Sunday, May 17, 2009

" St. John In The Wilderness" Flat Rock, NC

In 1807, the" Great Flat Rock" was named Flat Rock by the inhabitants
of the village growing up around it..............



In 1829, it changed forever. Charles Baring of The Baring Brother Banking family from England found in Flat Rock an ideal place for his British born wife, Susan, to escape the humid summers of Charleston, SC. Baring purchased 400 acres of land in Flat Rock on which he built a summer home and named it Mountain Lodge. He continued to buy land until he had acquired over three thousand acres of which he sold to other Charleston friends to build their own summer houses.Flat Rock then became known as; " The Little Charleston of the Mountains".



After the completion of their home " Mountain Lodge", Charles and Susan built a
private worship chapel on the grounds.It was a small wooden structure that later burned. In 1833, the new brick building was built by local brick makers. In 1836
20 members of this summer colony formed their own parish and the Barings deeded the church to the new Episcopal Bishop. It was from that time known as "St. John In The Wilderness " after John The Baptist.













DaVinci's St. John In The Wilderness










On Friday morning my friend, author Sherry Austin,joined me for breakfast at Flat Rock Inn B & B. She then graciously offered to take me on a tour of historic Flat Rock! Our first stop was this wonderful church.





" St. John In The Wilderness Episcopal Church "






As you walk up to it, you are just mesmerized...............







Sherry and I were stumped by this flower growing outside
the church door, anyone know what it is?





The cemetery is in tiers which makes it all the more lovely!
I got to experience a second Spring as Flat Rock is now in full bloom!





The graves to the right are one tier higher...............







These two sets are also one tier above the other...............










I cannot tell you what a peaceful place this is just to view.......






A Banner inside the door................











I found this image of the windows on the net and included it.







In 1852, the church was expanded due to growth of the congregation.
In order to expand, some graves were covered over by the expansion.
Two of those graves were Charles and Susan Baring.
Headstone plaques are mounted on the wall above their graves.......





A view of the sanctuary.......................Pulitzer Poet Carl Sanburg's funeral was held here however he is not buried here. Louise Howe Bailey is a member here.






This stone however remains as a part of the isle floor.......








Andrew Burnet Rhett also is under the chapel.......







Outside we find the African- American graves, covered in
English Ivy. Stone crosses mark the graves...................
Some are totally covered by the ivy.









A simple stone marks the entrance...............

On a historical note: Before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation,
both the white slave owners and the slaves worshiped side by side
in the pews of this church. The first wedding in this church was between
two of the Baring's slaves.......................








The pipe organ..........................









Sherry also took me to see the Boyd House once known as
The Saluda Cottages...............
In 1830, Count Marie Joseph de Choiseul, the consul to France,
built Saluda Cottages. The family lived there until 1841....

This is the front where you can drive through the portico...It is for sale
at somewhere around $ 2 million..................







At the turn of the century, the Norton Sisters of Kentucky had additions
and gardens added by Fredrick Law Olmstead......................
St. Francis caught my eye..........


The porches and gardens are just magnificent !!!!

If only I had 2 mill..........................

Be still my heart....this is the back of the house!

However climbing these stairs does not entice me.....
Sherry was a wonderful tour guide and I'll show you more later...................

30 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

What a beautiful place!

The mystery flowers are hellebores, aka Lenten Roses (they're not roses, actually.)

Trixie said...

Well! You sure did us proud, Ms. Porch!

Sherry Austin said...

You must've gone back to the Boyd house? I don't remember some of those pictures! Hey, Vicki. Sure have heard nice things about you both from Ms. Porch and from people in my few writing classes who have taken many of yours.

TheWritersPorch said...

Vicki...a great place for Elizabrth to visit!! Very mysterious!

Miss Trix....you ole buttered biscuit you! You have a beautiful little town and I wanted everyone to know it!

Sherry...you just wasn't looking, I'm fast!

Eleanor said...

And you are a wonderful tour guide too! I just loved that visit to St John in the Wilderness. The photos of the graves and the headstones in the church make me think of my first visit to England - to Winchester Cathedral. As Richard and I wandered around the church, I glanced down and there I was standing on Jane Austen - she is buried in the church!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Carol.. We passed by that Episcopal Church on Mother's Day--and there were LOTS of cars in the parking lot for services. I love old churches like that--and the history behind them. Thanks SO much for showing us around the church and cemetery.

That Boyd House is fabulous also. Hope someone will buy it and keep it as it is. SO beautiful!!!!

Thanks again.
Hugs,
Betsy

lakeviewer said...

I've entered on my list of places to visit. You did it justice, for sure.

Thank you for visiting me and pointing out some information I had known but forgotten.

TheWritersPorch said...

Eleanor...Jane Austen?? Oh my!
I'm glad you enjoyed the tour!

See there Betsy....God doth provide! You got to tour it anyway!

Lakeviewer...You won't be soory. It is an awesome place!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Breathtakingly beautiful...
The church looks like so many in England, including the one I was married in.
The cemetary is a beautiful place in it's own right. What majestic markers and gravestones.
Can you imagine climbing those stairs in that home ?
I would take the garden anyday...
Lovely tour Carol, and thanks for sharing !

Reader Wil said...

Thank you again for the wonderful tour we always make with you! As if we walk by your side. I really enjoyed it Carol! Thanks for your visit too!

crochet lady said...

What a beautiful setting for a church. I love the back of that house too, it looks so ornate.

Thanks for sharing your tour!

TheWritersPorch said...

Jo...it does seem very English, not a surprise though as the Barings were English!

Wil....thanks for dropping by as I enjoy sharing this with everyone and delight in seeing others travels. Yours are always great!

Crochet Lady...it's just amazing how much beauty is out there waiting for us to discover it!

Deb Shucka said...

What an incredible experience to have in an amazing place. This sounds like one of those life-changing times.

NCmountainwoman said...

You are such a great ambassador for places you visit. Lovely post.

I'm surprised the Lenten Roses are still blooming. Ours are gone.

Titania said...

I enjoyed the tour under your guidance. I love history, beautiful houses, gardens and I also find cemetries fascinating places. I am sure you are never short of pen, paper and stories.

Leesa said...

What wonderful photos - I love graveyards, and this one looks magnificant.

Renie Burghardt said...

An incredibly beautiful place, with such interesting history. Love the pictures. You are an excellent tour guide, Carol!

Huggies,

Renie

TheWritersPorch said...

Deb.....If I lived near there, it would be a daily walk for me!

Carolyn...I think maybe I should have been a travel writer I love it so much!

Titania....I love history too and the beautiful places are full of it!

Leesa....it was magnificent!

Renie....thanks! As I told Carolyn, I should have been a travel writer!

Merisi said...

Such an exquisite post,
I enjoyed the tour immensely, thank you!

Hellebores are called "Schneerose" here in Austria, "Snow Roses" - quite a poet name, isn't it? The grow in the mountains, in and around the edges of woods, starting to bloom as early as January (henceforth their other name, Christrose, Christ's Rose).

The Flat Rock history reminds me of another former private resort, Jekyll Island, Georgia - just off the coast of Brunswick. At the beginning of the last century, about a dozen New Yorker had their summer homes there. In the middle Forties the State of Georgia acquired the whole island, protecting it from over-development (like poor Hilton Head).

Missy said...

Awesome pictures, Carol. Thanks for sharing!
Also...*****Hugs****for stopping by my page and commenting on my post about String and Adwen. It means a lot to me. You are a wonderful person and a great friend! Have a good week. :)

Jenn Jilks said...

You have inspired another post of a grave site I visited year ago. Popped over from D.M.'s site. I love the shots.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This Place Is Really Amazing And the Way You Have Wrote It Is Giving Me The Feeling That Can Really Feel The Place And Peace...

Janet said...

I loved your post. Especially loved the church and the gravesites. Thanks for the history lesson, too.

Sandi McBride said...

Does it seem to you that our forebears had a sense of tranquility that just flowed from one space to another? These were just beautiful and makes me want to come to visit and tour! I believe that is a Lenten Rose by the door. Great shots!
hugs
Sandi

La Belette Rouge said...

The setting of that church is absolutely gorgeous. It is almost too beautiful to believe. Thank you for sharing it with us!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for sharing the story with us with so many details!
I had imagined St John to be more agressive in personality than depicted on the painting:)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Wow. Looks like a place I'd really love to visit!

I_am_Tulsa said...

Walking up to a church like that, tucked away in such beauty must have been amazing! Thank you for taking me on this trip!

Constance said...

Carol- thanks for your comments. It was so great to meet you here in the cool mountains.
I LOVED your story so much I had to BLOG about it.
http://apositivereflection.blogspot.com/
I added links to The Flat Rock Inn where you stayed. And links to St. John's etc.
+++++++++++
Re: possible depression - GO RIGHT AWAY to your doctor so he/she can determine if you need meds. It is NEEDLESS to suffer.
I read a fabulous book on the subject- "Depression, What your Body is Trying to Tell You" and commented on the Amazon site about it. It's only a few dollars now.

Oft times it is a RIGHT OF PASSAGE TO GREATER WISDOM! Now how's that for a positive spin?? ha!

Could be a chemical/diet thing.
It was for me. Just Do It Girl!
Your CLEAR FUNNY vision is needed. Real depression is something that one cannot MAKE themself snap out of it.

Again it was wonderful to meet you "across the miles" as was penned on my grandmothers cards many years ago........
with love-

Revnancyusa said...

Just loved this! I love Flat Rock. I have visited St John's in Flat Rock, NC and was taken by it as well. Such a beautiful spiritual setting.

I pastor St. John in the Wilderness Chapel (LEPC) in Cayce South Carolina. http://www.orgsites.com/sc/wildernesschapel/

Thanks for a bit of "fresh air."
Rev. Nancy Drew