Tag: explorethesouth

Christ Church Frederica – St Simons Island, Georgia

Christ Church Frederica, on St Simons Island in Georgia, was established in 1808 and is the 2nd oldest church in Georgia. The original church building was constructed in 1820 but was burned by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1884, Anson Greene Phelps Dodge, lead the rebuilding of the church as an act of love and remembrance of his wife, Ellen, who had died recently. The church still stands today as a memorial to her. Ellen is buried beneath the alter. The author, Eugenia Price, brought the Dodge family and so many other interesting and inspirational families to life on the pages of her St Simons Trilogy. She’s buried here as well. Highly recommend her books if you love St Simons and the Savannah area and you appreciate novels that are inspired by real people.

Chapel of Ease – St. Helena Island, South Carolina

Chapel of Ease

The St. Helena Chapel of Ease was built around 1740 to serve planters in St. Helena Parish who lived at great distances from the parish church in Beaufort. During the Civil War, Federal troops occupied St. Helena and the church was used by several of the Northerners who had come to the island to educate and train the freedmen. It was also used as a sanctuary by Methodist freedmen as early as 1868. The chapel of ease was burned by a forest fire in February 1886 and was never repaired.

Kymulga Covered Bridge – Childersburg, Alabama

Kymulga Covered Bridge

There’s something special about covered bridges. Even the oldest of covered bridges have a picturesque quality to them. Alabama appreciates the beauty of them and even has a Covered Bridge Trail you can drive along to see the 11 remaining historic covered bridges across the state.

One of the bridges on the trail is the Kymulga Covered Bridge in Childersburg, Alabama. The 105 foot covered bridge, built in the 1860s, spans Talladega Creek. Nearby you’ll find the Kymulga Grist Mill, which is still operational. The Kymulga Covered Bridge leads park visitors to a series of nature trails, perfect for romantic walks and exploration of the land that was once populated by Native Americans, farmers and craftsmen. You can learn more about the bridge, mill and events held here throughout the year here.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Today is National Thomas Jefferson Day so I had to share a Monticello snap. What you don’t see in the photo is the line of people that stand behind the beautiful gardens that line Monticello to get a photo of the house and flowers.

Monticello is a historic treasure. It’s worth the time and money to visit, even if you think you already know Thomas Jefferson. I had read so much about his life but seeing his architectural dream that he brought to life is inspiring.  Jefferson dedicated his adult life to designing and redesigning Monticello. His dedication to detail and willingness to tear some things apart and start over again to make it better, remind you that you can do the same thing with your life.

Springtime reminds you that dreams are worth dreaming and you should continue to pursue them, even when obstacles stand in your way. You just may build something beautiful!

 

Old Sheldon Church Ruins – South Carolina

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

The beautiful and haunting Old Sheldon Church ruins. The pre-existing building was originally known as Prince William’s Parish Church, built between 1745 and 1753. But Prince William Parish Church was to be a casualty of not one war, but two. First, the Revolutionary War, when British troops burned down the church as well as the plantations around it. The church was rebuilt (and renamed Sheldon Church) in 1826. Forty years later it would be caught up in the Civil War. Markers on the church today will tell you that Sherman’s men burned down the church, but some historians think that the building was looted by locals, who tore out the interiors and stole materials so that they could rebuild the homes and communities destroyed by Sherman’s armies.

What is old has been made new by visitors who come here to roam the grounds and see these ruins that continue to stand the test of time.

St. Philip Catholic Church – Vacherie, Louisiana

St. Phillip Catholic Church

Some of my favorite pictures have been taken thanks to “I pulled over for this” moments. I’m sure you’ve had that moment when you’ve been on the road. You pass by something fascinating or beautiful and you make the call to delay your trip, get off the road and capture and embrace the moment. That’s what happened when I was on a road trip along the Great River Road in Louisiana.

We had visited a few plantations and were trying to find a restaurant for lunch and as we were driving we passed this church. I looked at her and she looked at me and we knew we just had to pull over and see this beauty, St. Philip Catholic Church, right as a storm was moving in. I was thankful to be able to get a few photos before the rain came down.

Shiloh Battlefield – Shiloh, Tennessee

Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, Tennessee is one of the most expansive and well preserved civil war battlefields in the country.  This battlefield, and the Union victory here, was important to the Civil War. But considering what unfolded here 155 years ago, you may just feel the echoes of the past giving you chills.

On April 6 and 7 of 1862, one of the major engagements of the Civil War unfolded at Shiloh. Confederates launched a surprise attack on Union forces. Confederates were unable to hold their positions, were forced back, and the Union won the battle. The battle was violent which led to 23,000 casualties. At the time this was the bloodiest battle in American history.

Pine Flat Presbyterian Church – Deatsville, Alabama

Pine Flat Presbyterian Church

That moment you turn around to take a picture of a lovely country church off an Alabama back road and realize it was a filming location for one of your favorite Tim Burton movies, Big Fish. If you’ve never seen the movie, I highly recommend it. Most of the movie was filmed in Alabama and there are many locations you can visit the next time you’re in the state including this picturesque church.
Pine Flat Presbyterian Church in Deatsville, Elmore County, Alabama was founded in the early nineteenth century and was the shooting location for Ed Bloom’s funeral in the film.

Bonaventure Angel – Savannah, Georgia

Bonaventure Cemetery Angel

Bonaventure Cemetery is a place of beauty. I know what you’re thinking…”a beautiful cemetery? that sounds creepy!” But the moment you drive through the gates of this cemetery and begin to explore you’ll see what I saw when I visited for the first time. Beauty all around. The best way to describe Bonaventure is as an outdoor museum of art with exhibits such as this angel that greets you at the gates.

I love how Keith Eggener described historic cemeteries in an interview with The Atlantic: “… you leave behind the mercantile world outside the gates and enter into the space where you can meditate, where you can come into contact with spirituality and concentrate…You suddenly have large pieces of ground, filled with beautiful sculptures and horticultural art.”

So true! That’s what makes Bonaventure Cemetery one of the most beloved and most photographed sites in Savannah, Georgia. If you’re up for exploring Bonaventure, make sure you connect with The Bonaventure Historical Society for more info and to schedule a tour. It’s an expansive cemetery so it’s best to have a guide for your first visit.

Margaret’s Grocery

Margaret's Grocery

Just north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, off Hwy 61, you’ll find the ruins of man’s expression of love for his wife, Margaret. It’s still known as Margaret’s Grocery. Margaret’s first husband was shot dead in the market during a robbery in the 1970s. Five years later she met and married Reverend H.D. Dennis who promised her that he would make a castle out of her grocery store if she married him. They transformed the store into a folk art ministry, including a school bus retrofitted into a chapel. The Reverend and Margaret have passed away and since their deaths the store has fallen into disrepair.