Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Visit to a Couple of South Carolina's Huguenot Crosses

The Huguenot Church of Charleston
April 10, 2011
When I visited the annual French service (French liturgy, English sermon) at the Huguenot Church in Charleston, South Carolina, with my wife and son, we took some time afterward to visit two of the six Huguenot crosses in the state. The six crosses stand on the sites of six former Huguenot churches, four in the Charleston area and two in the southern tip of South Carolina. The church in Charleston is the only one still standing. Two of the sites near Charleston are on private property and I wasn't able to schedule visits for the Sunday we were there, but the other two crosses in the area are on public property, in Huger and Monck's Corner, South Carolina.


French Quarter Huguenot Cross
April 10, 2011
The first site we visited is on French Quarter Creek Road, and there is a small sign welcoming the visitor to the French Quarter, a small historic area of Huguenot fame. The houses on the road are all modern and, I think, are part of the town of Huger. The granite Huguenot cross here was the second one set up by the Huguenot Society of South Carolina and sits back off the public road in a peaceful grove.


The other cross we visited commemorates the Huguenot parish of St. John's Berkeley, near what is now the town of Monck's Corner. This was the third cross set up by the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. The setting for the St. John's Berkeley cross is decidedly less idyllic than the setting of French Quarter. Not only are there no flowers or trimmed bushes, but the site is also right next to (20 feet from) well-used train tracks. On top of that, when I went there were fire ants. I did not know this when I went to the site, walked all around the cross, and apparently stood for a moment on a fire ant mound to contemplate the cross.


St. John's Berkeley Huguenot Cross
April 10, 2011
(Fire ants not visible.)



I had gotten out of the car and my wife stayed in because the baby was napping. Then she got out because she wanted to take a picture of me with the cross (we could see the baby where we were, and the car was on a dirt road right off the main road, so no danger). Then we both got back in the car. We heard a train. Then I felt my right leg on fire. I yelled (and woke up the baby--collateral damage), asked Miriam if she had fire ants on her (she didn't, thank God), jumped out of the car, and madly began to brush fire ants off my calf and foot. Madly is the only way to do that. By the time the train had passed, I had finished and gotten back in the car. We drove off, and it took my leg a week to recover from the vicious ant bites.

Anyway, it was a good trip and it was helpful to visit the two monuments, both for personal enrichment and also research that I'm doing (that I'll write about more in days to come).

2 comments:

  1. How do you find the locations of the crosses? I am a Charleston resident, researching family history. I am a Huguenot descendent, probably on maternal side and definitely on paternal side. I'd like to visit these, but need more information on the locations.

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  2. Hi jbc103085,

    Sorry for the delayed response to your comment. If you e-mail me (jeremyp@email.sc.edu), I can give you information about the location of the crosses. If you check out my other posts on the Huguenots, you should also come across some information about where they are. The best resource is the booklet The Hugeunot Crosses of South Carolina published by the Huguenot Society in Charleston. It has directions and maps.

    Best,
    Jeremy

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