Tag Archives: History

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena

The Anglican Church established “chapels of ease” throughout rural South Carolina in the 1700s for members to attend services close to home.

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena
Chapel of Ease, St. Helena

Fire, in this case natural, brought an end to this chapel on St. Helena Island, just off Beaufort.

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena
Chapel of Ease, St. Helena, Historical Sign

Historical preservation organizations are fighting a battle against the natural elements and some human interference to preserve these buildings.

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena
Chapel of Ease, St. Helena

The massive live oaks on this property stand like guards over the building but may ultimately contribute to the chapel’s demise.

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena
Chapel of Ease, St. Helena

Williamsburg County Courthouse, SC: Monuments to Change

I took these pictures and wrote this post last summer, but was never satisfied with my text. Tonight, as a curfew has been imposed by our county and there is unrest all around us, it seems appropriate to remember these leaders.

____________

The Williamsburg County Courthouse in Kingstree, SC was built on a Revolutionary War era parade ground. In addition to the courthouse, which was built in 1823, and various war memorials, there are monuments commemorating Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Martin Luther King.

Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorials
Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorials

A civil rights attorney, Thurgood Marshall succeeded in having the US Supreme Court declare segregated public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and in 1967 became the first black Justice on that Court.

“I did the best I could with what I had.”

Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorial: Justice Thurgood Marshall
Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorial: Justice Thurgood Marshall

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke locally on Mother’s Day, 1966, advocating the power of voting.

Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorial: Dr. Martin Luther King
Williamsburg County Courthouse Memorial: Dr. Martin Luther King

“Unless we learn to live together as brothers
Surely we will die apart as fools.”

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

A few days after I posted Magnolia Plantation Cupola, River Side I was in the same place with a similar sky and a shorter lens on my camera.

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side
Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

Without much contrasting color to break up all that green I processed these images with a vintage photo look.

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side
Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

For a view of the other side of the house see my post from November 2019: Magnolia Plantation, the House

Magnolia Plantation Cupola, River Side

At one time a wide lawn leading up to the Ashley River side of Magnolia Plantation would have been the welcome to visitors who had journeyed via boat from Charleston. Now that expanse has narrowed with trees and there is no clear view of the whole house from the river bank.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane

I was ready for wildlife photography with my 100-400 MM lens attached, but the impending storm made a cool sky so I took some images between the trees at 100 MM.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Cupola and Weather Vane

If you are zooming in to see the weather vane details you’ll see spots. At first I thought my lens might be dirty but after comparing the images I’m pretty sure those are rain drops.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Cupola and Weather Vane

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

For a view from the other side see my post from November 2019: Magnolia Plantation, the House

Magnolia Plantation, the House

I spotted the metal cupola and wind vane through the branches of one of the huge Live Oaks that line the entrance to the Magnolia Plantation property.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane

I backed up and found a spot that framed the house with the tree, which is many hundreds of years old.

Magnolia Plantation House
Magnolia Plantation House

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

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 RuinsOld Sheldon Church Ruins

The Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort County was originally built around 1750.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

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.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

The giant Live Oaks surrounding the property lend to the feeling of times gone by.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Stumphouse Tunnel

The Blue Ridge Railroad was hoping to bore through Stumphouse Mountain for a line extending from Anderson, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennesee.  Started in the early 1850s, 1,500 Irish miners cut through blue granite with hand drills, hammers and chisels, and black powder in this and two nearby tunnels. Their efforts came to an end in 1859  when no more funding could be procured to complete the work and subsequent efforts to restart the rail project over the next several decades failed.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – top

Even though the ceiling was quite high, 20 or 25 feet ( 6 or 7 meters)  right here, I’m not a fan of underground spaces and stayed pretty close to the entrance. Ted was a bit more adventurous. You can go further, but would want better shoes and light, be prepared for bats, and have water protection for your camera.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – Ted looking back to the entrance

There was less green growth on the walls just a short distance from the entrance. Two streams of water a few inches deep flowed on either side of the floor and water dripped from the ceiling. The cool air flowing out of the tunnel was welcome on this hot day.

Stumphouse Tunnel
Stumphouse Tunnel – those are Ted’s footprints in the mud

Stumphouse Tunnel is managed by the City of Walhalla, SC as part of a recreation area.

Cross Keys Plantation

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.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

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.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The other end of the house has just one chimney, partly hidden by a tree.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The intricate brick work is fascinating, especially in the chimney.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The bricks varied in colors and the top several rows on the front of the house appear to be of a different era.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

Click on any image for a larger view. 

Cross Keys, Union, SC

Rose Hill Plantation

The plantation home is the centerpiece of Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site in Union, SC. Four Magnolia trees thought to be over 200 years old screen the front of the building from the road. This is in contrast to many of the southern plantations that had tree-lined entrances designed to impress leading to the homes.

Rose Hill Plantation
Rose Hill Plantation

The ornamental front gate opens into a formal boxwood garden.

Rose Hill Plantation
Rose Hill Plantation

Once through the gate a visitor would be wowed by the porches and size of the home. The portico on the right side of the home was probably the more likely entry point for a visitor arriving by carriage.

Rose Hill Plantation
Rose Hill Plantation – Road side

At its peak in the 1860s the plantation covered over 5000 acres with corn and cotton as the primary crops and about 180 enslaved individuals.

Front Porch, Rose Hill Plantation
Front Porch, Rose Hill Plantation

There certainly is a lot of symmetry going on, if not a front to back mirror image. I regret not taking the inside tour.

Rose Hill Plantation, Back
Rose Hill Plantation, Back
From the SC State Park website:
Gist family members lived in the mansion from about 1811 to 1889. It remained untouched during the Civil War as there were no battles, retreating armies, military quarters or skirmishes in the area.  From the 1890s to the 1930s, the mansion deteriorated significantly. In the 1940s, it was purchased and restored by Clyde Franks, who sold it to the state in 1960.
This State Historic Site interprets the family life and political legacy of William Henry Gist, often called South Carolina’s “Secession Governor,” serving from 1858-1860. With its mix of Georgian and Greek Revival architectural styles, the former family mansion stands as a fine example of an antebellum home.