The church is one of the oldest in Charleston. Like several others in town the congregation was formed when the original church could no longer support the growth. The First (Scotts) church is close to the harbor, this building is on what was considered the far end of Charleston.
I had never been in the grave yard before. maybe the gates are usually locked. Compared to the local churches the burial area is small.
Many of the headstones were dated just a few years before the start of the US civil war. During the war minimal damaged occurred this far up the peninsular. Ships canon could not reach up here. However, during the federal troop occupation later on nothing was completely spared.
The black and white photographs were done a little different than my usual method. Here I used DxO Filmpack with a 35mm Delta film filter as the base conversion and modified to be a bit softer. I had forgotten how ‘rough’ Delta film actually was.
Second Presbyterian Church, Meeting Street, Charleston.
Fifteen men began planning for Second Presbyterian Church in 1809. The Reverend Andrew Flinn organized the congregation to accommodate the growing congregation at First (Scots) Presbyterian Church on lower Meeting Street. The new church was built at 342 Meeting St., Charleston, South Carolina at the then substantial cost of $100,000, and on April 3, 1811, it was dedicated as “The Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston and Its Suburbs.” (Wikipedia)
Unusual for Charleston the church is set back from the street, a small park stands in front. Because the church is in ‘upper’ Charleston more land was available at the time.
The building survived the civil war better than most. The canon of the day could not reach here from the ship blockade.
This is the first time I have visited in a while since there was a fire in the spire. Repairs had the church surrounded by scaffolds for at least two years.
This church building is the fourth oldest church in town.
Second Presbyterian Church, Meeting Street, Charleston.
A few weeks ago we stopped by The Huguenot Church in Charleston. The door was open for visitors, of course it sucked us in like a magnet.
This is the third building here and was completed in 1845. The first church was opened around 1687 but burned in the late 1790’s, a second replaced it in 1800. In 1845 the current building opened in the same foot print.
The 1800’s were an ‘interesting’ time is Charleston. Repairs and rebuilds have been needed. During the US civil war the church was damaged during the bombardment by the Federal blockade. In 1886 Charleston had a major earthquake, a 7.3 magnitude making it still one of the strongest in US history. The area is on an active fault. In 2022 an area 20 miles outside town had a small quake every day for a month. (That was not in the brochure when we were moving down here)
Services are now in English though there are still a few in French during the year.
Huguenot Church, Church Street, Charleston, South Carolina.
Went for a walk around town with a visiting friend the other day. Of course we had cameras.
One of the most photographed spots in town, for as long as there has been cameras. The tallest spire in Charleston was a favorite target for gun boats during the civil war. You know there were old photos of this street even then.
A side street by the church with the homes from the same era.
Note; long read with images and history ‘you can touch’.
All the old churches and chapels provided gravesites to their congregation. Strawberry was no exception. The current owners of the property, the Ball family, have generations buried here.
(Edward Ball published a best seller titled ‘Slaves In The Family‘ a biographical historical account of the family history and a narrative of the slaves that were here . The Ball family opened the chapel to a small group the day these photographs were taken).
Catherine Chicken, great-granddaughter of James Child founder of the settlement once here, is said to have suffered grave abuse in the chapel’s churchyard as a young girl in 1748. At age seven, Catherine was sent to board with her French schoolmaster, Monsieur Dutarque. Catherine was in trouble for not completing her chores when the schoolmaster found her outside chasing her pet turtle around. When he asked her why she had not completed her chores, she told him she just wanted to be outdoors. Dutarque was enraged and thought he would punish his student by tying her to a tombstone and leaving her there for a brief period of time. If she wanted to be outdoors he would ensure she stayed outdoors. He only intended for this to last a short period of time but forgot and left her there into the night. (SC Picture Project).
Of course over time this turned into a mythical ghost story. Truth is she was rescued during the night, the headmaster ‘punished’ and sent packing. Catherine later married a plantation owner, had a family, and ultimately was buried near Middleburg Plantation.
Above is the ‘receiving tomb’ and vaults of the Harleston family, related to the Ball and Coming families. All plantation owners along the Cooper River and near Strawberry.
The church yard is closed, behind old high brick walls to protect the historical site. The Ball family has kept this property private for 297 years and does not accept any government funding preventing any outside influences.
Next week the Chapel will be open for a service, baptism, and a family style picnic. After then the grounds will be closed until the traditional Christmas service.
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.