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Edgefield in Edgefield County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Oakley Park Museum
Witness to Edgefield's Social and Political History
 
Oakley Park Museum Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
1. Oakley Park Museum Marker
 
Inscription. Oakley Park was built in 1835 by a prosperous Edgefield planter, Daniel Bird. In 1841, Bird's son was tragically killed in a shoot-out in front of the Edgefield County Courthouse. Suffering great sorrow at his loss, Bird sold his home and left town to rebuild his life in Florida. In 1874, Oakley Park was purchased by a renowned Civil War military leader, Major General Martin Witherspoon Gary. The property remained in the Gary family until 1941 when it was deeded over to the Edgefield Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in whose care and keeping it remains to this day.

Oakley Park houses a rare and fascinating collection of antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction era artifacts, oil painting, and period furniture, which all combine to tell the story of its colorful history.
 
Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker series.
 
Location. 33° 47.267′ N, 81° 55.3′ W. Marker is in Edgefield, South Carolina, in Edgefield County. Marker is on Columbia Road. Click for map. Marker is near the intersection of Columbia Street and Augusta Road (Highway 25). Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Columbia Road, Edgefield SC 29824, United States of America.
 
Drive Leading to the Oakley Park Museum Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
2. Drive Leading to the Oakley Park Museum
 

 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. J. Strom Thurmond Birthplace (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Law Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Andrew Pickens (approx. 0.2 miles away); George McDuffie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Town of Edgefield Parking Lot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Piedmont Technical College, Edgefield Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pierce Mason Butler (approx. 0.2 miles away); James Henry Hammond (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Edgefield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Martin Witherspoon Gary (1831-1882). Brigadier-General Martin Witherspoon Gary was born in 1831 at Cokesbury, Abbeville county, the third son of Dr. Thomas Reeder Gary. (Submitted on October 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Martin Witherspoon Gary. Martin Witherspoon Gary (March 25, 1831 – April 9, 1881) was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and a Democratic politician in postbellum South Carolina. (Submitted on October 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Oakley Park Museum
The stately antebellum home of General Martin Witherspoon Gary now serves as an historic museum. Guests are transported back in time as they visit the spacious rooms adorned with handcarved mantels and plaster ceiling medallions. Marvel at the Lost Cause Prints and Civil War relics on display throughout the home.

Oakley Park, the only shrine to the red Shirt Movement and Reconstruction, is open to the public Thursday-Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm, and by appointment. Group tours and luncheons available by request.

Special events are held on the grounds during the year. In the fall, The Lantern Tour - A Civil War Saga transports visitors back to the tragic years of Civil War and the turbulence of Reconstruction. Other historical interpretations are presented throughout the year. Stroll through a Confederate Camp, hear the songs, smell the smoke and witness living history at its best. (From brochure published by th Oakley Park Museum.)
 
Oakley Park Built c.1835 Photo, Click for full size
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1972
3. Oakley Park Built c.1835
 
    — Submitted October 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on October 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,372 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
 
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