Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Charleston's Unitarian Cemetery

This is the second part of a post on the Gateway Walk of Charleston, which Hal and I did back in April of this year.  Today I'm sharing the last of three cemeteries that were part of the Gateway Walk.  You can find the first post here.
This plaque is hard to read but it says, "The Unitarian Church in Charleston, Founded 1707."  The path beyond this gate led us past the back gardens of private residences and then directly into the graveyard of the Unitarian Church.
Now we're in the cemetery.  We saw some beautiful flowers here, and they almost seemed to be growing wild, though I imagine they were planted decades ago.   
I mentioned in Part 1 of this post that this was unlike any cemetery I've ever seen.  The reason I say that is because the graves themselves are, for the most part, not well-tended; however, the walkways are kept trimmed so that visitors can easily walk through the cemetery.  The Unitarian Church graveyard has a wild, unkempt, beauty that I found fascinating.  
I pointed this gravestone out to Mr. Forest Manor.  It interested me because the person buried here was of Irish descent.  
"Jos. (Joseph?)  Harbeson
Born Ballymena
Co. Antrim, Ireland
Died Feb'y. 28, 1898
Aged 66 years"
When my husband was working in Northern Ireland 20 years ago, he visited County Antrim, where he saw the Giant's Causeway and Castle Dunluce.    
These pink flowers look a little incongruous among all the weeds; you can see closeups of the flowers further down in the post.  
The graves look lonely, don't they?   
This enclosed group of plots had headstones in the shape of chess pieces.  I've never seen anything like this in our cemeteries at home.  We didn't notice that the markers looked like chess pieces until we were looking at the pictures after we got back home.   
These pictures were taken in broad daylight on a sunny day, but I thought this spot with the old grave markers and hanging Spanish moss looked rather eerie.  I wouldn't visit here at night, I don't believe.  ;)
Speaking of eerie, there is a Charleston legend that says the woman who was "supposedly" the subject of Edgar Allen Poe's poem Annabel Lee, is buried here.  A sailor fell in love with this woman, Annabel Lee, but her father strongly disapproved of the match.  She died from yellow fever, and the sailor was not allowed to attend her funeral.  The legend says that her father had her buried under ??!! one of her family members, so that the sailor wouldn't know how to find her grave if he tried to visit her in her final resting place.  Personally, I'm thinking that was a little extreme on the father's part.  It's doubtful that this is where Poe got his inspiration for the poem, but he was stationed in Charleston briefly while in the army in 1827. 
There were some wonderful, old-fashioned rose bushes in the graveyard.
Aren't these flowers gorgeous?  I think they're Iris based on their shape and their foliage, but I've never seen any Iris quite like this before.  

Upon exiting this path, we came out on King Street, across from the Charleston Library Society, below.
I Googled Charleston Library Society, and this is a Subscription Library.  It is the third oldest subscription library in the United States, after The Library Company of Philadelphia (founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin) and The Redwood Library and Athenaeum of Newport, Rhode Island (1747).  The Charleston Library above was founded in 1748.
If you have any plans to visit Charleston, South Carolina, I do recommend the Gateway Tour.  Hal and I enjoyed it, and it's a bit different from most of the other tourist attractions.  Thank you so much for visiting here, and I hope you have a wonderful week!


  1. This is most informative. I've always wanted to visit Charleston. The photos of the flowers were just lovely! Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Lots of great photos and information!

  3. I don't believe we ever saw this cemetery. It is definitely different, but it is still pretty. I'm sure there are lots of stories buried there. Great pictures. Love you, Mom



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Blog Designer