Apparently, only three owners held most of the property across the centuries before Russell Burns, Sr. bought 345 acres in the heart of the grant in 1965. Quickly, he added adjacent parcels as they became available. Following his father, Russell Burns Jr. acquired more acreage until the present farm was constituted.
Cotton was king for most of Foxbrier’s farming existence, but cotton sapped the land of its nutrients, and poor farming practices led to significant erosion over the centuries. This led to the switch to today's cattle and hay production.
Russ and Judy with their three children Carol Ann, Roxana, and Juan, along with daughter-in-law Veronica and grand children Jonathan and Priscilla continue to live and work on Foxbrier.
In 1772, King George III of England granted 1500 acres in the wild backcountry of South Carolina to Peter Porcher of Charleston. Such grants were common as the Crown sought to shore up support against the coming rebellion that would form the United States.
Chances are that Porcher never saw the land that he received, but rather sent a surveyor into the wilderness to carve out his new holdings which would be sold off later as the upstate was settled. Even though the grant was chopped into many parcels over the years, the original land grant boundaries can still be seen in aerial photos because of land-use patterns.
A Bit of History
Points of Interest
By the end of the 20th century, it was apparent that the family farm could not provide the financial support for the family.
With escalating taxes, poor prices for farm goods, and onrushing commercial development, the only way to preserve the character of the land was to place it into a conservation easement which provides for diversified use by the family and select public organizations.
Foxbrier boasts miles of trails, mostly wooded, for hiking and riding. Saddle clubs and carriage-driving clubs have outings here. Teachers and students learn about the natural world and visit a working farm. Bird clubs and other groups ply the trails.