St Helena’s Island, South Carolina
As you drive down Land’s End Road on St. Helena’s Island, you will find the ruins of The Chapel of Ease Episcopal Church.
It was built between 1742 and 1748 for the convenience of the plantation owners who were to far away to attend the church in Beaufort.
This church is an excellent example of Tabby construction. Tabby is cement made from lime, oyster shells, sand and water. The oyster shells are burned to extract the line and then mixed with the other ingredients. It was then poured into wooden molds to form walls, pillars, roofs and floors that were very durable. This process was first used by the Spanish in the early 1500’s along the Southeast Coast and was popular thru the 1850’s. In fact Beaufort County has the largest number of Tabby Ruins in the United States.
When Ashley and I got out of the car to walk the grounds and photograph, we were IMMEDIATELY covered with mosquitoes! We ran back to the car and headed for the nearest service station and bought a large can of “OFF”! After spraying every inch of exposed skin- we returned to photograph the church.
In 1886 a forest fire burned part of the church and now the ruins and a small graveyard are all that remain.
If you are in the Beaufort area it is worth the trip to visit these beautiful and historic ruins-
BUT be sure you take your “Deep Woods Off!”