Long ago, Edisto Breach was known as McConkey’s Beach and the “main drag” now named Palmetto Boulevard was called McConkey’s Boulevard.
A Canadian family, the McConkey’s, moved to Edisto Island in the late 1800’s, and bought a plantation originally named Locksley Hall encompassed approximately 2000 acres including the present-day Edisto Beach State Park, as well as all of the land which is now Edisto Beach. The plantation soon became known simply as the McConkey Place.
The history of this plantation was already a sad one. William Edings had built the mansion in the early 1800s, a three-story Federal style stucco home designed as a “single house”, which architecturally mean the floor plan is one room deep.
The Edings family experience so many personal disastrous events in an around the home that the place become known as “the house tragedy”. Edings’ first wife died in childbirth and is buried at the foot of the veranda stairs. The son she bore committed suicide; an adopted son accidentally killed his nanny and then himself; two young daughters died of diphtheria within a single week AND ALL OF THIS OCCURRED BEFORE THE MCCONKEY’S LIVED THERE!
After the Civil War the Edings family never returned to Locksley Hall and the plantation was taken over by a “carpetbagger” named Wright, who had his workers destroy the gravesites of four generation of the Edings family buried on the plantation grounds.
The tragedies continued with the McConkeys. James McConkey died under “mysterious circumstances” in 1892. Erina McConkey, according to legend, committed suicide in 1915. His murder was never solved, although many Edistonians from previous generations have offered their opinions, and it is commonly believed the killer is known but was never prosecuted.
The place was then owned by another family and ultimately brought by Navy Admiral Murphy and remains in that family to this day. Even though ever self-respecting family on this island embraces its own residential ghosts, the present owner of the plantation, (now known as Seaside) reports no “unusual” events.