Monday, June 6, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - James Island Presbyterian Church, South Carolina

I had to stop and take pictures of this cemetery when I was in the Charleston area for the NGS conference.  To me it was so odd to see the cemetery on such a busy street.  It was beautiful with all the old trees throughout.  An investigation was in order. So after Jenn Woods (from Climbing My Family Tree) and I got our fill of pictures on Folly Beach one morning, we stopped off to investigate the cemetery.

It was actually a bit depressing.  Many of the graves were in such a state of deterioration and the ground was so incredibly soft that we were twisting ankles as we made our way through (to say nothing of the ant infestation that was everywhere in the cemetery).  Some of the graves had nothing more than metal markers, that seemed to indicate a stone would follow at some point in the future.  Unfortunately many of the markers were scattered about all over the place and there was little doubt that they were no longer marking the location of the grave.

The cemetery was beautiful.  Everything in the Charleston area was beautiful.  My concern would be that if the cemetery was showing this kind of deterioration and potential neglect, it would only be a matter of time until tombstones could be lost completely.  I sincerely hope that the church works to sustain and repair it's cemetery.  These are the honored dead of that parish and should be cared for and cherished in their eternal sleep so others may come to pay their respects.

As I attempted to find additional information on this church/cemetery I came across a website that inventoried the graves back in 1984.

"Here Rest
The Body of
Who died 3rd of May 1820
Aged 33 Years, And 3 Months
AND her Infant SON.
Who died in October 1812
Aged 3 Years, And 9 Months."

Better known as
 Born 1889
Died 1924
The inspiration for
DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy
and later the opera
"Porgy and Bess"
By Heyward and Gershwin"


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