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J.M. Connelley Funeral Home – Charleston, South Carolina

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J.M. Connelley Funeral Home

Businessman J.M. Connelley moved to Charleston from Edgefield in 1892 after purchasing a funeral business from Frederick Ansel. Connelley bought the single house at 313 Meeting Street to use as his residence, and in 1894 he built this Romanesque Revival-style funeral home on the lot next door.

Connelley Funeral Home

Darryl Brooks of Atlanta, GA © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Mr. Connelley successfully ran his funeral home for several decades, serving the city’s most prominent families as Charleston’s first licensed mortician. An entrepreneur, Connelley also operated another business, Charleston Greenhouses, from this site. An aquarium situated in front of his greenhouses contained the many tropical fish he sold from the grounds of the funeral home. In 1984 an Atlanta business purchased the building and converted it into condominiums. The sandstone facade and stained glass windows that are the defining details of this Victorian-era brick structure are original, and the glass still adorns several of the building’s units. A brick coffin house that Connelley built behind the funeral home is now owned and used by the College of Charleston.

J.M. Connelley Funeral Home Info

Address: 309 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401
GPS Coordinates: 32.786082,-79.934001

J.M. Connelley Funeral Home Map

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3 Comments about J.M. Connelley Funeral Home

Alexandria CottinghamNo Gravatar says:
December 13th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Mark, I doing a research project for this building for my Historic Preservation class at the College of Charleston. I was wondering how you got a job there and how long you worked for the funeral home? Can you comment on anything else about the structure itself? I would love to hear more about your story.

Mark coxNo Gravatar says:
April 11th, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Another memory of this funeral home was of a tall slim African American gentleman who was a full time employee. He was famous for keeping a mirror-like glass shine on the hearse and service cars. When you entered the street from the garage on the way to a funeral, the sun would blind you from the shine. He never rested, he kept that place clean and in good repair. From even keeping the ash trays empty and the floors polished, he was a legend. He would have a tux on and act as a doorman for visitations to the chapel. He was a Christian and was highly respected by everyone. I think he spent over 40 years caring for the business and those who lost family and loved ones, no humor at all, he was serious about his job.

Mark CoxNo Gravatar says:
March 10th, 2015 at 9:47 pm

I used to pick up bodies in 1968 for this funeral home. The boss was a man named Mr. Harry Hooker. The embalming room was on the top floor and a tiny homemade freight elevator would lift the cot and body up. He had a covered parking garage behind the funeral home that was rented out to navy officers with nice cars to store when they were at sea. The vast majority of funerals we had were very old people who prepaid decades ago before death. The antiques in the funeral home were said to be worth a fortune because they were extremely fine and magnificent to behold.

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