"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Graveyard Recommendation

If it is a beautiful day, this is the place to be.
For the alternative assignment to the Magnolia Ghost walk, I decided to check out The Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston. Located at 342 Meeting Street, this beautiful church and graveyard is right in downtown Charleston.

I like this picture because it shows how big the church is in comparison to the graveyard.
Not only is this church the 4th oldest standing original church in Charleston, it also has a rich history. The church started being built in 1809 and was finished in 1811. Since then there have been people buried there from almost every war including The Revolutionary War.

For example, the grave on the left belongs to a man who fought in World War I and II. His wife is buried next to him on the left.

Interestingly enough, the large brick wall that surrounds the graveyard also has a historical purpose. Dirt from the high land of the low city was needed for forts such as Fort Sumter. The wall is about 10 feet high which means you can not see the graveyard from the street in the back of the church.

Since the graveyard is raised so high, it is difficult to see the wall that is present behind these graves. These two large graves in the center are also interesting because they are so much bigger compared to the others.

Sadly, this graveyard has the highest percentage of children buried here than any other cemetery in Charleston. Most of whom died from yellow fever or malnutrition during the Civil War. There are still children buried here today even though the graveyard is very crowded.
This column was purposefully cut short, representing a life cut short.
 Due to the many burial sites here, it saves lots of space and money for the graves to be for more than one person.

The King family, for example, buried four members of the family in one burial site. This is a fairly recent grave,  meaning most of the members were buried here within the last 20 years. Except for Caroline Shawn Burkard (far left) who was born and died on the same day; December 15, 1993.

I am so bummed that I had to miss the ghost walk; however I am so grateful I got the chance to check out and learn so much about a local graveyard. For more information on how to get involved with this church or churches around the area, consider joining Young Life in Charleston.

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