The couple that founded and grew Ocean Lakes Family Campground will be honored nationally next week by the RV industry.
Nelson and Mary Emily Jackson, both of whom died in 2010, will be among 10 leaders from across the country who will be inducted Monday into the Recreational Vehicle and Manufactured Housing Heritage Foundations Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.
Four of the five Jacksons daughters, representatives of the campground and the two longtime campground guests who nominated the couple plan to attend the dinner Monday evening and accept the honor for the couple, who will have their picture added to the 85,000-square-foot Hall of Fame complex.
The Jacksons are the first Grand Stranders to join the roughly 350 members in the Hall of Fame, and only the second inductees from South Carolina, the other from a now closed campground in Columbia.
The Jacksons were tapped by an eight-person panel of industry experts who were impressed that a husband-and-wife team had the foresight to grow Ocean Lakes from a small campground with 30 campsites and one bathhouse when it opened in 1971 into a complex with more than 3,000 sites on 300 acres that can host as many as 30,000 people a day during the height of the summer tourist season.
Those who supported the Jacksons nomination into the Hall of Fame, which was submitted before their death, said they wished the couple was still here to pick up the honor themselves.
Nelson Jackson likely would have been humbled and thanked the campgrounds guests and workers, said Barb Krumm, spokeswoman for Ocean Lakes.
They would be stunned and thrilled, she said. I know they would be tickled by it.
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