I must admit, I haven’t visited all that many cemeteries in my life. I do love the history surrounding them, though, and thinking about the lives of those that were here before us. On a recent press trip to St Simons Island, I got to visit Christ Church Cemetery Frederica in St Simons Island during the Festival of Flowers.
A Visit To Christ Church Cemetery
Just like the church and the cemetery, Christ Church Frederica’s history is beautiful. Christ Church Frederica was founded in 1808, after the Revolutionary War and it is is the second oldest Episcopal Church in the diocese of Georgia. The church was basically destroyed in 1862, though pieces of the original church were salvaged and the church was rebuilt in 1884. Many of the original pieces still exist today.
The new church was built by Deacon Anson Green Phelps Dodge as a memorial to his first wife. He also went on to build other churches on the island. He, his first wife, his second wife and his child are all buried in the cemetery. The child was buried with the mother and the small marker that you see in the picture above is actually a foot marker, not the child’s headstone. There are unmarked graves in this cemetery dating back to 1796.
With towering moss covered oak trees surrounding the church and cemetery, and iron fences surround many of the plots, the grounds have a haunted appearance. Inside are beautiful stained glass windows donated by family members in commemoration of those lost.
Many notable people have visited and worshipped in Christ Church Frederica including Canterbury George Carey, Queen Wilhelmina, Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy Carter and George Bush, and Vice-President Alben Barkley.
The ladies of the church also have an annual Tour of Homes. Participants will visit notable homes on both St Simons Island and Sea Island. I was not able to take part in this as the next tour is in 2016, but it is definitely something I would be interested in, so I thought I would share it with you guys.
See the rest of my Christ Church Frederica photos on Flickr.