Dr. J.R. Thomson came to Lake Waccamaw shortly after the turn of the 2Oth century. He was driving a horse and buggy and went to the patient instead of the patient going to the doctor, as it is now. At that time there was no road into Crusoe Island. When anyone needed a doctor, a man would paddle a dug-out boat ten miles up the Waccamaw River, across the Lake, pick up the doctor, and paddle him to Crusoe. With the return trip, It meant the paddler traveled about 50 miles by boat.
Sometime after 1890, Sam Potts moved to Lake Waccamaw with his wife, two sons, and daughter. A colorful man of many talents, Sam was probably one of the most diverse people to ever live at the Lake. He himself listed his professions as veterinarian, taxidermist, salesman of fine jewelry, fishing guide, railroad agent, telegraph operator (reportedly, he was Robert E. Lee's Telegrapher in the Civil War), teacher of telegraphy, photographer, and film processor. But of all of these, Sam Potts was most at peace with the world when he was skippering the lake steamer "The Bohemian Girl". "The Bohemian Girl" was the third such boat designed and built by Captain Potts. It was over 35' long and had a flat bottom for cruising the shallow lake. It was powered by a single cylinder steam driven engine. People from all parts of North and South Carolina and Georgia came to the Lake on Atlantic Coast Line excursion trains to enjoy bathing and riding on the Bohemian Girl.
About this time two large, open-sided pavilions were built at the foot of Broadway, the main road from the railroad station south to the lake. These twin structures, occasionally whitewashed, were built by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad and were used for picnics, dancing, and as resting places and gathering places for the Fourth of July. ACL used to run excursion trains from various areas of North Carolina and South Carolina to Lake Waccamaw during warm weather.
There are two villages on the north shore, eastward where Lake Waccamaw merges with Wananish. The late John Pickett Council purchased the site from the Bridgers family of Bladenboro, who had it from the Powells and Maultsbys, original settlers. Council moved his factory for the manufacture of turpentine tools to Wananish from Council, in order to be near his favorite fishing spot, and named it "Quananiche," an Indian word said to mean "landlocked salmon". The Post Office Department greatly improved its spelling.
It was in 1900 that the village of Wananish came into being, because of one man's love for the lake and fishing. Upon the death of J.P. Council in 1929, K. Clyde Council, his son, became president, and he was succeeded by John Monroe Council, both of whom had been active in the business. In 1930 a new office building and manufacturing plant was built. In the early thirties the company began to diversify into such items as bush axes, ditch bank blades, single bit axes, and a line of specialized fire fighting tools.
In 1940 most of the manufacturing facilities were destroyed by fire. Since then a new plant has been built and employment in the new facilities is approximately 100.
The Council Tool Company stands today and is operated by great grandsons of the founder, John M. Council, Jr., president, and Edward Land Council, vice president.
Some old names appearing as residents in the early 1900's were Council, Gault, Bardin, Thomson, Maultsby, Schulken, Springs, McGurgan. Stanley, Chauncey, Edwards, Gillespie, Powell, Brinkley, Beatts, Wayne, Burney, Smith, and Sutton.
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