From the turn of the 20th century until pollution in the Savannah River ruined the oyster beds in the 1950’s, the primary economy of the island was the harvesting and shucking of oysters. The oyster workers established the Oyster Union Society, a benevolent and burial society that held meetings and social events in this 1893 building. The latter events were often enhanced with local moonshine or homemade wine. An initiation ceremony was necessary for membership in the Society. The Society was dissolved after the oyster beds were closed.