Monday, March 21, 2011

The Old Stone Church-c1784

Instead of reposting this, I wanted to share it for Taphophile Tragics.

I seem to be falling farther and father behind with blogging...posting my own adventures and reading YOURS..but one does what they can and goes forward.  I am still about 2 weeks behind--so this trip was on March 12th. 
I think I mentioned the SC National Heritage Corridor in my last post and this is one of the historic spots one can visit off that corridor.  Its located between the towns of Pendleton and Clemson SC. 

The Old Stone Chruch building began in 1784-and it was as much a fortress as it was a place of worship since this was still a time of fighting between settlers and the Natives who already lived there. 

I love this stone work

John Rusk (check out the history of Texas the Rusk family was very influential in the history) who is buried here was one of the founding fathers of this chruch and this community.  The cemetery hosts the graves of many Revolutionary Vets, War of 1812 Vets, Civil War Vets, with the oldest grave being 1795.  I didnt find that one but I found many others--
This Chruch was used by the Hopewell Presbyterians until they moved to Pendleton and built a new more Antebellum style chruch. 

Rev war Vet 1891

Civil war vet 1918

1824 and 1837

These two stones are the markers of a German Immigrant Joseph and Elizabeth Whitner who fought for the Independence of the budding USA-and were members of this frontier church and community.

The cemetery has many big old Eastern Red Cedar trees standing throughout---I found this old grave to be interesting the story goes like this...

Eliza Huger (pronounced Hugee)

...according to a long told story, Eliza Huger, a member of a prominent Charleston family, moved to New Orleans. Even by the standards of that city, her actions were considered scandalous. The story tells that Eliza's brother shot her and her lover, while they were entwined in unholy acts (left to your imagination, and probably NOTHING by todays standards). Burial within the cemetery was allowed only on the condition that an enclosure be constructed around the site. Her grave lies within high stone walls at the Old Stone Church Clemson SC--Inscription reads:

                                                                      A Brother's Sorrow
This marble to the memory
of his Sister
Beneath it are the remains
of Eliza Huger
whose Spirit returned to

I couldnt read the dates on this marker, I can see October 9, but that huge crack has oblierated the year.... I tired online searches and came up with ZIP.  Legend says the cemetery allowed her burial only if the high stone wall was put around so as not to contaminate the surrounding ground near her
"soiled body"...and legend says the stone wall has been replaced many times as it keeps falling apart, and lightening has hit the marker and fractured it!


  1. Wow that's a crazy story! All your shots are beautiful..

  2. Falling behind with blogging is what I do best Sondra ;)

    You had a very interesting visit with lots of history.

    Lovely photos, I liked the stonework too, it reminds me of a lot of the stonework in the area where I live.

    A sad story at the end!

  3. All that history and so close to home. Rotten brother -kills her and then gives her a nice grave.

  4. Wonderful series of fascinating images! I am amazed how much writing has been crammed on the Whitners' headstones! And adore the stonework on the church!

  5. A beautiful set of photos, wonderful story.

  6. Poor Eliza! What a fantastic post and wonderful pictures.

    Herding Cats

  7. I love how we incorporate acts of god into our stories of retribution! Great story-telling there!

    Like Gemma, I really appreciate the brickwork on the old church. Astounding that it was built 1784 and has veterans from such an array of battles.

    Your Red Cedars seem to me to be equivalent to our Moreton Bay Figs which seems to crop up in nearly every cemetery I go to in my city. The quiet and the leafiness inevitably brings on the birdsong.

    Cemeteries are fabulous places ...

  8. The stone enclosure is interesting, especially as it is only above ground and her body is below ground.
    I would be interested in seeing a Presbyterian antebellum style church - what a contradiction, to me!!

  9. I like these tall thin slabs that are full of words about the deceased.

  10. The Old Stone Church is wonderful. The stones fairly glow. Limestone?

  11. Seems to me the words on poor Eliza's stone ought to have read:
    Beneath it are the remains
    of Eliza Huger
    whose Spirit was ignominiously sent to

    Murder by a brother is no less murder.

    But at least they granted her Heaven instead of...

    I'm curious how the gravyard stayed so sparse. And like others, I appreciate the solid stone work of the building.

    Glad you shared this post with TT.

  12. This is fantastic! I love old cemeteries. I don't think many people could afford gravestones with so much verbage these days. :)

  13. What an interesting post! Love the photos of the old stone church, and the graveyard images are quite amazing.

  14. oow, how sad is that. a wall as not to contaminate.. how crazy people can be. and still are!!

  15. Actually, they did this because she was a known witch. Sad how people treat others because of their beliefs.


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