Bluffton Park named after legendary Lowcountry family


BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – It is a new place to play and honor a legendary Lowcountry family all at the same time.

The ribbon was officially cut on the Martin Family Park on Boundary street in Bluffton Thursday.

The park is named after Jake and Ida Martin.

After living in the Midwest, they returned to Bluffton in 1979 where ministry to others was their way of life. Active in Campbell Chapel AME Church, their giving spirit started in church and extended throughout the community.

At 60 years old, Ida founded Bluffton Self Help, Inc. in 1987. In 2012, she also founded the Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen. Jacob’s public service career spans decades. He was a police officer in Detroit, Michigan, and police chief in Waukegan, Illinois. Afterward, he taught government/economics at McCracken High School in Bluffton and retired as a district office administrator after 23 years of service. Jacob also served as a municipal court judge for the Town of Bluffton from 1992-1995.

President Barack Obama awarded Ida the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2011. The Town of Bluffton inducted Ida into its Wall of Honor in 2012. She was the first woman to receive this honor. The Bluffton-Hilton Head Island Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committees honored Jacob with a 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for his public service career and his volunteer activities, including 28 years with Hilton Head Island’s Meals-on-Wheels program.

More than a dozen members of the martin family were on hand to take part in the ceremony and honor the couple whose mission of neighbors helping neighbors holds strong even today.

“It’s nice looking at this big turnout and remember this day and remember this park and remember our family,” said Chris Martin, Ida Martin’s Grandson. “My grandmother poured a lot into this community and the community gave back to her and this is one example.”

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