July 4, 2014
Recently Explore Edisto was invited to spend the afternoon with the owners of the Bailey Plantation House on Point of Pines Rd. Current owners Ralph and Brenda Morris sat down with me to reveal the homes history, and their five year renovation of this well-known Edisto plantation home.
Built in 1799 by Sandiford Holmes, the Bailey House was the epicenter of commerce for Edisto until highway 174 was built. The Bailey family purchased the property around 1879 and operated a general store out of the main floor of the house. Store Creek runs behind the house, and in those days was a deep water passage that provided access from one side of the island to the next. In addition to the general store, there was a post office as well as a cotton gin that attracted workers and locals to the area. It was also well known to have the best well water on the island. For decades until the 1980’s, people from all over the island came to the Bailey House well for their drinking water.
Purchased in 1983 and lovingly restored by Ralph and Brenda Morris, it’s hard to imagine that this beautiful home once stood empty for over 10 years. Ralph tells the story of their search for an elegant old Charleston home like the one he grew up in. When they found the Bailey House they purchased it without going inside. Ralph says it was the grand oak outback that sold him on the property. The renovations were extensive and done almost solely by Ralph, Brenda and Ralph’s brother Frank.
It took a year of coming down on the weekends and clearing the lot before the couple could get safely inside. Five years later after spending every weekend and holiday working on the restoration, the Morris’ moved into their home. The care and detail they put into the home is very apparent. This isn't just a house for Ralph and Brenda, this is a lifestyle.
They have enjoyed their home immensely and love sharing its beauty and history with family and friends. They even shared it with Barbara Streisand! Ralph came home one afternoon from work to find a woman enjoying the swing hanging from his oak tree. When he went to go ask her if she needed help he was intercepted by a producer of the film "Prince of Tides”. They had stopped at The Old Post Office restaurant for lunch and she asked the manager if she could go enjoy the view of the river from the swing. One never knows what they will find on Edisto!
Three years ago, Barbara along with Cassina Point Plantation owner Tecla Earnshaw, joined efforts to create Edisto Plantation Weddings and Events. Each family has loved hosting weddings, showers and other events at their grand homes’; they decided to provide the experience for everyone.