Franklin Alumni Gets Name On Historical Marker


Brad Taggart stands next to plaque that will be permanently attached to the entrance way of the Folly Beach Pier.

FRANKLIN, OH -- Franklin City School's Alumni Brad Taggart has had the honor of leaving a historical mark for the world to see at Folly Beach, South Carolina.

So how did the son of Bill Taggart, Franklin Twp., and Cynthia Hinson, West Chester Twp., end up in South Carolina?

After graduating from Franklin in 2001, Taggart went on to continue his education at Miami University in Oxford, where in 2006, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. It was there at the university that he met his wife Pam, whose career choice has given them the opportunity to travel the world.

While traveling was fun, they both knew they needed a place to call home to raise a family. So, in 2009, the two decided on Johns Island in Charleston County, South Carolina.

“We love it here,” said Taggart who has become very active in local politics when not busy raising  their three kids, Mason, Carter and Riley.  

First, Taggart became active with Charleston County Schools, having served on the District 9 Mission Critical Task Force, the Charleston County Schools Parent Advisory Board, and as a current member of the Angel Oak Elementary School Improvement Council. He also co-founded an advocacy group that works to improve transportation infrastructure for the sea islands and West Ashley.

Taggart explained he got involved with co-founding the grassroots advocacy group Charlestonians FOR I-526. Not only was he witnessing the rapid growth of population in the area, but he was living the traffic jams. 

Between 2010 and 2020, Johns Island, which is the largest island in South Carolina and the 4th largest on the east coast, saw its population roughly doubled to more than 20,000 people. This growth, along with the additional 1.5 million people who come yearly and visit Folly Beach, one of the island's beaches, brings a lot of traffic to the island. 

Taggart explained that the advocacy group's goal is for the completion of I-526 through James and Johns Islands to help with all the growing traffic coming to the island.

It was through Taggart's participation in Charlestonians FOR I-526 that his dedication, interest and love for the area began to be noticed. So noticed that he was nominated by the Charleston County Council and appointed by the Governor of South Carolina to serve as a Commissioner on the Board of The Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission in 2020.

To his surprise and right up his interest, he was brought onto the board at the beginning of a major reconstruction and rebuilding of the $14 million Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier. (The first Edwin S. Taylor Pier which opened on July 4, 1995 and cost approximately $3.4 million to build was scheduled to be torn down in October 2020.)  

Photo Courtesy Charleston County Parks

While the pier has been open since the beginning of the year, the official dedication ceremony took place on March 1 where Taggart, along with the other commissioners, participated in a special “dedication cast” off the new Folly Beach Pier and the new plaque dedicating the pier was revealed.

Taggart, along with the 6 other commissioners and the commissions executive director, gathered for a picture. In back is Collin Bruner,(left to right) Lisa S. King, Devon Andrews, Secretary-Treasurer Michelle Brandt, Commission Chair Eduardo Curry, Vice-Chair Brad Taggart, Mattese Lecque and Executive Director Kevin Bowie.

"The 1995 pier had to be torn down due to deterioration in the wood caused by marine borers," Taggart said adding that Timber piers typically have an average life expectancy of 20-25 years and the new pier being concrete has a life expectancy of 65 plus.

The new pier is made up of 228 concrete pilings with wooden walkways and railings made to break away in the even of a large storm.

  • It is 22 feet above sea level and 1,049 feet in length. 
  • Most of the pier is 25 feet wide with two locations of the pier were widened and covered at 33 feet wide allowing additional space for fishing. 
  • The Diamond Head platform at the end of the pier is 7,500 sq.ft. in size. 
  • There are shade structures and benches up and down the pier.
Brad with his wife Pam, daughter Riley and Dad Bill Taggart after the ceremony.

For more information of Folly Beach visit the Folly Beach Website.

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