the Moon River, which is adjacent to Pin Point, showing a spectacular sunset.