History Lessons

Cypress Trees Plantation has been a working plantation since the late 1700s.  Oral tradition tells of Indigo vats and rice culture, though no real proof can be documented from written records.  During the 1800s long staple cotton was the major cash crop and the Plantation was a successful farm.  Little is known of the plantation’s use during the Civil War or its condition after the War.  The house survived and the land was probably planted soon after the War ended.  Cotton remained the major crop until the onset of the boll weevil.  After the failure of cotton as a crop, the owners introduced truck crops of cabbage and potatoes.  Later pecan trees were planted and cattle were introduced.  Today the land is rented to a commercial farmer who raises tomatoes, cucumbers, and soybeans.  A small herd of cattle is also raised on the land.

 The plantation has been in the Clark-Murray family since 1728.  There were three marriages between the Clarks and the Murray’s during the history of this property and Cypress Trees has been a common denominator in those family histories.  In 1858 Susan Jane Clark married Joseph James Murray and the ownership of Cypress Trees remained in the Murray family from that date.  The current owners, Jim and Linda Murray are the fourth generation of Murrays to live in the home.

 

The main house at its present location was built about 1830, a historical architect has stated that some of the materials in the house seem much older than that date.  It is thought that some of the materials from an earlier main house were used in the present one.  When the present house was first built it faced south toward Store Creek with the front door centered between an avenue of Sago Palms leading to the bluff edge. In the early 1900s the house was extensively remodeled and the interior staircase turned 180 degrees so that the front of the house was facing north down the avenue of live oaks.  Cypress Trees then became one of the first houses on Edisto to have an inside bathroom with running water and a flush toilet. The house remained virtually the same until it was again remodeled in 1990 when the present owners moved back to Edisto.

 

Cypress Trees is a peaceful and beautiful place and is one of a very few of the old places that remain in the original families.  It is our hope that it will continue to remain in our family for many more years.



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