(Portions of today’s post are copied from one I published in 2011.)
You may recall previous posts mentioning the cemetery in my hometown. Although it was officially “Lawnes Creek Parish”, for as long as anyone remembers, it’s been known as “Old Brick Church”. Graves there include those of my ancestors on both the maternal and paternal sides of my family.
The cemetery surrounds the ruins of the old church.
My late sister, June, took this picture many years ago, showing a portion of the ruins. You can see the brace around the exterior of the walls to provide support.
Sadly, Hurricane Isabel in 2003, toppled several huge old trees in the cemetery, causing severe damage to the ruins. The brace was no match for the power of that storm.
It was a heartbreaking sight. When Marshall and I first saw it, I cried, and I think he was holding back tears.
In addition to the devastation to the church ruins, numerous tombstones were displaced and broken by the uprooted trees.
Removing the trees and replacing/repairing the tombstones took quite some time. After the trees were gone, it was easy to see how badly the church had been damaged.
The decision was made to retain and restore as much of the church ruins as possible.
A few years ago, I was honored to be asked to serve as secretary for the association that maintains the cemetery. The committee is made up of hometown folks I’ve known since my childhood. It’s a friendly, informal group.
Last Saturday, we held one of our clean-up days in preparation for this month’s memorial service. It was a breezy, chilly day, but perfect for pictures.
The Old Brick Church is across a highway and field from Bacon’s Castle. I seem to feel the same about both properties: I can never have too many photos of them.
~These Days Of Mine~
You didn’t mention that Daddy put up the bracing “rods” that show so clearly in the picture. At least, Mama said he did and she should know! It’s so sad that after all that Brick Church had gone through in 2 centuries that one hurricane could do so much damage.
I thought the ones Daddy put up were the very small interior rods…? I thought these larger ones visible in the picture were added in recent years…?
Loved the story. I remember going there with you.
A beautiful place, and one that’s seen it’s fair share… These old places are amazing, and it’s hard to see them fall into disrepair ….. But it still has it’s History !!
I have walked the grounds many a time. There has always been something special about that place. My Grandfather Matthews was killed years ago on the bend in Rt 10 right before you get to the Brick Church coming from Surry.
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I’ve always thought it was an especially beautiful and peaceful place. It was good to see all of the pictures – the uprooted tree was hard, but to see how well it’s cared for is heartening.
It is heartbreaking to see how time and nature wreak havoc on those old churches and cemeteries. But oh, it looks grand now and welcoming to those who come to remember.
How wonderful to be involved with such historical places!!!!
I too love the cemetery. I do not family there but I have friends that were like family to me. A very pretty and peaceful place for sure.