This week in the Land of Legacy series, Eddie Drayton takes us deep into his bottomland hardwood forest, where the history is just as rich as the soil.
Eddie Drayton has always been tactical and intuitive. In particular, he tactically traded Grit newspapers for Fudgesicles as a child, and he intuitively changed his career path in dentistry to do something a little different - forestry. As a forester, Eddie managed thousands of acres of pine and hardwood forests for Sonoco Products Co., but he found his passion among the oaks. This passion for bottomland hardwood forests developed into his “niche,” and that passion is what he is best known for now. His reputation and his oaks have grown tremendously over time, thus coining him the title of the cherrybark oak expert among the SC Tree Farm community. Owning his own land led Eddie to discover another passion, preserving history. Eddie found that by owning the land and understanding the history behind the land, he was able to keep its history alive and appreciated as a part of his own story.
His love of land and history has fueled his desire to keep his land forested, and he has managed to restore it into what is now 1,704 acres of beautiful, healthy bottomland hardwoods that are in better condition now than they were 200 years ago. This display of true stewardship, determination, and love of the land landed Eddie the much-deserved award of South Carolina Tree Farmer of the Year in 2008. Between Eddie’s humor, knowledge of history, and extraordinary story-telling, this episode will have you entertained from beginning to end.
Listen now, and share this series with others, who – like our SC Tree Farmers – love the land and put the family in family forestry!
‘Railroad Logging of South Carolina’ by Thomas Fedders
Pee Dee Land Trust
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