Saturday, October 26, 2013

Columbia, SC History: Trinity Cathedral

I haven’t posted on anything historical in a while – mostly because my trips have all been flying trips since August!  It’s almost November!

It’s pretty nice to have a driving trip where I can choose where to go and what to see – and there is a lot to see in Columbia, SC if you are a history nut.

After lunch yesterday I asked Jason what his plans were – he said he was free and clear, and so I asked him if he would like to just wander downtown with his old mama.

I bet he never thought we’d end up in a church cemetery!

I love the church yard at Trinity Cathedral.  Not only is the Cathedral beautiful itself  with gorgeous stained glass windows and ancient towering live oak trees– but it has a very interesting history!

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There are stones dating from the early 1800s as the church was founded in 1812.

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Palms and live oaks stand sentinel over markers tall --as well as small.

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There are several names in the church yard that are still prevalent names in and around Columbia today, as Ravenell.

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From wikipedia:

The churchyard is the burial site for many noted South Carolinians:
American Revolutionary War generals Wade Hampton I and Peter Horry and Private Robert Stark; Wade Hampton II, who was a veteran of the War of 1812 and noted plantation owner; John Gabriel Guignard, who was surveyor of Columbia; Dr. Thomas Cooper, who was president of South Carolina College; Confederate generals States Rights Gist, Wade Hampton III, and John S. Preston; the poet Henry Timrod; Senator Preston; six South Carolina governors: Richard Irvine Manning I, John Lawrence Manning, Wade Hampton III, Hugh Smith Thompson, Richard Irvine Manning III, and James F. Byrnes; and eight bishops including Ellison Capers
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One of the three large live oak trees in front of the Parish House.
At various times in the history of the Parish, three live oak trees were planted in the churchyard. The Sire Oak was planted in 1814 after the first church was built. The second was planted in 1900 after finishing the church. The third tree was planted in 1925 when the Parish House was finished.  There is a wrought iron fence around the churchyard.
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Some of my fondest memories of Trinity Cathedral involve singing in the Cathedral choir when I lived here---what a fabulous group of people.  Music, more than anything (yes, even more than quilting!) feeds my soul ---and at some point when life slows down and I’m home enough to be able to do it, I’ll rejoin the choir in Winston Salem and once again feed that part of my soul that hungers for music.

If anyone is familiar with Civil War history –South Carolina was the first to succeed from the Union in 1860 and there was a lot of animosity toward South Carolina for the part it played in what would later become “The war between the states.”  or as known to southerners “The War of Northern Aggression.”  When Sherman marched through in February of 1865, he burned Columbia.  There are very few historic buildings left from before this period in time.
Local tradition holds that laymen took down the Episcopal signs and put paper-mâché crosses on the roof when the Union Army entered Columbia on February 17, 1865. They felt that this might protect the church because General Sherman was Catholic.
The rectory burned in the fire, but the church survived.A photograph taken around 1862 shows a large cross at the peak of the gable on the front of the church.
In June 1865, the commander of the Columbia garrison of the Union Army ordered Rev. Shand to say the prayer for the president in the Book of Common Prayer, letting him know that a member of his staff would attend the service. When Shand began the prayer, the Parish members rose from their knees and did not say "Amen."
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Trinity Cathedral, yesterday afternoon against a Carolina Blue sky!
I had a great afternoon wandering and chatting with my son ---we don’t get to do that often enough!
I’m heading out in a bit for a crazy day of a Scrappy Trips workshop with the Greater Columbia Quilters and others who have traveled from far and near to be here. 
And afterwards ---a plan has evolved----it’s just as far to get to Quilt Villa from Columbia as it is to get to home near Winston Salem….so guess where I am going after the workshop is over??!  You got it!  I’m going to enjoy the rest of the weekend up in the Blue Ridge Mountains!
I’ve got Celtic Solstice to finish putting together…it’s all in rows and the rows are about half joined to each other ---and then there are borders.  I’d love to see it completely assembled within the next few days –that’s the plan!
Oh, and if you missed it – you will now find the tab for Celtic Solstice at the top of the blog.  I missed doing that Tuesday morning when I left for South Carolina, but it is there now.
Have a great weekend everyone!

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  1. I love wandering through historical places - thanks for sharing - it's nice to take a break from quilting now and then

  2. Would love to see this area someday! Enjoy the nice wearherthere too.

  3. I love history--thanks for sharing. Beautiful churches and interesting finds in the cemetery

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  5. Great photos, Bonnie! Love the guy named "States Rights Gist!"

    I am also a singer and ring handbells in our church choir. Music and quilting go together very well!

  6. Bonnie, thank you so much for your travel photos and info. Not joking, maybe you should get photos in a quilter's travel book! From your 'real life' prospective it would be a best seller.
    So many touring/travel book miss some of the best sites and just go over and over the others.
    Have a great time!!!

  7. Lovely pictures, glad you got to share these places with your son first! I always visit churches or other houses of worship wherever I travel, gives a real insight into the lives of the people who live there! I love music and quilting to but only with CD's don't want to hurt people's ears :) I only sing when alone these days. Have a great weekend, I am gathering fabric for Celtic Salstice:):)

  8. on my first visit to Charleston, SC, I spent an entire day - almost 13 hours wandering the churches and graveyards, reading the stones and letting my imagination fly - a great way to spend a day

  9. Thanks for the History Lesson. No wonder you sing- Along with your Pandora when you sew. Re-reading my Union Quilter's Book and starting the new book; The Spymistress from Jennifer Chaiverini I am in the history mode. I have an ancestor from North Carolina. I know he was in the WAR, but not much else is know by me about him.

  10. Bonnie, A most sincere thank you for all you do to keep us entertained and engaged. A hearty congratulations on your hexies book at Quilt Market. The display is gorgeous. I cannot wait for the new mystery!! Wahoo!

  11. I used to attend services there with my grandparents in the 1960's and early 70's...I always thought the cemetery was sort of creepy being so old...or at least to my young girl mind it was! LOL
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane

  12. I don't know much about the history of where you just were, so another place for me to research, learn a bit of if I can and visit too. thanks, Bonnie for your travelog.

  13. I love cemeteries and this one is gorgeous!! And so is the Cathedral!! Thank you for a wonderful post!!

  14. Anonymous11:15 AM EDT

    I love visiting old and new cathedrals and churches. I love stained glass windows and am always intrigued by those churches with cemetarys. I am a musician--violinist, handbells, choir, keyboard, etc. Music not only feeds my soul, but is what keeps me sane. It might be sacrilege to say, but I could go without quilting, but not without music. My favorite saying is, "Bach gave us God's Word, Beethoven gave us God's fire, Mozart gave us God's laughter, God gave us music that we might pray without words."


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