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Magnolia Cemetery

Magnolia Cemetery – Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County Photos  |  Magnolia Cemetery

Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River in northern peninsular Charleston. The cemetery was founded in 1849 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


© Keith Rice of Aiken

The photo above shows a “receiving tomb” at Magnolia Cemetery. A receiving tomb, as its name implies, defines a place where the dead were placed while a final burial site was prepared. Keith Rice, who took this photo, writes, “Magnolia Cemetery is the most fascinating place with all of the live oaks and ornate old graves.”

Tombs at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston

© E. Karl Braun of North Charleston (2012)

Exceptionally beautiful, Magnolia Cemetery serves as the final resting place of many prominent South Carolinians, including several former governors. The picture below shows the resting place of the third and final crew of the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine. On the night of February 17, 1864, the Hunley was the first submarine to successfully attack and sink an enemy ship, the USS Housatonic.


© E. Karl Braun of North Charleston (2012)

The crew’s remains were recovered, along with the Hunley itself, on August 8, 2000. The remains were laid to rest in Magnolia Cemetery on April 17, 2004. The crew was composed of Lieutenant George E. Dixon (Commander), Frank Collins, Joseph F. Ridgaway, James A. Wicks, Arnold Becker, Corporal C. F. Carlsen, C. Lumpkin, and Augustus Miller.

Learn more about famous people buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

Magnolia Cemetery – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Magnolia Cemetery, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

12 Comments about Magnolia Cemetery

Jan SieverNo Gravatar says:
February 12th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Interested in Meiburg burials.

ChipNo Gravatar says:
August 30th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Individual information about deceased South Carolinians can often be paired up with the companion memorial on FindAGrave.com.

Franklin Clark SheenNo Gravatar says:
July 30th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I have a death notice with picture that says:
” Sybil Amelia
Wife of
E. W. Gurley
Died at Charleston, So. Ca.
March 21, 1908
A True Wife. A Loving Mother. A Good Woman”

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 7th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hi Kim! Thank you so much for your kind words. We believe that the best place to find this information would be the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they will be able to steer you in the right direction. Good Luck! – SCIWAY

Kim PorterNo Gravatar says:
March 6th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Thanks so much for your work on this site. Is there a list of those buried in this cemetery? I’m hoping to locate my great grandamother who is reportedly buried there. Her name was Sybil Amelia Gurley and she possibly married a man by the last name of Bicaise before she died. Any ideas how to find her grave?

James D PayneNo Gravatar says:
February 11th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I was looking for Capt Thomas Paine, Sr who was a harbor master in Charleston. He died 1828 and was buried in cemetery of Second Presbyterian Church at 342 Meeting Street in Charleston. Captain Thomas Paine was buried with sons Stephen Paine, who died in 1811, and Joseph Bridgham Paine, who died in 1827. They are all three buried in the cemetery at Second Presbyterian Church, Charleston, Lot 72, Square 3, Stone # 8. Was it customary to be buried stacked on top of each casket?

I also am trying to find Nathaniel Russell Paine’s grave in Magnolia Cemetery. He was buried about 1863-1865.

James Payne

ChipNo Gravatar says:
January 22nd, 2011 at 7:15 pm

William Burrows Smith, was an industrious man, leaving school at the age of 15 to seek his fortune in the cotton factorage business (a sort of business agent for the cotton planters to use to sell their cotton harvests to the various milling interests.) The pyramid was erected by his family after his death, and his remains entombed. His crypt is behind the marble panel at the center back wall, under the stain glass window. His wife Frances Susan Jones Smith is entombed directly under his crypt.

To the left of the door, are three kin: Daughter Helen Smith Whaley (wife of William Baynard Whaley, Jr), Her son, Rep Richard Smith Whaley, who also was appointed by the president to the bench as a Federal Judge, and Lillian Heyward Nylander, a daughter of Frances ‘Fannie’ Smith Heyward (Helen’s older sister). To the right of the front door, is another of Helen’s sons and daughter-in-law. Dr Thomas Prioleau Whaley and his wife Henrietta, and on the bottom right, Heyward Champion, who died young, was a manager at Worthington Arms Co. He was the grandson of Fannie Smith Heyward, and the brother to the famous naval aviator, Carleton Cole Champion, Jr. All these names are documented and have memorials on the web at Find A Grave. They are a fascinating and very accomplished family. The pyramid mausoleum is featured on Ted Phillip’s book about Magnolia, ‘City of the Silent’.

susan thomasNo Gravatar says:
November 30th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Spent a very scary Halloween night walking thru Magnolia cemetary with friends back in the teenage years. Beautiful cemetary and several family friends and family members are buried there.

sharon shislerNo Gravatar says:
November 14th, 2010 at 11:34 am

My great grandparents are buried here.

Dee WoodsNo Gravatar says:
August 29th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Spent many peaceful hours visiting those who had given their lives for what they believed to be right. I will always cherish those memories.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
August 9th, 2010 at 7:40 am

Hello! It is such a beautiful cemetery. We weren’t able to uncover very much information about the pyramid online, but we do know that it is called the “Wm. Smith Pyramid” and that there are very few of these pyramid-styled mausoleums in our country. Apparently, they were created for wealthy tycoons who wanted to be remembered for as long as the ancient Egyptian pharaohs! Here is a picture of the pyramid, and we hope this helps!


sherylNo Gravatar says:
August 7th, 2010 at 11:47 am




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