Chapel Of Ease

Chapel Of Ease

This Anglican chapel was constructed in 1740 by planters on Saint Helena Island as a chapel of ease for parishioners who had difficulty traveling from plantations to worship at the main parish church in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Chapel Of Ease
Chapel Of Ease

“This ruin is significant as a relatively intact example of mid-eighteenth century tabby construction and for its association with the St. Helena Parish, both as a secondary and primary place of worship for inhabitants of the parish. It was built ca. 1740 as a chapel of ease, to serve planters in St. Helena Parish who lived at great distances from the parish church in Beaufort and could not regularly attend services there. By 1812, the population of St. Helena Island had increased to the extent that the chapel of ease was designated a parish church. The church was virtually abandoned when the planters evacuated the island in the fall of 1861. During the Federal occupation of St. Helena, the church was used frequently by several of the Northerners who had come to the island to educate and train the freedmen. It was also used as a sanctuary by Methodist freedmen as early as 1868, but was burned by a forest fire in February 1886 and was never repaired. Much of its historic fabric, including the church walls and much of its plaster, remains. A small cemetery adjacent to the church ruin contributes to the historic character of the property.” … National Historic Registry.

Chapel Of Ease
Chapel Of Ease
Chapel Of Ease
Chapel Of Ease

Stories are told that planters were gathered here as the news of Sherman’s approaching army was received. For a few years the Chapel was abandon.

Chapel Of Ease
Chapel Of Ease

The attached cemetery is still maintained also. The Fripp family crypt is here. The Fripp family were local plantation owners as well as sea captains charged with protecting the islands from roaming pirates which was still common since the area had a connection with the Caribbean islands.

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