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The History of Governor Jim Edwards and his Homestead: Edwards Place

This picturesque property was the childhood home of James B. Edwards, the beloved former South Carolina governor. James. B Edwards was a well-respected politician and loved local icon who was born in Hawthorne, Florida where he spent his early life. He became an officer in the USMS during WWII and joined the naval reserve after the war ended. He then began a lengthy and impressive academic career that began at the College of Charleston, then took him to Pennsylvania and Kentucky only to bring him back to Charleston where he began his dental practice. 

Edwards began his political career in 1970 when he became a chairman of the Republican Party of South Carolina’s 1st congressional districts. He played a strong support roll and eventually found himself on the ballot where he was called the “long shot” candidate but ended up upsetting William Dorn and became the first republican to be elected as the Governor of South Carolina since the post-civil war reconstruction. His election is said to be a landmark in the South Carolina two party system. 

Even though he led a very successful term he chose to not seek re-election and instead intended on returning to his oral surgery practice. But when President Reagan was elected in 81’ he had other plans and appointed Edwards as the third U.S secretary of energy. During his two years in the DOE he aimed to restructure and improve on programs implemented by President Carter on alternative energy and also aimed to expand the Nuclear Energy program. 

After resigning from his role in Washington he then again returned to Charleston where he was appointed the President of the Medical University of South Carolina. For 17 years he helped excel MUSC to what it is today. Opening new facilities and pushing into new sectors of research. After his retirement in 1999 he was inducted into the South Carolina hall of fame. 

The land that now makes up Edwards Place was purchased by James B. Edwards father in 1938 and was passed on to Governor Edwards where he and his wife Ann made many memories and raised their families here. This family farmstead held wonderful memories for Edwards and he often spoke of hunting, fishing, and playing in the woods there during his youth. The vision for Edwards Place to this day is to create a small, community-oriented neighborhood to fit into the context of a larger historical neighborhood, while still maintaining as much greenspace as possible. And when the land changed hands, Ann Edwards was very pleased to know that others will get the opportunity she had with their families and the stewardship for the land will enhance the immeasurable beauty of this distinctive property.

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