|Students investigating the Cathedral Church graveyard|
We headed first to the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul on Coming Street. The church and its graveyard date to the early 1800s.
The graveyard is small but is rich in at least a dozen different types of grave markers and memorials.
|Had to get a class photo!|
|Broken die on socket marker|
Another type is called the die on socket marker. It's very similar to a regular headstone or tombstone, except that, unlike those, the die on socket is two pieces.
This photo shows the base which has two short rods sticking up upon which the headstone attaches.
Unfortunately, this one is broken. It is the grave of Mary Ellen Reeves who died in 1866.
|Linda McCants speaks to the class|
McCants is working to better document the hundreds of people buried here. It's a challenging project, she says.
"The records were taken to Columbia because it was feared (Union Civil War General) Sherman would burn Charleston," she said.
|McCants says she grew up in Charleston just a few blocks from the church|
McCants, who has been member of Cathedral Church since 1972, does time consuming research, online and elsewhere, to try to find out about congregants from the past interred on these grounds.
|Grimke Box Tomb|
For me, the find of the evening was this large marble box tomb.
Here lies the remains of Navy Lt. Benjamin Grimke, 27, and his infant daughter Mary Augusta, just 13 months old, who both perished when the Schooner Harvest became stranded on Nov. 18, 1825 off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Three others aboard the vessel would die. It was heading to Charleston from Norfolk, Va.
|Sad shipwreck inscription|
The inscription she had carved into the tomb gives some of the sad story. More details can be found on this site that documents shipwrecks off the Outer Banks, an area known for treacherous waters.
"They didn't have Live 5 News back then," to warn of pending weather problems, quipped McCants.
The bodies of Lt. Grimke and his daughter were never found. The box tomb at Cathedral Church is an example of a cenotaph, which is a gravesite that does not have the remains beneath. Cenotaphs often honor those lost as sea or killed in war whose bodies are never returned home.
The Harvest disaster is mentioned on a Wikipedia site that lists shipwrecks in 1825. The schooner is mentioned but provides no other details, other than, my goodness, there were a lot of shipwrecks and other at sea disasters that year!
|Graveyard at St. Patrick's Catholic Church|
While not very large, St. Patrick's gave us another look at how many church's back then had their own final resting places for their members.
|An open box tomb- anyone home? ;-)|
More field trips are forthcoming!
|St. Patrick (no not me, the church!)|