Since the 1870s, the Martin family has owned the property and welcomed generations of residents and visitors. The Deer Head Oak, named for an image formed by its branches, is the subject of artwork, murals, and poetry throughout the town.
“Land holds stories and connects people. Nowhere does that hold truer than a place like the Deer Head Oak, centered within an historic village and beloved by its residents,” commented Ashley Demosthenes, President & CEO of Lowcountry Land Trust. “We’re grateful for the work that East Cooper Land Trust, which merged with Lowcountry Land Trust earlier this year, started with the Martins years ago, and we are honored to continue those efforts.”
“The Lowcountry is blessed with protected lands that vary in size from thousands of undeveloped acres along a river to intimate, meaningful spaces within towns,” commented Justin Craig, Board Trustee of Lowcountry Land Trust and former Board Chair of East Cooper Land Trust. “Deer Head Oak is one of those places that brings people together and defines our sense of place.”
Lowcountry Land Trust plans to place the property under a conservation easement and to transfer ownership to the town early next year. Mayor Rutledge B. Leland III stated, “The Town of McClellanville would like to thank the Beckman/Martin family, Lowcountry Land Trust, and Charleston County Greenbelt Program for making this happen. Members of the Beckman family have passed down this land since they opened the first store in Town. We are grateful for their stewardship of the land and are honored to continue to preserve the park for generations to come.”
The acquisition was made possible by funding from the Town of McClellanville, the Charleston County Greenbelt Program, and a contribution from the landowner. “This property demonstrates the vital role local government conservation funding plays in protecting the places people love,” commented Beezer Molten, Chairman of the Charleston County Greenbelt Advisory Board. “Residents and visitors will clearly enjoy the public accessibility of this space for years to come.”
Founded in 1986, Lowcountry Land Trust partners with landowners and community organizations to permanently protect and nurture land throughout coastal South Carolina. Lowcountry Land Trust holds conservation easements on over 150,000 acres across 17 counties in coastal South Carolina and manages community-centered places such as the Angel Oak Preserve. More information about the Lowcountry Land Trust is available at www.lowcountrylandtrust.org.