Tag Archives: ruins

Pon Pon Chapel of Ease-Colleton County, South Carolina

A chapel of ease is a place of worship set up by the parish church to provide easy access for parishioners to worship without traveling a long distance. Pon Pon Chapel of Ease was one of the houses of worship.

At first a wooden building was constructed in 1725. A brick church was completed in 1754. It burned to the ground. It was rebuilt from 1819-1822. It burned, too, in 1832.

Over the years, the chapel has become more unstable as storms have gone through the area. In 2020, Hurricane Matthew further destabilized the building when it damaged the front edifice of the building.

Windsor Ruins-Clairborne County, Mississippi

Located not far off the banks of the Mississippi are the Windsor Ruins. Designed by architect Dave Shroder for Smith Coffee Daniell, a cotton planter, the home was built between 1859-1861. According to the 1860 census, Daniell enslaved close to 200 men, women, and children in Mississippi and Louisiana to build his wealth. It is known that enslaved labor helped construct the large mansion.

Twenty-nine columns, crowned by iron Corinthian capitals, set the footprint of the home. Four iron staircases flanked the home. One set of staircases still exist and are located at the entrance of the chapel at Alcorn State University which is not far from the ruins.

In 1861, Daniell passed away shortly after the home was completed. During the Civil War, the home was initially used as a lookout until federal troops took the nearby port of Bruinsburg. The Union troops used the home as a hospital and a lookout. After the Civil War, the Daniell family continued to live in the home. It burned in 1890 after a guest dropped cigarette ashes on building materials.

Until the 1990s, the look of the home was only a guess until a drawing made by a Henry Otis Dwight, a Union officer, was discovered in his belongings. It is believed he drew the home when General Ulysses S. Grant and Union troops took over the Windsor home during the Civil War.

March 20, 1936 photo for the Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

The land and the ruins stayed in the family until it was given to the state of Mississippi in 1974.

Front view of home on March 20, 1936 for the Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1940 photo by Marion Post Wolcott (Library of Congress)

The Ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church-Glen Allan, Mississippi

Glen Allan, Mississippi is located in the Mississippi Delta region of Washington County. Built in 1830, it was one of the first churches in the area. During the Civil War, the stained glass windows were supposedly removed to assist in the Civil War efforts by using the lead in the windows for bullets.

This began the decline of the church building. Unfortunately, it was hit by a tornado in the early 1900s, and the outer brick walls were destroyed leaving most of what you see today.

This the funeral marker for Jesse Crowell, the only person of color to be buried in the adjacent cemetery. The marker reads, “Born into slavery and held by the Turnbull family, he was a master craftsman who directed the construction of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He supervised the preparation of timber from the forests, as well as bricks made on site by fellow slaves. He personally carved the wood for the chancel rail and pulpit, creating his own design from the leaves of native trees. A devoted Christian, he became the church’s sexton for the remainder of his life. When he died, Bishop Wm. Mercer Green, Sr. preached his funeral from the church, and Jesse became the only person of color ever buried in Greenfield Cemetery.”
I cannot confirm what this is, but I asked some cemetery experts, and they believe that it was a holding vault for the cemetery that is located next to the churchyard.

Sheldon Church Ruins and Cemetery -Yemassee, South Carolina

Sheldon Church, once known as the Prince William Parish Church, has a long history. The congregation held its first service in 1757. The British troops burned the church in 1779. It was rebuilt in 1826 with the walls that were still standing.

Originally it was believed the church was burned by Sherman’s troops. It came to light with unearthed documents that stated the church was burnt but ransacked by local people who needed supplies.

Crypt of Mary Branford Bull, d. 1777
Ann Bull Hayward, 1813-1851

Chapel of Ease Ruins-Beaufort County, South Carolina

Built around 1740 to give planter’s access to church when traveling to their home church was too difficult, the Chapel was out on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The tabby church was damaged in an 1868 forest fire. There is a small burial ground adjacent to the church with one distinctive mausoleum.