Johns Island Farm in Peril

graphic of a farmer holding a farm

The Fundraiser of January 21 was a great sucess. Thank you to everyone who attended. Thank you for opening your hearts and wallets and helping us raise so much money. (read more)

Remember, if you missed the Fundraiser, you may still help Save Legare Farms by making a donation one of the three ways listed below.

gold button that says Give Donate to Save Legare Farms.
SLF has an account at Wells Fargo Bank.
Checks can be mailed to 2620 Hanscombe Pt. Rd. Johns Island, SC 29455

Update:  Although the lawsuit has been settled, Legare Farms still faces an uncertain future.  (read more)

After nearly 300 years of farming Legare Farms on JohnsIsland may be in peril. Not for the reasons you might think, not because of a crop loss, or an unexpected disease of the farm’s livestock or bad weather but because city people want to live in the country. It sounds idealistic in concept but sometimes country ways and city people just don’t mix.

Thomas Legare Jr, Helen Legare-Floyd and Linda Legare Berry are the ninth generation of Legares to farm on Johns Island; the Legares started farming there in 1725. The property in question came to the Legare family in the 1830’s from Thomas Hanscombe. Thomas Hanscombe gave the property for the Johns Island Presbyterian Church which was built in 1719. In the early 1980’s the Legare siblings’ great Aunt gifted her portion of the farm to their father Thomas Legare Sr. with the exception of 4 one acre lots that she gifted to her other nephews and niece. She believed all family members should own a piece of their heritage even though Thomas Sr. was the only one farming. Three of these lots have now been sold out of the family and here in lies the problem. The Legare property is a peninsular with water on 3 sides and the lots are at the very tip of the peninsular making it necessary for the lot owners to cross not only the Legare’s farm but also the Jenkins family’s farm to reach their property.

Billy and Beth Hughes purchased one of the water front lots with a house from Bill Thames in May of 2005. Everything seemed great for 4 and ½ years. The Hughes and Legares were friendly, attending parties at each others homes and the children played together. Dr. Beth Hughes was so well liked by the Legares that each of them made her their family doctor as well as their mother’s who was suffering with Alzheimers. In the fall of 2009 the Legares were notified by a letter from Dr. Hughes that she could no longer be their doctor. When they inquired why, Dr. Hughes stated that she had been advised to terminate them as patients because of the lawsuit. (Dr. Hughes’ practice is owned by Roper/StFrancis hospitals). A lawsuit was news to the Legare family; they had had no complaints or crosswords with the Hughes and were surprised to learn there was a problem.

The lawsuit has 2 basic points although there are many points to the lawsuit. The first being the definition of R/W. The Hughes lawyer translates the R/W on the Hughes plat to mean RoadWay however in all legal documents including CharlestonCounty’s R/W means Right of Way. A Right of Way gives the Hughes the right to cross the Legares’ property to reach their property. It does not require the Legares to provide a RoadWay must less a well maintained roadway as the lawsuit is requesting. Unimproved dirt roads are part of living in the country. If you are going to live in the country be prepared to maintain your own dirt road at your own expense say the Legares.

The second part of the lawsuit pertains directly to the Legares farming operation. The Legares raise beef cattle as well as other livestock. There have been beef cattle on their property since the 1830’s and a livestock gate at the entrance to the property. The gate and the cattle were there in 2005 when the Hughes purchased their property. Nothing changed between 2005 and 2009 when the lawsuit was filed. Now according to the Hughes attorney Joe Qualey, Dr. Hughes is afraid to get out of her car at night to open and shut the gate when passing through the Legares’ property. Mr. Qualey states that it is dangerous for Dr. Hughes to drive down this isolated road at night with cows. It makes you wonder why the Hughes didn’t consider this before purchasing the property or better yet why it wasn’t a problem for over 4 years before the lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit asks for the Legares to remove the livestock gate from their property and fence both sides of the roadway to keep the cows out of the road. The road is over a mile long and cuts the 300 acre farm in half. It would require over 10,000 feet of fence at a cost of at the very least $50,000. The Legares say there is no way they could afford to do this. The farming operation affords the 3 siblings a wonderful way of life but very little monetarily. The farm is just scraping by as it is. The Legares say that if they were to lose any part of the lawsuit that the farm would have to be sold.

So here is where a simple lawsuit affects all of us not just the Legares and the Hughes but each of us. This is not the only lawsuit being filed in the United States by city folks moving to the country. It was so much of a concern that the SC General Assembly passed a right to farm act in 2006. We all must be concerned over the outcome of this lawsuit and all the others against farmers unless we are willing to eat food grown in India, Vietnam, or Mexico. If we allow these lawsuits to bankrupt our local farmers then we will have no choice but to eat foreign food. It’s not about wealthy doctors who want to live on the water but about the future of American agriculture. Is this what we want for the future of our local agriculture as well as American agriculture?

76 Responses to Johns Island Farm in Peril

  1. Dianne Doss says:

    Oh our unit has hosted the Battle of Charleston for several years plus & love this land. The point is this is a working farm.
    When one buys a spot of land on a farm guess what you will have animals so either the Hughe’s need to put up a bigger/ stronger fence around their little spot of land or just shut up and deal with it. The land & animals were there 1st and
    should continue because when it is no longer there guess what no food for our tables….
    hope this may help..
    Dianne Doss

  2. Gary Shuler says:

    Talk about mean spirited people…..and I will not say what I think of the attorneys that are at the heart of this issue. I cannot help but wonder how you go from entertaining at one anothers home and being a “family” doctor to scared of a cow! The entire situation is so tainted with personal agendas, that one questions the motives more than the legal aspects. Hopefully the Legares will survive this and be able to continue their farming, and the rest of the “carpetbaggers” will be shown the error(s) of their ways!

  3. Wilbur Taylor says:

    This is an easy one…upgrade the road to a nice asphalt road wich both families would benefit from and built a nice white split rail fence on both sides of the road to contain the cattle and let the Doctors pay for it all. DUH!

  4. Julia Grant says:

    The Legare Farm has been a source of educational programs for the children in and out of Charleston County for many years. Without this source of program-many children will still think that there food just comes from a store or fast food bag. As someone who grew up on John’s Island, I have seen the number of family farms decrease to a small handful. These farmers have been family friends and students of my mother who taught out here for 36 yrs. The way of life here has changed not for the betterment of the Island, but for the people who come out here for the “rural life” and then change it for their convenience. I will do my best to support the Legare family and their fight. They are decent, hard working people who are loyal to their family, friends and Island. Keep up the good fight. We love you guys.

  5. Jason Cates says:

    And you wonder why there are so many out there that are frustrated with the “1%” !! Doctors and lawyers with income several times the operating cost of this wonderful farm are trying to get a gate and a fence built? Where in the world has common sense gone let alone common good in people. You bought the land with knowledge of the farm and the livestock. Why don’t you file suit against the Realtor who sold you the land, because they didn’t notify you of the “impending danger” of cows on the adjacent property. Hey Dr Hughes who are you going to sue to get rid of the snakes that bite, racoons that may spread disease throughout your home, on and on and on….I have been going to this farm since I moved here in ’97 and it is one of the highlights of every year for my kids and the kids of the Charleston area. This farm is one of a kind in the area that opens it’s doors to families and those just looking to see a laid back country lifestyle. It would be a real shame if this family loses this property. It’s even more of a shame that society has gotten to where they have to hide behind a lawyer to accomplish anything.

  6. chuck corley says:

    I can remember as a Clemson Student in the early 1980′s being invited to the infamous “corn boils” the LeGare’s hosted at their farm. My first directions to get there were to turn by the BIG tree on the left at the tomato field!!!! The old store building they used as their home after Sherman burned their original home, was just amazing. Talk about a spirit of resilance, they have it. I have seen my native Lexington County move over to accomodate people in our rural areas. The reason here is not for ocean front views, rather our sought after school systems. In either situation, people MUST respect what went on before they “arrived” and cherish and embrace a WONDERFUL way of life that our South Carolina Agriculture provides. I must inquire as to what these newcomers think went on here before they came to be blessed enough to live in our Pristine State of South Carolina. We had to work for a living, we didn’t sit around drinking mint juleps, beating slaves…. get real!!!! Futhermore, In my opinion, I believe that perhaps the good doctor and her attorney’s should move back North from whence they obviously hale and enjoy the cow dung up there, I am sure it doesn’t smell as bad as it does here. Why should a way of life be altered after 300 plus years to accomodate a passer through. Keep the Faith,
    Chuck and Dawn Corley, Lexington, SC

  7. Lori Duncan says:

    A right-of-way is just that . . . allowing access to someone’s property. It doesn’t require the property owner to build or maintain or roadway. The farm and associated animals were there before the land was purchased by the Hughes. Leave well enough alone and allow farmers to produce food. I have thoroughly enjoyed the food I purchase from Legare Farms – they provide a much needed benefit to the community as a whole.

  8. Susan Breslin says:

    Of course R/W means Right of Way. Bet the Registrar of Mesne Conveyance could certify that. And besides, a dirt road is a roadway.

    I wish you the greatest good luck in your fight. Most of Charleston County is with you.

  9. Constance Haeseley-Wood says:

    Save the farm and the way of the lives of the Legare family. I admire their open door policy and dedication of lifestyle. Buy local support local. Got apples? One a day keeps the Doctor away. . . .I they run her out of town.

  10. Alice Byrd says:

    As I see it, the Hughes family knew the situation when they purchased their property. I don’t understand why all was well for several years and then all of a sudden they bring on a lawsuit. The Legare family have roots there and I would suggest the Hughes family stop the nonsense and apologize or move on…far far away!

  11. Sean P. Nelson says:

    First, I LOVE Legare Farms! Both my children have enjoyed coming there both on field trips from their local school and I take them there every year for the special activities during Halloween. This is sad and ridiculous.

    Secondly, how can we help? The article is informational but I’m not sure what I (or we citizens) can do to take action on behalf of the farm? Please let us know how the supporting locals can get behind protecting this important part of our local heritage.

    Thank you!

  12. Hate This :( I’m thinking maybe you guys should start a page or something similar to start raising funds…? I am positive there will be a huge amount of community support. Best of Luck, I’m on your side of the fence. :)

    -Melissa McCauley

  13. Allen Whilden Holmes (Rockville) says:

    Shame on the wealthy, who sue or litagate because they can afford to do so, not because it’s the right thing to do. What happened to the ‘neighborly way’ our ancesters dealt with things?. In Charleston, City proper and country nearby, things like this were handled with a neighborly discussion and a handshake. Since we Charleston folk have been invaded by people from ‘off’, everything seems to be a rush to litigate. Not because it’s right, but because they can or that’s the way they were raised to resolve issues.. If the Hughes are no longer able to abide by the acceptable access to their property, perhaps they should consider moving to somewhere that they feel safer!
    Save our Farms at all cost, and God Bless the people who are still willing to farm the land!!

  14. Ellen Wiser says:

    The whole situation is very upsetting, but the MOST offensive is that Dr. Beth Hughes’ original lawsuit names her patient, Ann Legare, who was in the end stages of Alzheimer’s, in the suit. The Hippocratic oath states, “First, do no harm.”

    I am aware that Dr. Hughes was “forced” by Roper Hospital (which owns her practice) to drop Mrs. Legare as a patient. I wonder if the hospital realizes the public relations debacle they have created.

    The Hughes bought their property knowing it was land-locked, and they were dependent upon an ingress-egress easement through a farm, which had been in business for 175 years. I am incredulous that they would be surprised to find farm animals there, and haven’t installed an electric gate opener. Since the property is on the market, perhaps the next owner will be savvier.

    I agree with EM Skidmore: the Hughes “better not take this one to a jury, because we South Carolinians love our farmers and their animals.”

    I’m looking for the PayPal link!!

  15. Helen Legare-floyd says:

    Thank you all for your comments. Our friend that set up the Facebook page is working on the PayPal thing. Apparently there was a problem but should up tomorrow.
    One thing I want to clear up, the Hughes aren’t Yankees.
    My brother, sister, and I will be deposed (questioned) by the Hughes’ attorney Joe Qualey so everyone keep us in your prayers.
    Helen Legare-Floyd

  16. Neev Goldkin says:

    I grew up in a farming community in Israel. Most of Northern Israel is full of livestock based agriculture and it is a way of life. Everyonce in a while you might even have to stop in the middle of highway to allow a group of herdsmen to cross the road with their cattle. I understand that the US is not Israel but I saw no harm in that way of life and I see no reason why we should not accept it here. I have to laugh at the idea of someone being afraid of a cow. They are some of the most docile dumb animals ever and are definitely not aggresive. The lawsuit is ridiculious. I wish the best to the Legares and hope that this will not disturb their wonderful way of life.

  17. scott williams says:

    don’t just read this and be upset ,do something about it !!!!! pick up your phone and call or text these scumbags and let them know we support legare farms !!!!remember joe qualey is a politician as well as a scumbag lawyer ,call his house 406-0903 ,his cell 693-3434 ,his office 577-3434 ,and last but not least lets light up the hughes as well ,their number is 559-1586 and billy hughes cell is 452-9831 ,dr beth hughes office is 349 folly road ,drop by and ask her to drop this suit !!!!!there will be a fund raiser jan 15 th ,

  18. Kristine Sports says:

    Where will the fundraiser be held on JAN 15th?

    Also Thomas, if they don’t drop this lawsuit, I certainly would show up to court in support of your family! I would expect several hundred others would be there too.

    Scott- nice job on posting the numbers, they will probably have them all changed. I’d like their mailing address, perhaps they could be inundated with personal written letters too.

    Not sure if writing our Senators would help, but I have seen many websites where a letter is posted and people can bounce off that letter to send via email.

  19. scott williams says:

    sure thing ,the hughes home address is 2412 hanscombe point road johns island 29455 ,he also owns port city supply ,we could all write in to roper as well ,will get the number for them ???? and the lawyer joe qualeys address 740 clearview drive ,james island 29412,his office is23 broad street but would send it to the house !!!!and remember he is a politician we pay his salary you can email him at or send him a text or 2 watch the save legare farms facebook page for fundraiser.

  20. martha bird says:

    Thanks for the info Scott… just sent Joe Qualey an email and will follow up with letters to the addresses!

  21. Edward C. Anderson says:

    I just wanted to share my concern with your current situation. It is a sad day when farmers have to endure in such frivolous lawsuits. My prayers are with you and if I can help in anyway please do not hesitate to call. Marshall has my numbers.

    Edward C. Anderson
    Assistant Director, Parks Dept
    City of Charleston

  22. Anna Coe says:

    The Hughs’ knew when the bought and built what the conditions were and have no room for complaint. If they want to build fences and it is okay with the Legares then fine. Otherwise, move.

  23. Pamela DeLullo says:

    Such a horrible ordeal for Legare Farms. I am a yankee and love Johns Island. I can not understand why people move to the country knowing the circumstances then all of the sudden things change. One reason I can think of is that they would like to sell their home & others arent as willing to pay top dollar to live on the water along side the wandering cattle! I say if it was like this when they bought it- tough- they can build their own fence, upgrade the road at their own expense and deal with it. So tired of people with money forcing the less fortunate to spend theirs. When I sold my home I had a right of way to my lot via a lot that I subdivided and sold. Was done legally and was just that- a right of way approved by the county. Buyers at the last minute wanted confirmation from the other lot owner- bottom line- bs cost me $5000 in legal fees because of a bunch of lawyers and realtors!

  24. scott williams says:

    looks like there will be a big fundraiser on the 21 st we need all the help and support we can get ,

  25. scott williams says:

    i have had about a hundred emails saying that they wanted to start a petition to demand joe qualey’s removal from office (in our opinion)due to his lack of ethics in this case ,so at every event for legare farms as well as all of the facebook pages (which is around 30,000 charleston county residents )we will have petitions for the removal of joe qualey for the citizens to sign .lets send him and the hughes packing (maybe they could buy a place next door to each other )

  26. Patti H says:

    Sounds like the Legare’s hs already given a right of way to the property. If the doctor doesn’t like it, buy a boat. Isn’t the property water front? The doctor can drive the boat to the city. Better yet, move back to the city!! Country folk don’t need this kind of crap. They are hard working people. What amazes me is that the doctor and family was so friendly and neighborly and all of a sudden the law suit. Dr Jeckle/Mrs Hyde. The county is behind the Legare family. Best of Luck!!!!

  27. Nancy Whitt says:

    OK folks, we will donate the chicken for the fundraiser. Need to find out the details of the event so we can fill in the blanks and get organized. Who can get the publicity we need?

    Let’s all get together, eat some good food and support the Legares.

  28. Rebecca says:

    This makes me sick. First of all, is this Dr. Hughes private residence? If so, why are the Roper/St. Francis lawyers involved? Is the hospital paying for her legal help? Perhaps they should rethink that. I wonder what their Board of Directors thinks about that. Additionally, since she is physician and relies on patients to make a living, I, for one, will be letting my friends know that she is trying to destroy a lowcountry landmark and business and they should look for another doctor. Just my two cents.

  29. Love The CountryLife says:

    Well the Hughes should be crawling in a hole about now, they need to pull that lawyer in with them and bury themselves. All has been said in previous comments for what needs to be done-All good. There are many solutuons if they (Hughes) wanted to resolve it with out going to suit. I have seen pastures with a very large metal grate is placed over a shallow ditch. Cows want cross over it because their feet fall through the holes. An electric gate opener is a solution too so she want have to get out and get her feet dirty.
    The good Dr. should have asked Lagare Farms if she could pay for the gate or grate install to solve her issues, that would have been a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer / politician to figure it out for you.
    Plus she should enjoy her 5 minute drive down a mile long dirt rode after a long hard days work. Would she rather be stuck in I-26 traffic for hours??? Some people don’t know what they have until they live on the other side of the fence!! (pun intended).

    Also I see another angle for the community to talk in numbers… I see where she was advised by the lawyers for Roper/St Francis which Dr. Hughes works advised her to terminate them as patients because of the lawsuit.
    Well I think there are some other hospital systems in the area that could use the support more than Dr. Hughes Employers / Owners. I think we can spend our “farm earned money” dollars / Insurance dollars any place we want to. I don’t think we need to put any more money in the pockets of people / corporations that want to make stupid lawsuits and hire low life lawyers to spend or earn that money!!
    Love Country Life
    in Cottageville

  30. Tim Hughes says:

    What we all need to do is boycott anything to do with the Hughes’ and there business.
    Call all your friends to do the same. Call the hospital and tell them “we are taking our
    Business to Trident “, then give them the reason. Call port city supply and inform them “Charleston will not support you”! Although I live in Summerville, I grew up going to Mullet Hall Plantation as a kid and love Johns Island, and Legare Farms. I understand things change, but somethings need to stay the same! Hughes is an honorable last name, you should be ashamed!

  31. Julia Childers says:

    If Dr. Hughes is this ignorant, I am not so sure I would want her taking care of my health———She comes into the traditional South property and then does something like this——-She is not thinking about her practice——-I suppose anyone in the area could now find an easy way to sue her for malpractrice. Nowdays, it does not take much to sue a doctor, especially when the doctor hurts folks that have been so loved and giving—–IF SHE SUES THE FARM–SHE IS SUING THE DEEP SOUTH–BUT THEN AGAIN THAT IS WHAT UNCARING DOCTORS AND GREEDY LAWYERS DO——-TAKE AN EXIT TO PICK UP A SHINY DIME AND SUE JESUS CHRIST IF THEY THINK THEY WILL WIN—————-DR. HUGHES AND LAWYERS—-I KNOW YOUR MOTHER MUST BE SOOOOO SOOOOOO PROUD!

  32. Laura George says:

    I am so sorry to hear that your family is in the experience of such ignorance. I am not a native but there is one thing that has become a tradition in my family and that is visiting Legare Farms. Your farm is a charming Charleston icon and I love reading the monthly newsletters. I hope that Dr. Beth Hughes will see the error of her ways and drop the suit, for such an educated person to take such an underhanded approach is deplorable. The one thing I love about the South is that people are truly genuine and kind, this lawsuit is hardly representative of any sort of neighborly hospitality. You lined her pockets by being her patient and you are repaid with a lawsuit. I am sure this could have been settled out of court. Good will preveil sooner or later and I am sure this doctor will have a strong dose of kharma coming her way. I will be sure to avoid any recommendations or visits to her office, keep the toxicity to yourself Dr. Hughes. I will continue to support Legare Farms in any way that I can. You represent the American farmer which is one of the purest American institutions.

  33. Laurie says:

    There is a website called that sets up petitions that can be signed by people across the country. It’s amazing what those petitions have done already… including Bank of America to back down from a proposed fee. Why don’t you put a petition on that site and get this publicity nationwide? I bet the country is just frustrated enough to have this fight be a rallying cry for the support of farmers. Please consider it and let me know when it happens, I’d love to sign.

  34. Mary Alice Brown/Momma Brown's BBQ says:

    I am so sorry about this for you and you know I can relate. Don t be fooled that just because they are locals and they tell you one thing and welcome you into their homes that they want stab you in the back and use your southern trustfulness against you. It hurts but after the shock wears off you have to fight back. That business about “nothing personal it’s just business” it is personal you are real people. I had my own issues with the Hughes family Carol and Billy Hughes (realtors) which are close friends with the Herrins-Simmons and Linda Page who were behind the closing of Momma Brown’ s. A handshake or their word means nothing to these kind of people. Please let me know what I can do to help with the fundraiser. You have my support, you will come out on top of this even though you may not see it now. God has his hand on you.

  35. Amee Chambers says:

    I am crushed to hear this news. My daughter attended Farm Camp a couple of summers ago out at your farm. She had such a great time, and you were all so informative and caring. Good luck to you all!

  36. Susan Baker says:

    I bet you anything, the Hughes family wants to sell the property and is afraid the lack of paved road/fence will deter buyers. Why else would there suddenly be an issue after over 4 years?? Dr. Hughes, when you buy property in the country, there are dirt roads and all types of animals. You knew about the farm when you bought the property. The cows also won’t hurt you!! They are not dangerous. Just farm animals. Maybe you should move downtown if you don’t like the country!!

    Family farming is becoming more scarce as time passes. Just be glad we live in a place where we can have LOCAL fruits and vegetables!

  37. Buddy & Beth Jarrells says:

    My wife and I do not live in the Charleston area, however, the Legare family has always been welcoming and warm each time we visit. We work with them on the planning committee for their annual event, The Battle of Charleston. We have found them to be direct, honest and a pleasure to work with.

    The thought that they could lose their farm after nearly 300 years of working the land sickens us both. If you could see the wonderment on children’s faces, see the interest in history come alive for adults and children alike you would never consider taking away this valuable community resource. They have programs year round that edify children and families, demonstrating food sourcing and conservation.

    For the Battle of Charleston last year, we had many participants who drove for hours coming from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Florida. We received excellent feedback, including one comment that talked about how beautiful the property was, that it was free of modern intrusions and really afforded that ability to create a period atmosphere.

    I grew up in Fredericksburg, VA and have been a reenactor for over 30 years. Many of the sites we attend are under great stress from developers who have no heart for history, but for the almighty dollar and want to break up sites into tiny tracts. Historical areas that are bordered by strip malls, businesses and high rises are common. A family that is willing to share the family land with the public in an effort to educate and raise awareness is very rare.

    The Hughes family should be ashamed of themselves. They knew what they were buying at the outset. This is not only about the Legares, but about all the education, joy and long term memories they give to hundreds of children and adults each year. Touching even one child’s life and opening up the world of history, farming, and animal rearing should trump the need of one woman to open a gate while fearing the dreaded attack of the cows.

    This goes far beyond a gate, a right of way and a wayward bovine. What is the real agenda behind this attack on the Legare’s Farm? A spotlight of truth is called for in this case.

    We will be there to support you on the 21st and look forward to the good that will prevail in the end.

    A Virginian by birth, a South Carolinian by choice,
    Buddy and Beth Jarrells

  38. follybeach1 says:

    Mr. Qualey should be deeply ashamed for taking this case. The Hughes doubly so for filing it.To try and tear apart a family business and hundreds of years of a business is just greed. Go buy your house on Kiawah so that your are behind your GATE and we don’t have to see or deal with you.

  39. Cyndi Sammons says:

    Having lived in a city area for most of my young life up north, the oppurtunity to come to legare farms and experience a “true” working farm was an amazing experience!!!! i have since brought my daughter and other family members and created many amazing memories!! it sickens me to think that with so many american farmers being shut down that these people would want to do that to their own neighbors!!!! they will ended losing more in the end!!!! and if they want that road and fence so badly, i agree w/ an earlier post…..LET THEM PAY OR IT!!!!! bet that will change their mind!!!! and as for that dr, my suggestion —-we refer our friends to the “good” ones, why cant we all “refer” our friends to avoid the REALLY BAD AND IMMORAL ONES!!!! bet that would hurt her pocket and it sounds like thats all she thinks abt!!!

  40. Voice of truth says:

    Hey, how about instead of raising money to fight the lawsuit, raise money to build the fence to the Hughes’ house and maintain the road?? I mean, having cattle wandering around wherever they please in the marsh and into the Hughes’ chlorine pool is really gross and the Legare family should absolutely have more control over their livestock. That’s unsanitary. A fence and yearly contract with a company for regular road maintenance is WAY cheaper than fighting a lawsuit. GAW.

  41. Brian Parkhurst says:

    Every restaurant in Charleston should refuse to serve the Hughes family. I’m sure they probably eat out a lot.

  42. Langley says:

    This is a shameful situation. I’m spreading the word now and will come to fundraisers, sign petitions, donate $$, etc.

  43. Sally G Pittman says:

    This is absolutely appalling!!! Dr. Hughes knew what the land was there for, FARMING, that means cows, sheep and other livestock as well as crops. To not have a problem with the status quo for 4 years then file a lawsuit. Someone put a bug in someone’s ear, namely a lawyer! Can we all say “fast buck”!!! And I agree with Brian who wrote all restaurants should refuse to serve any member of the Hughes family.

    PS I too will donate and sign petitions!!! Just tell me where to sign.

  44. scott williams says:

    we have enough support now ,that we can start making demands ,there are thousands of people coming out now to support legare farms and the response has been explosive ,people are starting to write roper st francis ,there is the boycott coming up of port city supply ,the mass fundraiser at the farm ,we can now demand that the hughes reimburse the legares for any and all legal expense ,(dropping the suit is now a given but thats not good enough )the second demand we will make is for the hughes to move on as we feel the damage that they have done to not only the legare family but our community as a whole cannot be reconciled ,the petitions that are going around now will be sent in to the attorney’s for roper st.francis (they should be ashamed of themselves as well )go to nason medical ,they appreciate our business and their service is outstanding .we will also foward the petition to remove joe qualey after the fundraiser to charleston county council ,we will end up with around 3-5 thousand signatures on it . i want to thank every one that has gotten involved ,by the way voice of truth ,you are a coward ,if you dont believe in what you are saying enough to put your name on what you say ,then your point is mute .we will keep up the fight and apply more and more pressure til our demands are met .and let this be a another example of what happens when some one with money comes on our island and tries to change it ,just ask ernie irvan and the hughes .

  45. Pam Rauber says:

    Unfortunately, the fact the Hughes have had legal easement using this road for as many years as they have gave them a legal advantage.
    It all boils down to the individuals who sold out. The current owners should have bought the lots as they came available.
    They really should try mediation. A compromise could be reached between both parties.

  46. Donna Putney says:

    We are an organization which knocks itself out supporting local farms/farmers, so we really sympathize with this situation. We have experienced in a small way some similar happenings in our own lives. One never knows what a relative will do with their inheritance of land, and this brings up the subject of consevancy. Befroe giving away land, one must realize that it is then out of our hands; however, if we first get a conservancy agreement on the land, it will be used the way we wish. Upstatw Forever is working on this around here, but there are other organizations, so, please protect these beautiful farmlands!

  47. Amy Sirk says:

    Does S.C. have a “right to farm” law? Many states have them to protect farms from this very thing.

  48. April Magill says:

    This needs to be front page of Post and Courier and the City Paper! Has anyone contacted them? You have the support of your community!

  49. scott williams says:

    we have been contacted by diane knick asking any one with input to call her ,she is working on a story for the post and courier on the legare’s plight and the fundraiser ,any one that wants to support the legare’s can call her 843-530-0211 ,by the way people are coming in from all over the country for this fundraiser ,great job people .oh and if you get a chance ,please go to roper st francis face book page and let them know how you feel about them getting legal with a dying patient because she had cows on her farm .

  50. Cindy Fowler says:

    Wow. This is so upsetting. I wish I had an address to write to the Hughes family. Maybe we can start one of the electronic petitions to send to them? I don’t want to bash rich people (hope to be one someday), but this really is sad. They are NIMBs Not in my Backyard people, I bet. probably want to buy healthy food, but don’t want it grown anywhere near them. Will pass the work around the office.

  51. Claire says:

    Go to and sign the petition please.

  52. Heather Chumley-Jones says:

    Unbelievable. People move to the country to get away from these type of people. It is so sad that nothing is sacred. You have my full support!

  53. shakti brown says:

    Afraid of what you are choosing to eat. A gentle vegetarian cow. Move back to where you feel comfortable. Everybody’s happy.

  54. WA says:

    As a conservationist and supporter of local farming I believe this lawsuit to be frivolous and unfounded. Dr. Beth Hughes is an internist on James Island with Island Internal Medicine and you may write her there. I would have expected her to behave differently and hold herself to a higher standard. It is surprising that a well educated professional would sue her friends and lack insight into the local economic and historical significance of Legare Farms. It is yet another example in our society of an individual placing her selfish desires ahead of the interests of our community. Suing over cows and other livestock when they were present at the time the Hughes purchased their house is greedy, petty and unwarranted. What motivates this behavior is likely an unsubstantiated feeling of superiority and entitlement.

  55. scott williams says:

    this latest development shows what happens when corruption is allowed to creep in ,does anyone out there believe that joe qualey is not behind the county wanting to have a inspection and site plan before they can have this fundraiser ,we should all be outraged ,joe qualey should be run out of charleston county on a rail .!!!!he has not only managed to drag the legal field to a new low ,now he is dragging charleston county gov. into a new low ,(he should be forced to resign first thing monday morning )this poor family has suffered enough ,lets all band together and put a end to joe qualey’s madness in this matter once and for all ,call him every chance you get his cell is 843-693-3434 office 843-577-3434 ,and monday every one that reads this should call charleston county blg inspection’ s 843-202-6930 and tell them this family deserves better from their local government than to be punished for joe qualey’s and dr. beth hughes mistake .we will also be asking for an investigation into who ordered this inspection .

  56. scott williams says:

    the inspection at legare farms seems may have been a false alarm ,if it was a false alarm then i would like to retract everything in my prior posting .It seems tensions are all still high and we look foward to all parties (including joe qualey) moving on and putting this miscarriage of justice behind us all .The legare family will move foward as they are left with legal bills still to pay and we would all hope that the hughes family as well as joe qualey would not do anything to stop the fundraiser from taking place on january 21,2012 .

  57. Richard Bush says:

    I support what you all are doing out there, and stunned by the Doctor and his attorney. If your family needs a Pro-Bono firm to help out in this matter, get in touch with us.

  58. Kathleen LeGare says:

    Thomas, Helen and Linda,
    This is Snooky’s daughter, Kathleen. The emotional and financial stress being caused you by this lawsuit is an injury and a damage. The Hughes have plenty of audacity but no standing to demand anything from you or to depose you, for that matter. Unbelievable! Have you considered a counterclaim? Would you be amenable to sending me a copy of the complaint filed by the Hughes?

  59. anonymous says:

    It appears to me that the hughes property is furthest from the hardball. But by no estimation the only property distanced from the hardball. there are at least two others “next door” as it were, to the Hughes on the beach. Not to discount the other five properties serviced by the tentacular easement. So I am curious, how do the other property tenants/owners feel and are they named in suit, and if not, why not? They each share a common interest in the easement, and must be named as parties, because they are equally effected by the easement, just as the doctor. If the good doctor wants a fight, she must fight fare-she must name and serve ALL tenants in common, thats the law!!!

  60. Laura Wichmann Hipp says:

    Poet Elizabeth Verner Hamilton, daughter of Charleston artist Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, gave the key to living in harmony when she told a group of East Side school children in her Tradd Street garden, “when you live this close together, you’ve got to love your neighbor.” Even more so when you are privileged to live in paradise on one of our sea islands on family land that by some miracle has come your way. This principle is one that newcomers can never take their eyes off of, for it is the spirit of South Carolina’s renowned hospitality, loving your neighbor as yourself. This law suit strikes at the heart of what is pure, of good report, admirable, and praiseworthy in the Legare family, that openness to accept and love new neighbors, and their continued commitment to patient toil and sacrifice, farming their land as their ancestors did before them. Any sensible judge would throw this case out of court.

  61. Charles "Trap" Seabrook says:

    I have lived in Atlanta for the past 40 years, but John’s Island is still near and dear to my heart. I was born and reared on the island and I still own some old family property there (on River Road near the intersection with Main Road.) It greatly pains me to hear what the Legare family is going through. I will gladly send a donation to do my part in helping save the Legare family farm. We must do it for the sake of the entire island. If,God forbid, the Legares lose their farm, then the rest of the island may be lost. Too much of John’s Island already has been lost to willy-nilly development. Let’s draw the line at the Legare farm.

    Charles “Trap” Seabrook
    Decatur, GA

  62. Linda Legare Berry says:

    Forst of all I want to thank everyone for their support. I means so much to all of us. Second, I want to tell you about the most recent thing that has happened. I think this is the thing that has upset me the most throughout this whole ordeal.
    Last Thursday when we had to meet the Hughes family and their lawyer at the magistrates office, Dr. Hughes was not there. She could not attend because she had taken their children to Disney world. Yesterday when we had to meet them again, she was not there because she had ” patients to see”.
    God knows I am grateful for doctors when I am sick, but apparently they are more important than lowly farmers who feed the world and only make about a tenth as much.
    Because of the cost of this lawsuit, I cam’t afford to take my daughter to Disney world or pay for her music lessons any more. Even the tuition money for her to take dual high school/ college courses at tech next year is questionable right now. I am working really hard as a Christian to forgive them. Unfortunately, every time I get almost there they do something like this.
    Once again, thank you all so much for your support and we hope to meet as many of you as possible on Saturday.

  63. Susan Wagenbrenner says:

    I can’t believe that this doctor would have to sue their neighbor over such an obvious situation. They could not come to a compromise? Most normal neighbors, ones who are from Charleston, work together to help each other as neighbors, as true “Christians do.” Fire your patient, turn on your neighbor, just like that? There has to be a better way than to put one of our few farms we have left out of.
    business. Need to have a fundraiser, hmmm tweet Willie Nelson. This is no joke, no one was killed here, just taking there livelihood away, OUR livelihood. This is so wrong..need to do something, fight back.

  64. Claire ZeffnerClairezeffner says:

    If y’all are going to the fund raiser on Sat. You need to either go ahead and buy your tickets or if you plan to pay at the gate call and make a reservation. The organizers need to know how much food to fix.

  65. Shelton Milner says:

    The Hughes should be embarassed beyond belief. If you move to Johns Island, do not expect anything to change for you. Johns Island is rural and agricultural and needs to stay that way. Those of us who live there like the slower way of life, oak lined roads, miles of dirt roads, livestock, etc. That is why we live and stay there. If you don’t like it, get the hell off the island! We don’t want you or even have respect for you. Move yourself back to town and enjoy it there.

  66. Bill Eubanks, FASLA says:

    I am a licensed Landscape Architect with 30 years of experience and anytime I see “R/W” on a survey or plat I know without a doubt it means “Right-of-Way”. It always has and it always will. To pretend to think otherwise is either extremely naive or just plain manipulative and mean spirited.

    The Hughes family, bless their hearts, knew what they were buying when they bought it and if that lifestyle no longer fits their needs perhaps they should sell their house and buy something in a nice, nondescript suburb with no livestock and no unpaved roads with everything controlled by their HOA.

    A farm is a farm and nobody (especially a County Councilman) should try to make it be anything else. God Bless our Farmers.

    And shame on these people. And shame on their attorney, an elected official. We will remember this at election time.

  67. David Johnson says:

    The Hughes were crazy to move out there in the first place. If you don’t like cows don’t move to a farm. I also find it hard to believe that a single lawsuit, that has now been settled, could actually threaten the future of a family farm worth millions. If money is that tight for the Legare family then maybe they should sell off a tiny portion of their land and save the handouts for the real needy families. There are families out there who don’t have anything.

  68. Ken & Kathryn Scales says:

    That is a shame. The Hughes should just MOVE. We support the family farm. Who do these people think they are. They must be important… themselves! Move way out of this state!!!

  69. Greg Hackworth says:

    An easy compromise — have the doctor purchase an automatic/electronic gate.

  70. Joanne JoJo Crompton says:

    Wow..what wealth and money do to people…come on Hughes family, you knew exactly what you were doing when you bought the property..and to socialize with these wonderful people and now turn on them??? How do you sleep at night? Greed is the biggest regret most will have at the end of their day…think about it…please, and pray because you will need HIS advise, and he will tell you to read his word, its in there…just gotta search on how to do it…Read the Bible….GREED never works…

  71. Daniel Drake says:

    This is just sad after 4 1/2 years of going through this gate and being friends they have to be this way. This farm was this way when they moved there why should you have to change anything? They knew things was set this way and they would have to open and close gate when they moved there and at that time there was no problems.. Well If the Hughes was my doctor I would look for a new one for sure , leave the country the country and move back to the city thats where you belong anyways.. Or you could just live with it, farming is apart of life.. This is just sad the hughes have money and think they can do what they want.. God is watching what you do Dr.Hughes!!!

  72. John Middleton says:

    Here’s an idea…Why don’t you actually farm the land you own?

  73. Helen Legare says:

    John Middleton, we do farm the land we own. We have over 100 cows, 150 pigs, 400 chickens, 15 sheep as well as numerous other animals. We sell our own anti-biotic and hormone free beef, chicken, pork, and eggs. We have 5 acres of vegetables that go into our Community Supported Agriculture vegetable program. We have about 50 acres of sod grass. We have a nursery that grows fruit trees and renourishment beach and marsh plants. We do a huge month long event in October with pick your own pumpkins and a maze.
    I would love to know where you got the idea we don’t farm our land. In fact my brother, sister, and myself make our living on this farm and do not have off farm jobs.

  74. jaden says:

    what happened to have made the hughes family start this law suit and how much more do u need to save the farm?

  75. admin says:

    Thank you for your inquiry about our farm. I wish I had an answer for you on what made the Hughes file the lawsuit. Quite frankly we have no idea what lead up to this lawsuit. We believed we were friendly neighbors and had not had a cross word with them. We became aware that a lawsuit was in the works when Dr. Hughes sent letters to all of my family from her medical practice saying she could no longer be our doctor. My sister called her and she stated that Roper Hospital’s (who she works for) attorney had advised her to send the letter because of the pending lawsuit. We had no idea there was a pending lawsuit and we tried at that time to talk to the Hughes and work out any problems. We weren’t sure what the problems even were. They chose to continue with a lawsuit. They then filed agnaist our mother who was in the end stages of Alzheimers and Dr. Hughes knew that since she was her doctor until the lawsuit. Once our mother passed away, they tranfered the suit to probate court.

    We decided to go public in Dec. 2011 agnaist our attorney’s advice. An article was first published to the website of the Charleston Mercury and then in their newspaper and an article appeared Christmas day in the Post and Courier. Social media then ran with the story with websites and Facebook pages to save the farm. We were overwhelmed and humbled by all the support. The Hughes were apparently recieving a lot of pressure as well as their attorney to settle the lawsuit or drop it. We did not want it dropped because they could have just refiled and started over again. We were able to settle the lawsuit in our favor with very little help from our attorney in Jan. 2012. The Hughes agreed to take the financial responsibility for everything they wanted done to improve the road and gate onto our property. For example they agreed instead of removing the cattle gate that they would install an electric gate opener. Another thing they agreed to was that they would hire a grading company to improve the road but we would have final approval of the improvements. Have any of these things been done??? NO!!!!

    We do not have any hard feelings toward the Hughes family. We will never be friends again but we do wave at them when passing in the dirt road. This lawsuit cost us $36,000. Money we did not have. Our wonderful friends put on 2 funds raiser in Jan. and Feb. which did cover a large portion on the bill. We have paid off the attorney but it took all of our Mother’s life insurance which she had left to pay the probate court fees. Our attorney would not finish settling her estate until we paid her in full. We had no choice but to pay the attorney with the money that should have gone to the probate court. So to answer your question what would it take to save the farm, nothing as far as the lawsuit is concern but nearly $10,000 in probate fees that can’t be paid because the attorney in the lawsuit got that money. We are hoping that the probate court will allow us to make payments but when you are barely making a living on the farm, I don’t know where the payments will come from.

    We will continue to fight to hold onto this farm that has been in our family for nine generations. We are proud of our history and proud of the way we have fought this latest battle to keep farming.

    I don’t know if you are local or not but if you would like to come out to the farm for a visit, please get in touch and I’ll be glad to show you around.
    Helen Legare

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