Pon-Pon Chapel of Ease – Colleton County, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Colleton County Photos | Pon-Pon Chapel of Ease
Two walls, part of the cistern, and the cemetery are all that remain of the Pon-Pon Chapel of Ease in Colleton County. Serving St. Bartholomew’s Parish, the chapel was located on the stagecoach road between Charleston and Savannah. A brick chapel was built here in 1754 to replace the first small wooden church. The nickname “Pon-Pon” was the Indian phrase for “settlement.”
After a fire in 1801, it took nearly 20 years to rebuild the chapel. Fire again destroyed the church in 1832 and this time, it was not rebuilt. Today, some maps label the location of the Pon-Pon ruins as “Burnt Church Crossroads.”
Legend has it that colonial ammunition was hidden inside one of the tombs in the churchyard while British troops passed through the area during the Revolution.
Photographer Mike Stroud tells us that “Pon Pon Chapel is one of my favorite spots in the Lowcountry. Interestingly, in another cemetery nearby is the the grave of a former Captain of the USS Constitution … just another gem uncovered in South Carolina!”
Photographer Tommy Matthews writes: “This photo was taken on February 2, 2007, while I was making a photographic jaunt through Colleton County into Walterboro and beyond. It has been my goal to take shots of all of the towns in the Lowcountry and the rest of the state as I get the opportunity. As it happens, the day was pleasantly cool and overcast, so shadows were not a problem. Burnt Church is near Jacksonboro, but it is off the beaten path just far enough that it is not overrun by people or plagued by litter. Not long after this the General Assembly held a session there to commemorate the same held during the Revolution after the fall of Charles Town. Several graves of early legislators are on the grounds. All in all, it is a lovely site.”
To learn of the legislators buried there, the Political Graveyard website has an entry under Burnt Church Burial Ground. The church and cemetery can be found at a place called “Burnt Church Crossroads,” which is off SC 64, just outside of Jacksonboro.