I admit that up north history was an abstract concept for me (and many people). You may learn of the Boston tea Party, or Paul Revere but visually it’s a plaque between two skyscrapers.
In the Lowcountry you have early US history, starting in the 1600’s, and you can walk up see it. Not long ago we sat on the steps of a rural plantation porch in the delta. The same exact spot also shared with George Washington, Marquis de La Fayette, and the ‘Swamp Fox’ Francis Marion. Click to view.
I first learned of Strawberry Chapel in 2016 from a group of local photographers that documented the history of the Lowcountry. Landmark sites like this but also to the smallest rural General Store that were still standing from the 1800’s. I was hooked. Finally September 2022 we were able to get past the old stone wall and visit the chapel.
I believe sometime the in the mid 1800’s the prayer and wreath were added. They are made of small pine cone petals sewn together.
A restoration was just completed here. Over the years water damage happened, the walls were in need of a re-plaster (using the old methods), and windows were repaired. I’m sure 297 years has taken a toll.
There will be a service and baptism here next month. Usually there are four dates a year the chapel opens. This is the only complete Chapel of Ease I have seen, others were ruins. It’s a National Landmark with private owners dating back to it’s creation.
This chapel of ease, on Strawberry Bluff, was built in 1725. The parish church, Biggins, was too far for the planters to attend services. Only a single church was allowed in the Anglican parish, however they could allow a chapel with limited functions such as baptisms and marriages.
At various times Strawberry was both a chapel and church. The parish church Biggins burned in a forest fire, was rebuilt and burned again by the British troops during the revolution, finally ruined during the Civil War.
Each time Biggins was damaged Strawberry became the temporary parish church.
Four communion services are held annually which visitors may attend. Strawberry Chapel and its burial grounds are on private property and not open to the public.