Gardens Corner markers commemorate namesake, past wars

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJune 6, 2014 

  • In other changes about town:

    • The Robert V. Woods Memorial Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in Beaufort will not open for boat traffic from 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday, according to a release from the city of Beaufort. The S.C. Department of Transportation is closing the bridge for a regular inspection.

      The DOT will keep the bridge open for vehicles between Beaufort and Lady's Island, and no traffic interruptions are expected, the release said.
    • A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 11 a.m. June 18 at the Parker's gas station and convenience store at 1705 Ribaut Road, Port Royal. The station has been under construction since February.
    • Whitehall Plantation, on the south side of the Sea Island Parkway at the base of the Woods Memorial Bridge on Lady's Island, will be busy this weekend with the High on the Hog BBQ Competition benefiting Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity. The S.C. BarbequeAssociation-sanctioned event is expected to fill the usually vacant property with cooking teams, vendors and restaurant booths.

      The event, which began Friday, continues at noon Saturday with barbecue competition.

Crews planted two signs, representing three years of work and hundreds of years of history, in the soft, wet soil of Gardens Corner on Friday morning.

"Well, it's a start, but it's not the end of it," Friends of Gardens Corner president Woody Collins promised.

Both sides of the two historical markers are filled with a summary, but the signs only begin to touch on the rich history of Gardens Corner at the intersection of U.S. 17 and U.S. 21, Collins said.

The signs tell about Revolutionary War Col. Benjamin Garden, for whom the community is named, and of wars and other historic events in the area.

"There's so much that can't be squeezed in there," Collins said.

Beaufort County partnered with the Friends on the project, paying for the markers, which cost about $2,000 each. The Public Works Department installed the signs Friday, and the county hired The Greenery to clear brush from the area.

Collins said his group is starting a $50,000 plan to landscape and beautify the traffic circle, interchange and surrounding area. The group also has been picking up trash along the highways.

Plans include spreading mulch around the six oak trees planted years ago -- by whom is a matter of local lore and still being researched -- and replanting the palmetto trees and daffodils that once dotted the area.

Gardens Corner was the gateway, and the only way by road, to Beaufort until 1958, and the group wants to reinvigorate the area.

"The big thing about Gardens Corner is, if you weren't already living in this area before the Broad River Bridge was built, you probably don't have the attachment to Gardens Corner," Collins said.

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