This 700-acre retirement community in Orangeburg sits along the vibrant Edisto River and is arguably one of the most beautiful settings in Orangeburg County. Gracing the entrance is an avenue of live oaks (Quercus virginiana), providing visitors and residents with restful shade and lending the home its name.
The community, also known as the Oaks, was founded in 1954 by Dr. J.F.M. Hoffmeyer during the South Carolina Methodist Conference. The conference purchased 113 acres of land that once served as the Hawthorne Aeronautical School, a World War II training ground for both French and American pilots. Between 1941 and 1945, nearly 6,000 airmen received their training here.
The community has expanded its property through the years and now boasts over 700 acres of land that feature a golf course, walking trails, pristine woodlands, a wellness center, and living space. Many of the facilities’ names at the Oaks reflect the area’s past as a military air training base, such as the French Quarter.