Capturing the History of Edisto Island: Oral History Interview with Jane Murray McCollum

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Capturing the History of Edisto Island: Oral History Interview with Jane Murray McCollum
Smith, Gretchen
Born in 1923, Jane Murray McCollum is the third generation of her family to live at Jack Daw Hall Plantation, located on Edisto Island’s Frampton Inlet. From an early age, she called Jack Daw home. It is also home to ‘Murray’s Graveyard,’ a spot of land her great-grandfather gave to the black slave families, and a separate graveyard, called ‘Jenkins’ Cemetery, for whites. Jane came of age during the Depression, which the family weathered by living off the bounty of land and sea—’, oysters, clams...and all kinds of vegetables’—and by operating a small store called the Sea Island Bargain. The Murrays also, on one terrifying night, rode out the hurricane of 1940 at Jack Daw. Jane comes from an artistic family: Her mother, Faith Murray, was an artist who taught at Charleston’s Gibbes Art Gallery; her father, Chalmers Murray, was a writer, best known for his novel, Here Come Joe Mungin. Her father had a long-time friendship with the artist Jasper Johns, who also had a house on Edisto, She and her sister (also Faith; also an artist) went to the tiny Seaside School on Edisto—there were only seven students in Jane’s class—and she later attended the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina, after which she joined the WAVES. Having served in the Hospital Corps, she subsequently went to nursing school, receiving her training at Roper Hospital in Charleston. When she married, Jane moved to Greenville, SC, until her husband’s retirement; In response to a question about race relations in the intervening years, Jane responded that she saw little difference: ‘When I was growing up here, I didn't even realize they were black. They were really friends...Coming back, I still feel the same way.’ But she does feel that the relationships between blacks and whites were better in those days. Jane has lived at Jack Daw exclusively since 1986. She crabs and swims off a floating dock on the same waters she knew as a child. Following in the family tradition, she paints. As to how her return to Edisto suits her, Jane says: ‘Just to be able to sit here on this front porch and look over there at the creek and the beach and to hear the wind blowing through. Can’t do much better.’
Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Geographic Subject:
Edisto Island (S.C.)--History--20th Century, Edisto Island (S.C.)--History--Anecdotes, Edisto Island (S.C.)--Social life and customs
English, Geechie
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.), Colleton County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Copyright Status Statement:
Copyright © Jane McCollum
Access Information:
For more information contact Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, Edisto Island, SC 29439