May 12, 2006
On their 64th wedding anniversary, Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson, founders of The Jackson Companies are being honored statewide in South Carolina. Representative Alan Clemmons presented the couple with South Carolina House Resolution H*4885 on Friday, May 12, 2006. The resolution honors the Jacksons for their lifetime of service to their community and the state and designates June 2, 2006 as “Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson Day” in South Carolina.
(Photo: SC House Representative Alan Clemmons presented Nelson (center) and Mary Emily Jackson (right) with SC House Resolution H*4885 on May 12, 2006.)
A Family Business
The Jacksons have an incredible story that has deep roots in the land on which their businesses are built. “My father, V.F. Platt, was a pharmacist with Platt’s pharmacy on Main Street in Conway, SC,” shares Mary Emily Jackson. “Father bought property in Murrells Inlet and found out it was more costly to develop then he had planned. A friend of his had a sawmill and told him about good piece of property with timber. This property was owned by a man in North Carolina, who was having money problems due to the depression during 1929. So in 1930, my father swapped his Murrells Inlet land along with some money for what is now Ocean Lakes Family Campground.” The national award winning campground received the 2006 Governor’s Cup on February 7, 2006 for its economic impact on its community and state while also helping to improve the quality of life in South Carolina. Nelson Jackson smiles, “We are in the ‘family’ business.” Many people see what the Jackson have accomplished, but are not aware of the hard work and risks they endured on the road to success. “Mary Emily’s father and mother, Dr. and Mrs. V.F. Platt were a most brilliant and loving couple,” recalls Nelson Jackson fondly.
“They enjoyed buying land, cutting timber, and then buying the land next to it. At one time they had their land built up to approximately 5,000 acres. We often have said that they didn’t know exactly what to do with the land, but they were smart enough to hold on to it. Unfortunately, we lost them in 1960, many people of this area and the government tried to take the land away form the family. After paying the government millions of dollars in inheritance tax, it was our choice to either sell the land or make it work for itself. As you can see we have developed the Jackson Companies which consists of Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Prestwick Golf & Country Club, Ocean Lakes Properties, Crystal Lakes Mobile Home Village, Ocean Lakes RV Center, the Jackson Farm, Sunway Charters and the new master planned mixed use development “SayeBrook.”
The Jacksons weave their family history into many aspects of their businesses. Nelson Jackson explains, “The name SayeBrook has great meaning to our family. When the young people started to develop it, the name ‘The Marketplace’ was suggested and that did not have meaning. Mary Emily’s forefathers were the Sayes and my forefathers on my mother’s side, the Chapmans, came into this country at SayeBrook, Connecticut. Therefore it was our privilege to name this development SayeBrook. Resolution H*4885 includes a detailed history of this amazing couple. When asked about their success Nelson Jackson replies with great emotion, “It wasn’t Mommy and I that did all this, it was every teammate that ever worked with us, and every guest that every stayed with us that helped us accomplish everything.”
South Carolina House Resolution H*4885, by Clemmons
TO HONOR MARY EMILY AND NELSON JACKSON OF HORRY COUNTY FOR THEIR LIFETIME OF SERVICE TO THEIR COMMUNITY AND THE STATE AND TO DESIGNATE JUNE 2, 2006, AS “MARY EMILY AND NELSON JACKSON DAY” IN SOUTH CAROLINA.
Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives takes great pleasure in recognizing those individuals who, through their avocation, contribute in a significant way to the furtherance of South Carolina’s economy and who give of their own time, talent, and energy for the betterment of their local community and the State; and
Whereas, Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson of Horry County are certainly South Carolinians and entrepreneurs deserving of special recognition. Married on June 2, 1942, just days before Mr. Jackson joined the United States Army, the couple lived in Tryon, North Carolina, after Mr. Jackson completed his service to his country; and
Whereas, the Jacksons began working together in Tryon as Mr. Jackson started out as a traveling salesman for Cloth of Gold Fabrics, Mrs. Jackson made clothing for their five beautiful daughters from the cloth, and the family often traveled with Dad modeling the dresses made from the fabric he sold; and
Whereas, with the love and support of his family, Nelson Jackson worked his way all the way up to President of Jackson & Jackson, Inc. – Cloth of Gold Fabrics; and
Whereas, so the girls could accompany him more comfortably on the road, Mr. Jackson engineered one of the first fifty motor homes in America out of an old Trailway bus. This innovation would change the course of the family’s lives forever; and
Whereas, the family relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1970 to develop the world-renowned Ocean Lakes Family Campground which opened on July 2, 1971, with thirty campsites and one bathhouse; and
Whereas, the couple spent the better part of their lives and marriage developing The Jackson Companies, which include Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Ocean Lakes Properties, Prestwick Country Club, Ocean Lakes RV Center, Sunway Charters and Tours, Crystal Lake Mobile Home Village, and SayeBrook; and Whereas, the Jacksons will always be remembered for their contributions to the Myrtle Beach area. They helped put Myrtle Beach on the map on the first day they opened Ocean Lakes Family Campground, and the campground and the company’s other subsidiaries continue to improve the quality of life in the area and add so much to the local and state economy; and
Whereas, Ocean Lakes Family Campground was the first campground in the State to be named National RV Park of the Year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, recognizing exceptional operations excellence, community service, association involvement, park promotions, management skills, and education and employee training techniques, and the campground was also the recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Cup Award in 2006 which is presented annually to an outstanding organization that has demonstrated a significant tourism-related economic impact on the State and local community and which has markedly improved the quality of life for all South Carolinians; and
Whereas, their economic contributions to the State perhaps unmatched, the couple is also active within their local community and continue to support many charitable organizations. Mary Emily Jackson is the recipient of the First Presbyterian Church Woman of the Year Award and the Converse College Mae Kilgo Alumnae Award, Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson are Order of the Palmetto recipients, both have served on numerous boards of civic organizations over the years, and the couple were honored to receive the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2001 Citizen(s) of the Year Award and the House of Representatives District 107 Distinguished Citizens of the Year Award; and
Whereas, the Jacksons are the proud parents of Emily Jackson Vallerino, Laura Jackson Hoy, Kathryn Jackson Williamson, Rachel Jackson Gandy, and Jeanne Jackson Mize, and “PoPo” and “MaMo” are happy to boast ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren; and
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are privileged to honor the Jacksons for their hard work and determination over the years in building a successful family empire and to thank them for allowing the people of South Carolina to share in their success as we have all benefited from that success in countless ways. The lives of Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson so nicely represent a true South Carolina success story worthy of admiration. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, honor Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson of Horry County for their lifetime of service to their community and the State and to designate June 2, 2006, as “Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson Day” in South Carolina.
The Jackson Companies founded by Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson and their five daughters, includes Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Prestwick Golf & Country Club, Ocean Lakes Properties, Crystal Lakes Mobile Home Village, Ocean Lakes RV Center, the Jackson Farm, Sunway Charters and the new upscale master planned mixed use development “SayeBrook.”
High resolution photos available on CD or via email.