The History Behind Harry's, the Newest Dining Venue at the Daniel Island Club

March 7, 2013

Former Daniel Island landowner Harry Frank Guggenheim (center) with General Doolittle (left) and Charles Lindbergh (right).

Earlier this year, Harry’s, the new bar and restaurant at the Daniel Island Club‘s clubhouse, opened to members and their guests. Harry’s replaces the club’s former pub and formal dining room, combining the two into an open but intimate setting offering cocktails, a raw bar and a full dinner menu four nights a week. With an eclectic menu featuring items like Sausage Bolognese Gnocchi, Duck Leg Pot Pie, Prime Steaks, fresh seafood dishes and more, Harry’s has become a popular gathering place for members.

Named after Harry Frank Guggenheim, Daniel Island’s landowner for a good part of the Twentieth Century, Harry’s showcases an array of old photographs that illustrate the fascinating story of Mr. Guggenheim’s life. Guggenheim purchased Daniel Island in 1946 and subsequently used it for cattle ranching and as a family hunting retreat. Upon his death in 1971, the island’s ownership passed to the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, which eventually funded the creation of Daniel Island’s master plan and kicked off development of the modern-day community found on the island today.

Born into a large family that placed a high value on character, integrity, hard work and giving back, Harry Frank Guggenheim was considered one of the most influential men of his time. His great grandfather, Simon Guggenheim, came to the United States from Switzerland in 1848. In a true “rags to riches” success story, he and his son, Meyer, went on to take a small, door-to-door sales business and grow it into a multi-million dollar mining empire. Harry eventually became the family patriarch, not only leading the Guggenheim Brothers’ lucrative partnership, but also presiding over three philanthropic foundations established by the family, in addition to other personal and business pursuits.

Among Harry’s varied business ventures was the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper tabloid Newsday, which he acquired with his wife in 1940. He was an avid supporter of jet propulsion and aeronautics and his sponsorship of research by Dr. Robert Goddard, the “father of rocketry,” and Charles Lindbergh’s groundbreaking “Spirit of St. Louis Tour” led to advancements that would take the science of aviation to unprecedented heights. When he began looking for an outlet from the pressures of corporate life he discovered thoroughbred horse racing. His famous Cain Hoy Stables, named after his 10,000-acre plantation near Daniel Island, produced “Dark Star,” a prized colt who went on to win the Kentucky Derby in 1953. Cain Hoy Stables became the top money-earning stable in the country six years later, with its familiar blue and white checkered silks crossing the finish line in first place some 37 times.

A commissioned Lieutenant for the United States Naval Aviation Forces, Guggenheim served in World War I and went on to serve as a Lt. Commander and Captain for the Navy in World War II. His meritorious contributions earned him two Navy Commendation Ribbons. A dedicated public servant, he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Cuba under President Hoover, from 1929-1933.

The Daniel Island Club’s popular new clubhouse dining venue, located on land where Guggenheim once spent time hunting and entertaining family and esteemed guests, is an appropriate and informative display of this impressive former island property owner’s life and accomplishments. Click below for a few photos from the venue’s opening week: