South Carolina is dotted with ruins of churches and other historical buildings. Fire, at the hands of an enemy during war or by accident, was a common culprit. Sometimes they were ravaged to use building materials elsewhere.
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
The Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort County was originally built around 1750.
The owners of the property have recently added a fence to keep visitors out of the ruin for safety purposes and hopefully from taking souvenirs. Oddly, to me, this has become a popular spot for wedding and other portrait photographs.
The giant Live Oaks surrounding the property lend to the feeling of times gone by.
The Cross Keys Plantation wasn’t on our list of potential stops on our recent mid-state driving tour. However, we made a quick u-turn to check out this unexpected sight.
The property is owned by the Union County Museum but wasn’t open so I only took images from the road. The white plaque at the gable peak has the build date of 1812 along with two crossed skeleton keys.
The other end of the house has just one chimney, partly hidden by a tree.
The intricate brick work is fascinating, especially in the chimney.
The bricks varied in colors and the top several rows on the front of the house appear to be of a different era.
I’m attracted to gaudy chandeliers, not that I would want one, but the bling does draw my eye.
The light from the huge Palladian window (three-sections where the center section is arched and larger than the two side sections) makes images a challenge.
The cantilevered staircase (fixed to the wall with no other support) provides an elegant setting intended to impress Charleston society.
This home has had a number of uses since it was built in 1803 for the Manigault family’s city residence and was nearly torn down for a gas station in 1920. It is now owned by The Charleston Museum which operates daily interpretive tours.
Joseph Manigault House, Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC, is known for its abundance of churches and is sometimes referred to as the “Holy City.” The spires of this trio can be seen from a bird’s eye perspective from one of the parking garage rooftops.
The Unitarian Church is topped by a rooster weather vane, which had a summer storm to observe the afternoon I was there.
Many of the large churches in historic Charleston, SC, are difficult to photograph in their entirety due to the closeness of their neighbors. Turns out that the tops of parking garages provide some neat views that get around this dilemma.
Built in 1905, The Gibbes Museum of Art refers to the dome that crowns the Rotunda Gallery as “Tiffany Era.” It seems the sought after Tiffany markings are not to be found based on the museum’s news articles about a recent renovation that included cleaning the dome.
I took the image above standing on the big fleur-de-lis in this next image and looking up. I wanted to lay on the floor but thought it might be frowned on.
The floor is tile, that was (gasp!) covered in brown linoleum along with the beautiful woodwork being painted white sometime in the 1950s or early 1960.
This view out the huge windows in the front shows a hint of the neighboring Circular Church, another architectural beauty in Charleston.
I visited another of South Carolina’s Methodist campgrounds last week. It turns out there are quite a few still operating around the area.
It is immediately obvious that Cypress Methodist Campground is different from Indian Fields Methodist Campground as the “tents” are in a rectangle rather than a circular arrangement and it feels less unified.
This section in the first corner is dominated by a giant Live Oak tree dripping with Spanish Moss.
Some other differences that became apparent as I wandered the grounds were the newer metal roofs on many of the camps, locks on the doors as the result of vandalism, and the lack of front porches on most of the cabins.
Another difference is that the associated church building and a small grave yard are on the same property.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was open the day I discovered it and as I stepped inside I was somewhat overcome by the size. Many of Charleston’s churches welcome visitors to view their interiors, often with knowledgeable guides on hand, as well as for spiritual reasons.
I saw no one here, and saw no welcome sign, either. The interior is an amazing work of art and craftsmanship. I took a few images and went on my way.
On a trip into Charleston last month I walked down a section of Broad Street that I had somehow missed before and discovered the massive Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The first cornerstone for a church on this spot was laid in 1850 and an 1100 seat cathedral was consecrated in 1854. Six years later it burned to the ground in The Great Charleston Fire of 1861. Decades of fundraising culminated in the present day Gothic building being started in 1890.
I was delighted to find that the structure is Connecticut tool-chiseled brownstone. In Connecticut, Ted and I lived only a few of miles from the now defunct Portland Brownstone Quarry. This stone was used all over the US starting in the late 1700s, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid 1890s. It is most famous as the namesake of the New York City and Boston “Brownstones.”
Zoom in on any one of these images to see the detail of the tooling. I need to go back to capture some of the material detail.
The building is impressive in its size, 200 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 167 feet to the tall. There was supposed to be a spire, but lack of funding kept that from being completed.