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Beefield Community: Advocacy Update

The Beefield Community is a small and quiet neighborhood on James Island along Old Folly Road with history stretching back to the American Civil War. Two skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops happened on the 150 acre area where the houses now stand. Just after the war a number of African American Families banded together to purchase the land then known as the “Bee Tract” to establish a rural community for the future benefit of their families.
The President of the Beefield Community/Battery Island Drive Neighborhood Association and descendant of the original families, Mr. George Richardson, has been leading the charge to establish this historic district for his beloved community. Like many historic African American settlement communities in Charleston County, Beefield has seen its share of developmental pressure. The establishment of this historic district, the second in Charleston County following the Phillips Community of Mt Pleasant, will go a long way to ensuring the preservation of this important neighborhood.
Mr. Richardson describes Beefield as “the place that time forgot.” Even though the community is along Folly Road, where thousands of tourists flock to the crowded beaches, Beefield remains a quiet and peaceful enclave for an aging demographic of residents, most of whom are related to the original families who purchased the land more than 150 years ago.
George Richardson posing on Battery Island Drive with a row of large oak trees and a dirt road behind him.

Mr. George Richardson, Battery Island Drive, 2022.

On May 24, Charleston County Council conducted their third and final reading for the establishment of the Beefield Community Historic District and voted unanimously to approve the application.

Historic Charleston Foundation congratulates the Beefield Community, Mr. Richardson, and the Battery Island Drive Neighborhood Association for their hard work in establishing this Historic District. We are immensely proud to have played a small part in helping along the way. And thank you again to Charleston County Council members for your votes of support to establish these Historic Districts, and their efforts to preserve Charleston’s unique and diverse heritage. Live5 News recently highlighted this work on June 6, 2022. 
The Beefield Community is just the second settlement community to achieve this designation – but we do not believe it will be the last. We are supporting efforts with the Ten Mile community and in preliminary stages with the Red Top community. The Foundation is continuously inspired by the hard work and dedication of community leaders like Mr. Richardson and the others that make all of this possible.