If you’ve ever watched a historical drama (or maybe just Pirates of the Caribbean), it’s easy to imagine being transported back to the “prime” of Charleston’s Old City Jail. The building itself has hardly changed since its original construction in 1802 – and is claimed to have one of the darkest histories in the Charleston area. By some accounts, 10,000 people have died in the jail from either execution, injury, or illness.
In maps dating all the way back to Charleston’s earliest settlement, you can clearly see that the four acres of property under the Old City Jail were always “public use.” Starting in 1680, the land served as a hospital, poor house, workhouse for runaway slaves, and jail. Over time, the emphasis on the jail-part grew. Ultimately, the jail came to house some of Charleston’s most notorious criminals, including some of the last famous high-sea pirates and even America’s first female serial killer.
One of the most notorious historical characters in Charleston history is Lavinia Fisher – a femme fatale who is believed to be the first convicted female serial killer in the US – and also the first woman to be executed for such crimes.
Lavinia and her husband, John, ran a small inn called the Six Mile Wayfarer House, which was set six miles north of Charleston. The local authorities began to investigate the inn and its owners after receiving many complaints from locals that men who were expected to be staying there had suddenly vanished.
Legend says that Lavinia would lure wealthy men to the inn. Once at the inn, Lavinia would set them up with a room and make them a cup of oleander tea, which would cause them to lose consciousness.
There are two different accounts of what happened next – one being that her husband, John, would then enter the room and murder the drugged man. The other rumor was that the bed served as a trap door to the cellar, where John would stash their bodies.
Regardless of the story, the outcome was that these men would be stripped of their belongings and disappear. And while none of these murders were ever proven, two men did manage to escape the Fishers and then report the incident to authorities. Afterwards, authorities discovered that the Fishers were connected to a local gang who had been known to beat and rob travelers. The gang frequently used the Fishers’ inn as a hideout.
After police made this discovery, the Fishers and the gang members were arrested. However, immediately after their arrest the inn was burnt to the ground, destroying any evidence. The Fishers were later found guilty of highway robbery, a capital offense.
While awaiting their sentencing, officers allowed John and Lavinia to share a cell in this prison. During this time, they hatched a plan to escape by rope through a window. However, the rope they managed to get their hands on ended up breaking during the escape act, leaving Lavinia trapped inside the cell. Though John had successfully escaped, rather than leave Lavinia entrapped in the prison, he chose to be re-imprisoned.
The Old City Jail was most recently bought by Landmark Enterprises, with the intention of renovating the building and using the space for offices. To read more about their plans, see below:
Boone Hall Plantation claims to be “America’s Most Photographed Plantation.” I was extremely impressed while visiting the plantation, not only by the scenery, but also by their thorough commitment to maintaining and teaching its history.
From the moment you drive onto the property, you can turn the car radio to Boone Hall’s very own station, which gives you an overview of the site while you drive down the long, long path lined by live oak trees.
While you sit back and take in the scenery, to your right, you’ll see a variety of crops planted. The plantation has been producing crops for over 320 years, making it one of the oldest continually working farms in the nation. “Boone Hall Farms” still produces peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and pumpkins, in addition to other seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can actually purchase your own fresh produce from the Boone Hall Farms Market, which sits off the main highway. (The market also offers a full line of locally grown South Carolina seafood, meats, spices, and canned preserves. While there, you can even grab lunch at the cafe.)
As you continue to drive, on your left, you will see a row of nine preserved slave cabins. These are typically your first stop. Each cabin has been set up to display a different stage of slave life – even using life-sized mannequins and furniture to help illustrate the recorded narratives and photos. These cabins are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in the African American Historic Places in South Carolina. The cabins, along with various other sites throughout the Charleston area, are part of an on-going effort of the historical community to delve into “African-American heritage tourism.” Frequently, period actors will do special presentations at the site.
Why African American heritage tourism? When African Americans attempt to trace their ancestry, it has been found that nearly half end up tracing ancestors back to Charleston. Learning about Charleston’s roll as a hub of the slave trade and southern agricultural industry is a critical part of understanding the history of the city and South.
History of Boone Hall Plantation
The Pioneer - Major John Boone
There are several different theories as to how John Boone came to own the plantation during the 1600s. Some claim that the land was a wedding gift, while others claim that he got a series of land grants. Regardless of the truth, my research tells me that Major John Boone was a rough character – a pioneer who wasn’t afraid the break the rules for personal gain.
On the Boone family web page, there are claims that John Boone was the son of a butcher and barber in Devonshire. He emigrated initially as “a servant . . . an ambitious man” who “became a successful merchant (if by some unsavory businesses) and married into another monied Carolina family.”
It’s pretty bad when your own family recalls your business as “unsavory.” However, this didn’t deter John. Once established, he was elected to the Grand Council during the 1680s. Yet, even at this stage of life, he was discovered as being involved in the illegal trade of Indians, association with pirates, and stolen goods. He was removed from his post – not once – but twice!
John and Elizabeth’s descendants would eventually become the founding fathers known as Edward Rutledge and John Rutledge. When John died, his oldest son, Thomas, made the Plantation his home. It stayed in the Boone family until 1811.
The Brickmakers –Henry & John Horlbeck
After the Boones, the plantation switched hands several times until being purchased by the brothers Henry and John Horlbeck, who owned a brick business. The brothers built many houses and public spaces in downtown Charleston using the brick from their plantations, of which by 1850, Boone Hall was producing 4,000,000 bricks per year using 85 slaves. In addition to the brick business, the Horlbeck family made several changes to the plantation. They completed the avenue of oaks that lead up to the plantation house, and they also planted pecan trees. By end of the century, Boone Hall was one of the leading producers of pecans in the United States. Shortly after Henry Horlbeck died, his children sold their interests in the plantation, which is described as only having a wooden dwelling house (along with a few buildings for the business).
The Diplomats – Thomas & Alexandra Stone
Ambassador Stone, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip
The Racing Prince – Dimitri & Audrey Jorjadze
He also liked to race thoroughbreds – which led him to Boone Hall. Most notable of his horses was Princequillo, who in 1943 was the fastest distance runner in the United States. Princequillo is still considered to be the best long-distance runner, with the exception of Kelso, in American racing history. In today’s world, you might be more familiar with Princequillo’s granddaughters – Triple Crown winner Secretariat and her chief rival – Sham.
Current Owners–The McRaes
The prince and his wife sold the plantation to Dr. Henry Deas in 1945, who in turn sold to Harris M. McRae and his wife Nancy in 1955. The McRaes continued to farm the land with a focus on growing peach trees, and eventually opened the plantation to public tours in 1956.
While the house itself is not original to the plantation, it is stunning – and is still used by the modern-day owners. For this reason, you cannot go upstairs.
The Colonial Revival style house is approximately 10,000 sq. feet with 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms. It’s cantilevered staircase is one of three surviving in Charleston – and therefore, the owners don’t use it. While the entry rooms are impressive, it’s the loggia that grabs most people’s attention. The room’s vaulted ceilings of exposed brick and cement, combined with the brick herringbone floors, give a stark contrast to the rest of the house. Additionally, the attached game room and wine cellar are walled with cypress panels, which some believe were repurposed from the original house.
Photos are not permitted inside the house, so I've pulled the below from an online slideshow. Follow the link to see more pictures of the inside:
The current owners have a variety of events throughout the year. The upcoming pumpkin patch is a great opportunity to visit the site and pick your own pumpkin – pay by the pound!
Pumpkin patch via Country Living
What is Rainbow Row?
Rainbow Row is a series of 13 brightly-colored houses along the waterfront, located on East Bay Street next to the Battery. It’s a popular site for photographers and tourists.
The houses on Rainbow Row are not only eye-catching, but also historic. They were first constructed in 1740 and were not originally painted in bright colors. They were just your average row house – used by ship merchants who would run their businesses out of the bottom portion of the house and use the top for their family to live in. During this period, the houses received little attention and eventually became somewhat run-down.
However, in the early 1930s, Dorothy Porcher Legge and her husband Judge Lionel Legge purchased a section of the houses. In an attempt to brighten up the houses and make them more appealing, Dorothy had them painted in various pastel colors. Over time, nearby home owners also began painting their houses in pastel. Once the theme was established, city ordinances were put in place to ensure that the pastel colors were preserved.
While some believe the Legge’s original intention was just to perk up some drab houses, others have more elaborate theories. One story is that the homes were painted various hues so that drunk sailors might find their way home easier. Meanwhile, others believe that the pastels were the merchants’ way of indicating what types of items they sold in each business. Another theory is that the homes were painted lighter colors to keep them cooler during the hot Charleston summers.
Photo via FreeToursByFoot.com
For a more thorough breakdown of the history of each individual house, I found this excerpt on Charleston.com:
Local dolphins in the St. Johns River have been spotted with severe cases of skin lesions, indicating their immune systems are compromised. In these photos, a newborn calf is covered in lesions and also appears to have an orange algal-type mat growing on its rostrum (face) and dorsal fin. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for his/her survival. A similar algal-type mat was observed on resident adult dolphins at death.
There have been several recent reports on the east coast (in addition to the Gulf) of people spotting dolphins, manatees, and other marine wildlife with growths and fungi on them. These growths are attributed to red tide, which is an algal bloom that produces toxins that can kill marine organisms, taint shellfish, cause skin irritations, and even foul air. They can also cause respiratory issues in children and elderly.
Algal blooms naturally occur, however, scientists, fishermen, and outdoors-people have noticed that they have been increasing in size, intensity, and persistence in recent decades. This is attributed to the increase of foreign nutrients in coastal waters – which causes the algae to grow at an unnaturally fast rate.
I wanted to share some simple tips on identifying the algae and what you can do to help!
If you spot an algae bloom (like the one pictured), you can quickly report it by dropping a pin on the App “Water Rangers” https://app.waterrangers.ca/
Create a River Friendly Yard.
Whether you are in your car or boat or on foot, pay close attention to what is going on around you. Is dirt running off a construction site into a creek? Did you spot a fish kill or a broken pipe? Is someone illegally-dumping trash or pollution into a storm drain or directly into a river? Report these issues to your city works or state environmental agency (they should have a hotline).
Most importantly, keep children and pets away from blooms. Wash thoroughly if you have come into contact. And do not eat fish caught in bloom areas.
I. Jenkins Mikell had numerous children throughout his four marriages. In each of his marriages, he followed the tradition of using the wife’s surname for his children’s first or middle names. For his second marriage, he married a distant relative, Amarinthia Jenkins Townsend (yikes!) He and Amarinthia combined their last two names for their son "Townsend Jenkins Mikell."
**Thankfully, this tradition actually made my research a lot easier, when it came to tracing through the many generations, wives, and children.
Townsend was born in 1840. He continued his family business as a plantation owner, and built his own plantation house between 1870-1880 on a small island within Store Creek. His plantation was named Sunnyside.
The style of his home is a blend of elements from both his mother's and father's family homes. While it is still a plantation house, it has a unique French mansard roof that is topped by a cupola. The cupola is similar to the one on nearby Bleak Hall Plantation, which is the family home of his mother and also where Townsend Mikell was born.
Out front, a small cannon rests near the steps of the house and was found in the South Edisto River. Family legend says that it was either a Revolutionary War canon -- or it once belonged on a pirate ship.
Entering through the front door, there is a central hallway flanked by rooms on each side featuring a decorated floor at the entry and triangular patterned beadboard ceiling in a front room. A full porch extends across three sides of the home and an addition was added onto the back.
The Foreman's House & The Notebook
On the property there are several outbuildings including a foreman's house, commissary, kitchen, a long weatherboard barn with tabby foundation and the tabby foundation of a cotton gin that was in operation in 1882 and possibly earlier.
Most notably, the foreman's house was used in the movie The Notebook as Noah's dad's home (Sam Shephard). The building has since been restored.
Townsend Mikell was barely 21 when the Civil War broke out. While all the women and elderly were evacuated from Edisto Island, he later described his interesting experience of attempting to stay with his father and defend the island.
Click through the numbers below to read each page.
In his old age he was asked by one of his grandchildren to recount his marriages, he was said to have replied, “My dear, it has been so long ago that I don’t remember the first one. The second one was your grandmother, and she brought me wealth and success; the third was the love of my life; and the fourth is the comfort of my old age.”
Despite the personal setbacks, Isaac became one of South Carolina’s wealthiest men during the golden age of Sea Island cotton. By 1860, Peter’s Point Plantation consisted of 2,200 acres of land and 225 slaves. Its estimated annual production of ginned cotton was 70,000 pounds, making it one of the largest produced of Sea Island cotton in the United States. Even in present day, local author, botanist, and leading historian on Sea Island cotton, Richard Porcher, states that there was no finer cotton in the world than the cotton grown on Edisto Island prior to the Civil War.
Ten years after inheriting Peter’s Point Plantation (derived from Point Saint Pierre), Isaac built the current plantation house – which is still a private home for his descendants. Situated overlooking St. Helena Sound at the junction of St. Pierre’s Creek and Fishing Creek, the house has a picturesque view and a commanding setting.
Isaac’s son later described the house as having “twelve great rooms with white and colored marble for inside adornment, a spiral stairway, broad brown stone steps, and double piazzas.”
Since the house is on private property, little photographic documentation of it exists publicly.
The above photos were collected from the South Carolina Historic Properties Record.
The following book excerpt was found in “Edisto Island: A Family Affair.”
Isaac built the Peter’s Point house at a time when most planters were still concerned with the functionality of their plantation houses, rather than extravagance. When it came to showing off wealth, locals purchased other properties in Charleston – where they could be seen and admired. The simple Peter’s Point house was still built tastefully, with double piazzas and an overall Greek revival style one might find in Charleston. This house is a good example of the transitional stage of plantation homes from the smaller functional homes of the early 1800s to the grand plantation mansions before the Civil War.
In contrast, Isaac later built a mansion known as the Isaac Jenkins Mikell House for his “town house.” I discussed this house previously (you can read the full post by clicking here). Isaac built this house during his third marriage, which he described as the love of his life.
Isaac lived in the above house throughout his third and fourth marriages. In “Tales of Edisto” a family story recounts the funny story of his fourth and final marriage:
For sources, see above mentioned books. For genealogy:
In my last post about the Unitarian Church graveyard, I included a picture of a headstone that is slowly being overtaken by a tree. The man buried there was a member of the Mikell family -- one of historic Charleston's most notable families.
I also discussed the Ravenel family, which is still well-known in the area. Currently, the reality television show “Southern Charm” is being filmed in Charleston and features a Ravenel descendant, along with several other Charleston socialites. Of these cast members, grande dame Patricia Altschul frequently hosts scenes at her antebellum mansion the “Isaac Jenkins Mikell House.”
The crossing of these two historic names during my reading motivated me to write this post.
Built in the 1850s, this imposing Greek Revival home originally belonged to Isaac Jenkins Mikell (1808 – 1881). Mikell was a Princeton graduate and inherited Peter’s Point Plantation on Edisto Island. He eventually became one of the wealthiest men in the state. (I will delve into his personal background and life in my next post.)
The façade overlooks Montagu Street with a portico supported by six massive columns. The top of each column is ornamented with large ram’s heads, hand-carved from cypress. Additionally, there is a kitchen building and coach house on the property. The property is surrounded by tall walls and gated entries.
The Charleston Free Library purchased the house in 1935, where it served as a public library until the 1960s. It was then sold back into private ownership and was even divided into apartments before being purchased by southern-born Manhattan socialite, Patricia Altshul. Altshul paid $4.8 million for the home in 2008.
Altshul began the restoration process with local contractor Richard Marks Restoration, who is also a member of the Historic Charleston Foundation. He undertook the long process of restoring every surface to its former glory – but upon viewing the final product, he and Altshul agreed that the large rooms of the house were too dark inside to do the interior justice.
It combat this, the entrance hall floor was painted white and stenciled with patterns based on Victorian tilework. Additionally, light colors were chosen for the walls – with the entry having a faux-finish of pale stone blocks. Upon completion, the 9,500-square-foot home has 10 bedrooms.
After the house was restored, it was honored at the Preservation Society of Charleston’s 2012 Carolopolis Awards for outstanding historic preservation. The 77-year-old Patricia has degrees in both art history and archaeology (once having worked as an art history teacher and art dealer) and has now stocked her home with antiques and artwork, along with a number of pets.
Below are some excerpts for a great interview with the owner, Patricia Altshul, and Charleston Home & Design. I recommend reading the entire interview linked below.
I’ve read that education has been an important part of your life. Can you tell us a little bit more of how that track got started for you?
It started when I went to St. Catherine’s for just a minute. My parents quickly did not approve of St. Catherine’s. I came home one day and my parents asked me what I learned at school that day and I told them that I learned how to pour tea and we had elocution. There was very little academic concern at that school so my parents then enrolled me at Marymount. French nuns, who were very tough academically, ran this school and I was there until I graduated in the eighth grade. For high school, I was sent away to a Quaker boarding school. Also, I always went to riding camp in the Shenandoah Mountains.
That sounds like a great educational foundation. How did that impact you as you later went on to George Washington University?
The Quaker boarding school and French nuns gave me such a good education. I was studying physics, architectural history, and I had learned some Russian, so that by the time I got to George Washington (GW) I studied very hard, but it was easy for me. I graduated cum laude and I got a Smithsonian fellowship. I worked for Decorative Arts in the History and Technology Building. That started my love for the decorative arts as well as art history. While at GW, I earned a master’s degree in both Art History and Archaeology. Oh, and I was married the entire time I was doing all of this. I got married when I was 20.
Sitting here in your stunning home, it is clear that you have wonderful taste. How did your education in art history and time at GW influence your design style and you in general?
The study influenced which periods of art I liked. I found that I liked the 19th century, up until 1960. When I started teaching at GW, they gave me the introductory courses, because I was still in graduate school. First, I was given all of the freshmen who were required to take Art 101, and then I taught the Survey of Western Art. After I taught for a while, they gave me Contemporary Art, which ended with the 60s, because well, we were in the 60s. Andy Warhol was kind of the end of contemporary art. It didn’t go any farther.
After teaching for so many years, I founded a company called Arcadia, Inc. I worked with a scholar and we were given the opportunity to build a collection of American, late 19th century art. My job was to go around to all of the different auctions, art galleries, and private dealers here and in Europe to find the paintings for this particular collection. After a while, other collectors and museums came to me to find things for them as well.
That sounds exciting and like a lot of fun. I know you didn’t keep this business going long-term. Did you have it when you transitioned to New York?
No, I remarried in 1989. I was living with my husband on his motor yacht and we went all over the world on that. I lost contact with people in the art world, and if you don’t keep up with it, you lose it. At the time, the Japanese were buying French Impressionists and that wasn’t my specialty, so I was happy for a rest. Whitney (son) was away studying at that point; I think he was at Oxford when I got remarried. So, I basically closed down the company when I remarried. I was always on the board and I always looked for pieces for other people, but I just didn’t have a formal organization.
That sounds like such an exciting life. You’ve said that you spent a lot of time at art auctions. What are they like and what sort of bidder are you? Are you ever an impulsive purchaser?
It’s funny you ask, because I bought something at auction while they were filming Southern Charm this season and I don’t know if they are going to use it or not. Anyway, you have to know what you’re doing when you bid at auction. I, first of all, have a definite taste of things that I like and collect. When I see something that I like, I call the auction house and speak to the curator of that department and I get a condition report and have a discussion about it. If I’m not in the place wherever I’m bidding, I do a phone bid, where they call me and I bid over the phone.
So it’s safe to say that impulse buying is not your style?
No. Well, at the grocery store, yes, but not at the auction house. I have gone over estimate before though.
What made you want to move back down south?
After Arthur died I lived in New York for six more years, but I missed the south and if you’re southern, it just kind of gets in your blood for whatever reason. So, I started looking. I had a great big house on Long Island, and it was wonderful in the summer, but in the winter it was cold and blustery and snowy and friends didn’t necessarily want to go out there.
It took me three years to find this house. I drove all over the south, or I would fly to various places with Mario Buatta, my decorator. We looked at various houses and, for whatever reason nothing felt right until we found this house and it just gelled. I had been down here to Charleston three times before to look at other houses, but I would drive by this one and tell the realtor that this is the type of house I’m looking for. So, when it came on the market I bought it immediately; I didn’t have any reservations.
Charleston Home & Design
Leading Estates of the World
To learn more about the history of the house and it’s original builder, look ahead to my next post.
In addition to it’s beautiful architecture and graveyard, the historic Unitarian Church is home to one of the most popular legends in Charleston.
Few realize that Edgar Allan Poe lived in Charleston during the 1800s – and that’s mainly because he did everything he could to hide that fact. To cover up his teenage years, he fabricated stories of foreign adventures in Greece and Russia, because his reality was much less intriguing. In truth, when Poe was only 18 years old, he was flat broke and resorted to lying about his age and enlisting in the Army.
Immediately after enlisting in 1827, Poe was sent to Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island for a little over a year. However, he was no war hero or esteemed officer. All he had to offer was his ability to read and write, which many young men in the Army could not do. He was not proud of his desperation, so he enlisted under the name “Edgar A. Perry” and worked as a clerk.
Although Poe did well in the Army and was eventually promoted to Sergeant Major, his shortcomings during his teenage years in Charleston were amplified by a romance with an upper class teenage girl.
Poe is believed to have befriended Dr. Edmund Ravenel, who owned a house on Sullivan’s Island. Dr. Ravenel was very successful in medicine, but also had a passion for natural history and eventually devoted fulltime to the research of conchology (local conchs and seashells). It is even believed that Dr. Ravenel inspired Poe’s character William Legrand in his most famous story, “The Gold Bug.”
Legend has it that Dr. Ravenel had a young daughter named Anna. Poe and Anna fell in love – but Dr. Ravenel did not approve. It even prompted the doctor to shut down his Sullivan’s Island house and work exclusively from his office at 52 Meeting Street (which is still standing). When Dr. Ravenel realized that Poe was still secretly seeing his daughter in Charleston, he essentially grounded her.
In reality, the Ravenel family name has always been a popular one in the Charleston area. In fact, when the Cooper River Bridges were demolished 2005, the massive replacement bridge was named the “Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.” There’s also a town named for the Ravenels, a variety of Ravenel businesses, and a local reality TV show member named Thomas Ravenel.
Whether or not there was a definitive relationship between Dr. Ravenel and young Poe is hard to pin down. In the “Ravenel Records” – it is noted that Dr. Ravenel had an enthusiasm for the study of local conchs and shells which gave him "a wonderful power of attraction and could interest even young children in his science." It is believable that a teenage, literate Poe might have admired Dr. Ravenel’s studies on Sullivan’s Island, too – especially since Dr. Ravenel would’ve been only 30 years old at the time that Poe was stationed on Sullivan’s Island.
Both of these young men may have hit it off, but this means that Dr. Ravenel was too young to have a daughter that could be a viable age to date Poe. In fact, Dr. Ravenel did not get married and have his first child (Mary Louisa) until 1827 – the very year Poe moved to Sullivan’s Island. Additionally, none of Dr. Ravenel’s later children were named Anna.
However, Dr. Ravenel did have four brothers and four sisters. Any of his older siblings might have already had a teenage daughter named Anna or something similar. If Dr. Ravenel or his siblings didn’t want his niece to be with a broke, teenage soldier – the family may have done everything they could to separate them.
The church was not originally built by Unitarians, but a large group of Charlestonians called the “Society of Dissenters.” Over the next 30 years, the minister and many congregants began to identify themselves as Unitarians, so the church was officially re-chartered in 1839. In the years that followed, member and Charleston architect Francis D. Lee undertook the job of enlarging and remodeling the church. Inspired by the Chapel of Henry VII at Westminster Abbey and St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Lee began work in 1852 and completed the project within two years. Rather than attempting to recreate an expensive carved stone ceiling – like those at Westminster or St. George’s, Lee got creative.
While touring the church, I learned that Lee was also a ship builder. In order to be more cost efficient, while also creating the elaborate design of the church’s ceiling, he utilized ship-building methods and materials – disguised by plaster. While looking at the ceiling, you can easily visualize the similarities between the rib vault architecture (curved design) and the curves in a wooden ship.
Lee’s work at the church is said to have catapulted his career as an architect. Even today, “The fan-vaulted ceiling in the nave and chancel, and the painted glass window, are considered among the finest in the country.” (https://charlestonuu.org/history/)
The church has suffered damage due to war and earthquakes, but has been restored each time with painstaking attention to detail.
Outside the church is an equally striking churchyard. At first glance, one might think that the yard and graves that it contains have become overgrown and neglected. However, the sidewalks are maintained for visitors. The landscaping grows naturally, giving it a peaceful “secret garden” feel.
Much of Unitarian’s hymns and devotionals regard the environment and natural world as God’s freedom of expression and creative power. In allowing the graveyard to grow naturally, this is an expression of a deeply sacred place. Whatever your beliefs, visitors return time and time again to navigate the thin paths through this thicket of palm trees, magnolias, Spanish moss, tall grass, and historic headstones.
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!