North Island has always been the beacon from the sea leading toward Georgetown, South Carolina. It was an island of exploration for the Spanish in 1526 and the first landing place of Lafayette, France's hero of the American Revolution, in 1777. It was a summer resort for aristocratic rice planters and their slaves from Georgetown and Waccamaw Neck until 1861. North Island's lighthouse, built in 1812, led thousands of sailing ships from all over the world past massive stone jetties and through Winyah Bay to Georgetown. Today, North Island is a sanctuary and laboratory for the study of nature's effects on this unique barrier island. Join historian Robert McAlister as he recounts the island's storied past.