Chapel of Ease – St. Helena Island, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Beaufort County Photos | Chapel of Ease
The primary parish church, though known as St. Helena’s Church, was actually located in Beaufort, making it too far away for the planters to regularly attend services. Therefore, the Anglican Church established this “chapel of ease” nearer their homes.
The US Army gained control of South Carolina’s sea islands early in the Civil War. Plantation owners were forced to abandon their land, leaving their slaves behind. The slaves found themselves in legal limbo – no longer enslaved, but not yet officially free.
Northern missionaries and teachers came south and with support from the federal government, established what came to be known as the Port Royal Experiment – the country’s earliest efforts to educate and train former slaves to work outside of the institution of slavery.
After the Civil War, the church continued to be used as an outpost by a variety of freedmen’s groups. A forest fire destroyed the building in 1886 and it was never repaired. The ruins were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Chapel of Ease – Getting Married
The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort manages the Chapel of Ease and does permit weddings to be held at the site. See page 15 of the church’s wedding booklet (pdf) for details and contact information. The Parish Church also manages the old Sheldon Church, another fine spot to be married!
Chapel of Ease Info
Address: Lands End Road near Saturns Circle, St Helena Island, SC 29920
Chapel of Ease Map
Chapel of Ease Add Info and More Photos
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