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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Elisa England Church Tour Post

Hi Everyone, this is my post about the cemeteries we toured in class, click here !

Shelby Lanza

Check out my blog post on A Night In The Graveyards.

Hunter Church Cemetery Blog Post

Check out my blog post for the St. Patrick's, St. Paul's and St. Luke's Cemeteries.

Emily Pridmore's post about exploring Charleston graveyards

Click here to view my post about the Charleston graveyards!

Kyle Collier's Sept. 19 Charleston Graveyards Visit

Check Out my blog post about the cemeteries at The Cathedral of Church of St. Luke & St. Paul!!

Kyle C.

Beth Alexander's post about her trips to two of Charleston's graveyards!

Click here to check out my post!

Check Out Megan Wright's Cemetery Exploration Post!

September 19th exploration of cemeteries in Downtown Charleston- Downtown Underground

Montana Crosby St. Patrick and Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul

Check out my latest blog post called "Purple Skies and Dead Guys"

Check out Jill Johnson's post on her trip to the Charleston graveyards!

Click Here :) 

Check out Aubrey Burgess's newest blog on the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul!

Click here to read!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Beyond the Grave" Students Visit Two Old Charleston Graveyards

The threatening clouds and thunder to the west added a sense of urgency to our Sept. 19 visit to two old church graveyards just blocks from campus.

In our College of Charleston classroom, we've been studying the different types of cemeteries, grave markers and iconography, so this was the first chance to see all of this firsthand, as a group.

We traveled first to the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, located at 126 Coming Street. This beautiful and impressive Anglican (now Episcopal) church dates to 1816.

According to findagrave.com, there are nearly 600 interments in the small graveyard along the side and back of the large white church. Findagrave lists two "famous" burials here, men with the familiar Charleston last names of Drayton and Lowndes.
Who's missing? Nineteen of my 20 students are seen here at
the St. Luke's/St. Paul's graveyard

I really like this graveyard as a first visit destination for my students. It's close to campus, the graveyard is small and compact, and what's there is a rich array of the different types of markers, monuments and memorials that make these old burial grounds so interesting to study and visit.

The students were assigned to take photographs of at least five different types of grave markers, such as headstones, ledgers, pedestals, obelisks, mausoleums, and others.

Mysterious mausoleum at the Cathedral Church 

There is an interesting story surrounding the large mausoleum set behind the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul.

Last fall I researched it a bit and found out a few things of note. Scroll down on this post to find what I found.  

No family name adorns this mausoleum, which is unusual in itself. More research is in order. Students???

After about 30 minutes at the Cathedral Church, with threatening storm clouds in the distance, we quickly walked a couple blocks to St. Patrick's Catholic Church at 134 St. Philip St.

This is a much smaller graveyard than the one at Cathedral Church, but is also rich in history, especially social history. Reading the church's history link on its website finds that the church was first built in 1838 in Charleston's Neck Area and that its parishioners were both white and black. The church had separate sections for each race.

The church was rebuilt at its present location in 1886 and had its first service just a short time after the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886.

 According to findagrave.com, St. Patrick's graveyard has 240 interments. The majority of the markers are headstones, but there are some other types and some excellent examples of grave marker iconography.

Tomb of Rev. D.J. Quigley
This impressive tomb near the entrance to St. Patrick's is the gravesite of Monsignor D.J. Quigley who oversaw the building of the church on St. Philip Street in 1886.

This would be considered a tomb or a die on cap type of grave sculpture.

Rev. Quigley was the pastor at St. Patrick's for 19 years. He died in 1903. "His grateful people have erected this monument" is inscribed on the side.

Interesting image on Rev. Quigley's tomb

An elaborate engraving decorates the front of the tomb. In the dark it was difficult to make out what it is, perhaps a bird image.

I will try to go back to St. Patrick's for a better look!

Thank you students for a good Monday night outing!

And I'm so glad we all didn't get soaked!

Charleston Author Touts Rich History in Local Graveyards

"Fascinating, they are of value to everybody," said the special guest speaker to the students in my "Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teach the Living" on Sept. 19.

Ruth Miller, writer, author, tour guide, teacher, is one of the foremost experts on Charleston's rich collection of old church graveyards. She has co-authored seven short books about Holy City burial sites, including the prominent, tourist-attracting ones at Circular Congregational, Unitarian, St. Michael's, St. Philip's churches, among others.

I was very pleased to give Ruth Miller a copy of
my "In the Arms of Angels" Magnolia Cemetery
book (photo by Megan Wright) 
Charleston has many best, first and oldest distinctions when it comes to graveyards, Miller told the 20 freshmen in my First Year Experience class. They include:

  • "Best collection of 18th century cemeteries than anywhere in the United States," Miller said.
  • Even older are Charleston's two 17th century graveyards at Circular Congregational and St. Michael's churches.
  • Up until the 1960s, Charleston had the oldest Quaker cemetery south of Philadelphia, Miller said. But except for a small plaque, it vanished under a parking garage near King and Queen streets.
  • Charleston has some of the oldest Jewish graveyards in the country.
  • Charleston has the most diversified collection of headstones and other grave markers.
Miller said this last distinction is due to the Charleston area not having a high quality stone source that could be used for grave markers. 

That issue and how Charleston, in the 18th century, had no stone cutters, led people of means in what had become the richest city in the colonial America to order grave stones (granite, marble and other types) from elsewhere. "They would order them from New England, from Boston and Newport," Miller said. 

This give Charleston another distinction of having the work of so many of the best stone carvers in the young nation back then still around today at the old church graveyards in the Historic District. 

Miller also spoke of the religious freedom allowed by Charleston's early leaders. "Any seven persons constituted a faith," she said. Thus, Charleston would have vibrant and varied churches including Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Jews, Huguenots, Catholics, Presbyterians and Anglicans (now Episcopals). 

Meeting Street, she said, got its name from having meeting houses for some of these groups. 

"Old graveyards are full of history," Miller emphasized. "They give a world view and values are reflected in the architecture." 

A magna cum laud graduate of Duke University, Miller is very active in Charleston organizations such as the South Carolina Historical Society, Preservation Society, Friends of the Old Exchange, Avery Institute for African American History and the Charleston Library Society. 

She has been a Charleston tour guide for more than 30 years. She said a number of years ago, she was giving a tour to a group of visiting morticians. They asked her to show them several of the city's old church graveyards. She said she ended up learning so many new things from the morticians, that it spurred her interest in learning more about old graveyards and cemeteries. 

It helped turn her into somewhat of a taphophile, or lover of graveyards, cemeteries and their rich and interesting carvings and symbols. 

Miller is also an active member in the Association for Gravestone Studies

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Grave Symbols Guide

Here is a link to a grave site symbols guide that I like and that I used for research while writing my Magnolia Cemetery "In the Arms of Angels" book.

"Graveaddiction" is the is the ominous-sounding source for this list.
If you have trouble linking, here is the full URL: http://www.graveaddiction.com/symbol.html

Family Ancestor Research Project- Due Oct. 3

Citadel Graduate John Weeks

Family Ancestor Article/Blog Post
“Beyond the Grave” Course/Fall 2016
Proposal/Outline Due: Monday, Sept. 26
Post Due: Monday, Oct. 3 (you will present post)

Personal Ancestor Research and Writing Project
The assignment is to research and write about an ancestor of yours- a great grandparent or older. You can do a husband and wife together or one or the other. It is up to you. Talk to your parents and grandparents to see who might be a good candidate for this piece. If your ancestor had a particularly interesting life and life experiences, he or she could be a good choice. Maybe there is something noteworthy about where and how your ancestor was buried, maybe something about the grave marker that would tie in with some of the themes of this class. Try to identify the type of grave marker your ancestor has, such as headstone, grass (flush or lawn) marker, ledger, die on socket, etc.

Next Monday you will turn in a typed paper with your idea and subject for this project. Name the ancestor(s), state when he/she/they lived and where, cause of death and at what age, where he/she/they are buried, what kind of cemetery it is (refer to our course material for the types of cemeteries there are), and give two or three interesting things about your subject’s life.

Also, list how you will go about researching this person- who you will talk to and what resources you will examine to find out details about your ancestor’s life. Think about and include what visuals you think you will have with your article/post: photos of your subject, maybe a photo of where he/she lived and worked, and an image of his/her grave site. If your person was buried in your hometown, perhaps you can have your parents take a photo for you. Use ancestry.com (available free at the Charleston County Library on Calhoun Street) and findagrave.com website to find your ancestor. If there are any famous or notable people buried in your ancestor’s cemetery/graveyard, be sure to include that in your story.

If you need to change your topic after submitting the outline paper, please let me know.

In the classes ahead we will look at various sources you can use to find out things about your ancestor. Your writing should be in the style of the stories in my book “In the Arms of Angels” about people buried in Magnolia Cemetery. Review all or at least several of the pieces in Chapters 1-4 to get a sense of storytelling, anecdotes, and use of and attribution for various resources from which information was found. Linking your online sources is suggested.

Your posted article should be at least 300-400 words, have at least two or three photographs/images, and have at least two links to related material, websites, online articles/resources, the cemetery where your ancestor is interred, etc. Include quotes from your parents and grandparents if possible.

Each of you on the due date will present and discuss your ancestor research and blog post.. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Preparing for a Graveyard/Cemetery Visit: Cemetery Types and Symbols Prezi

This Prezi gives some things to think about as we prepare to visit two nearby church graveyards.

Be ready to take photographs and notes when we visit the graveyards at St. Patrick Catholic Church on St. Philip Street and Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul on Coming Street.

We will also review the resources available through findagrave.com, which can be helpful in learning more about grave sites and those who call them home...for eternity.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Useful Blogger/Blogspot Links

Here a couple tutorial links to help with your blogs. The first one shows how to center your blog's name (or header).

Should you find that the photos you post have a border around them that you don't like, here is what you do to remove the border.

Should you want to create your own header, Mr. Harwood will show you the steps to do so using PowerPoint, jpegs and some cropping.

Common U.S. Grave Markers Prezi

This Prezi shows and describes the grave markers and monuments that can be seen in the graveyards and cemeteries around Charleston and the rest of the nation.

The Evolution of Funerals and Cemeteries

When and why did mankind decide to be kind to the dead???

Course Introduction Prezi

This Prezi will give students an overview of what the "Beyond the Grave" course is about.