Home > The Tale of the Richard and Charlene


At 3 p.m. on September 21, 1989, the sky was clear and sunny. Shem Creek was quiet, and some would later say serene - hardly a fitting herald for hurricane Hugo. Only 7 hours later, the eye of Hugo, the enormous Category IV hurricane, passed directly over the spot where the restaurant now stands. The water was rising and did not stop until it had covered the shore at least 8 feet deep. The Richard & Charlene, a derelict North Atlantic style trawler, next door at the Wando dock, was lifted with such force that the pile to which it was moored came right out of the bottom. Then, as the calm of the eye passed over, the ferocious hurricane winds came with unbelievable power from the West, turning the derelict trawler around, breaking it loose, and driving it over the neighboring dock, causing the deck planking to fold up like an accordion. When the monster had finally passed and the water receded, the trawler had impaled its enormous bulk on the bare pilings. For nine months the ruined trawler sat in place, immovable, washed over twice a day by the high tides until finally removed by salvagers, never to sail again.

It is in memory of this indelible event that the existing restaurant on the same site has been named The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene.