Thursday, March 25, 2010

Detour from the Mini-Tour

Last weekend I had the privilege of chaperoning Noelle's choir mini-tour. Before I could get in the door of the church, I found, perhaps, the largest church cemetery I've ever seen. And it lived up to it's first impression - the place was amazing. Too bad my pictures don't do it justice.

Stone fences are not typical in South Carolina, and it didn't look that old, but it enclosed the entire place and was beautiful. The crosses clearly aren't original, but added to the charm.

The brick building beyond was erected in the mid 1800s as an academy. It was apparently the place to send your child for an education in all of the state. It graces the national registry of historic buildings, and was built to replace an older building that burned down when a chemistry experiment went awry. We couldn't see inside, but the church has maintained it, and still uses it today.

And the graves were simply amazing. Is this old, or what? Some were so disintegrated we couldn't read them, but this one has a clear birth date of February 12, 1838. The oldest was marked with a plaque and the death date was late 1700s. I'm not sure what the mini headstone was, but there were many graves that looked just like this. Way too many to be deaths from childbirth. And speaking of children, there were so many buried here, reminding me that much crueler times were not so long ago.

This marker placed by the NSDAR (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution) tells all the world that James Gallant (circa 1727-1807) was a patriot for contributing to the American Revolution by providing beef. There were a few other graves marked as soldiers of the American Revolution and many from the Civil War. Sadly, I didn't get a clear shot of their distinctive markers.

Beyond the cemetery was a wooded area that housed this lonely fireplace and fallen chimney. I imagine this was at the back of what used to be a house because about 50 feet ahead of it was a stray daffodil or two, which were probably once the front garden. No telling what era this came from.

What an amazing trip through historic, sacred ground. I almost forgot about the choir. More on them tomorrow.
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