Church of the Holy Cross – Stateburg, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Sumter County Photos | Church of the Holy Cross
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross is located on SC 261 in Stateburg, just outside of Sumter. Built in 1850, the church was designed by Edward C. Jones of Charleston, one of South Carolina‘s most renowned architects of the period. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973.
Unique as an example of the seldom seen pise de terre (rammed earth) construction method, this church building has stood for almost 160 years and survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
In fact, the pise de terre construction method makes a building almost impervious to earthquakes. It is achieved by pouring clay into wooden molds and allowing it to harden. Layers are added until the walls are the correct height. Finished walls are then covered with stucco. The walls of the Church of the Holy Cross are 13 inches thick and up to 40 feet high.
Joel Roberts Poinsett is one of several notables buried in the church’s cemetery. Before he died in 1851, he was a well-regarded statesman and botanist. The Christmas poinsettia is named for him because he introduced the flower to this country from Mexico. Every year, on his birthday and on the date of his death, poinsettias are placed on his tomb in the churchyard at the Church of the Holy Cross.
Learn more about this still active historical church by visiting their own website here
SCIWAY thanks Wilson Jumper, who took this photo in November 1991.
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