Living On The Edge: West Ashley enclaves bordering Stono River share prime sights, removed environs
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Tom Moore says he knows what it’s like to live “in the country.”
Sure, the former head football coach at The Citadel resided downtown while at the school and relocated to heavily-populated south Florida for more than a decade. His wife Tricia Smith Moore has long roots in the Holy City — he jokes she’s an “18th generation Charlestonian.”
But where the Moores spent parts of 30 years, including the past 10 as permanent residents, is in Edgewater Park.
Technically speaking, it’s hard to place the West Ashley neighborhood along the Stono River in “the country.” Savannah Highway by way of Wappoo Road is two miles away. You can reach downtown Charleston in 10 minutes if the traffic isn’t backed up.
Yet Edgewater Park presents elements of rural living: peace and quiet, isolated from the hustle and bustle, just a fishing-rod cast or boat ride on the Stono away from nature. It was just a generation ago that a wooden bridge linked the community to the mainland (it’s concrete and paved today).
Formed 75 years ago, Edgewater Park is not the only enclave tucked along the Stono in West Ashley. Capri Isles, Sylvan Shores, Waterway South, Isle de Nemours, Oakland, Parkdale and Battery Haig on the Stono all touch water or have views of the river and Intracoastal Waterway. They also all are centrally located, able to reach Savannah Highway by way of main routes such as Wappoo Road and Stinson, Arlington, Parkdale and Mutual drives.
The neighborhoods have distinctions that make then stand out. A resident about 25 years ago penned a history of Sylvan Shores, which can follow its ancestry to Cherokee Plantation in 1706. For the past 55 years, landowner-developer Jack Eades has been involved in the property. Sylvan Shores is on its sixth iteration.
Edgewater Park, meanwhile, is known for its whimsical one-tenth mile “bridge run” held the same weekend as the much larger, and infinitesimally longer, Cooper River Bridge Run.
“It has its own personality out here,” Moore says. “The neighborhood is great.”
The couple are empty nesters today. They raised a family, and their children — who also are familiar with Edgewater Park — are grown up.
Moore says the neighborhood, once “in the country,” is being discovered. More people are moving there. At the same time, many of the new residents are second or third generations of the original owners who are carrying on the family ties, he says.
Whatever the case, Edgewater Park hasn’t lost its character, Moore says. “We have so many good friends out here.”
To get to Edgewater Park and surrounding neighborhoods from downtown Charleston, cross the Ashley River Bridge and stay straight on Savannah Highway. Go about three miles, passing the Coburg Cow and the row of auto dealerships among other landmarks. Take a left on Wappoo Road and proceed a mile. Turn right on Capri Drive to reach Capri Isles, continue on Wappoo to the few homes at Isle de Nemours or proceed across the bridge to Edgewater Park.
Waterway South and Battery Haig are at the end of Stinson Drive, which is a block past Wappoo Road. Oakland is off Arlington Drive, shortly past the Interstate 526 overpass. Parkdale is off Parkdale Drive, which is about a mile long. And Sylvan Shores is along Mutual Drive; make a left across from the entrance to the Melrose neighborhood.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or email@example.com.
EDGEWATER PARK, NEIGHBORS AT A GLANCE:
Location: West Ashley
Number of homes: 500
Square footage: 1,171-3,918
Look & feel: A half-dozen or more neighborhoods that border the Stono River can be reached from Savannah Highway. They tend to be a blend of younger families, older couples who are long-time residents and empty nesters whose children are off at college or beginning careers. Waterfront houses typically sport docks. Homes date as far back at the 1930s with a good-sized number in the ’50s. Few houses are brand new although some on the market were built in the mid 2000s. The enclaves cater to outdoors types: SUVs, pickup trucks and boats in the driveway or garage are not uncommon. Many houses are brick ranch and two-story models with some wood framed or stucco-sided. The communities tend to be quiet, as they are well removed from the highway.
Homes on market: 30
List prices: $145,500-$1,150,000
Schools: Stono Park, Oakland elementary; St. Andrews Middle; West Ashley High
Fun facts: The super short Edgewater Park Bridge Run has grown in 15 years from a handful of people spoofing the storied Cooper River race to about 500 participants taking part for fun and charity; remains of a World War II submarine net were reportedly discovered near the bridge in Coburg Creek.