Pon Pon Chapel Of Ease (Colleton County, SC)


Pon Pon Chapel of Ease, Colleton County, South Carolina

I recently found myself in Colleton County, South Carolina on Highway 17 – near Jacksonboro, and remembered that I had always wanted to find the Pon Pon Chapel of Ease (“Pon Pon” was Indian phrase for “settlement”).   The place always seemed so mysterious to me.  I had been told it just a short detour off Highway 17, on Parkers Ferry Road – which was the original stagecoach road between Charleston and Savannah.  Fortunately without too much trouble, I found it -and I’m glad I did.

From the National Registry of Historic Places Nomination Form:

“Established 1725 by Act of the General Assembly, Pon Pon Chapel of Ease was one of two serving St. Bartholomew’s Parish after the Yemassee War in 1715 aborted plans for a parish church.

At time of construction, the chapel site, now isolated, was located on Parker’s Ferry Road, the busy stage-coach thoroughfare which connected Charleston and Savannah.  President George Washington traveled this round on his Southern tour in spring 1791.

In 1754, a brick chapel was erected to replace the earlier wooden structure.  This brick chapel burned in 1801, and Pon Pon Chapel has subsequently been known as the ‘Burnt Church’.  Rebuilt between 1819 and 1822, the chapel was in use until 1832 when it was reduced to ruins either by disrepair or a second burning.

John Wesley preached two sermons at Pon Pon on April 24, 1737.  Also of significance is the church burial ground.  Here are the graves of two Congressmen, Aedanus Burke and O’Brien Smith, and numerous other local leaders.”

SCIWAY – Pon-Pon Chapel of Ease

Civil War Album – Pon Pon Chapel of Ease

Ruins of Pon Pon Chapel of Ease – The Historical Marker Database Inscription:

1706 Parish Established
Rev. Nathaniel Osborn, Missionary of the S.P.G. arrived
1715 Parish devastated by Yemassee, Indians
1725 Act of General Assembly provided for a Chapel of Ease here to be used as a Parish Church until one should be built
1737 John Wesley Preached here April 24th
1753 Vestry ordered a brick building to replace wooden Chapel
Building was burnt between 1796 and 1806
Has since been known as “The Burnt Church.”

In this Sacred Place:  Pon Pon Chapel of Ease” – South Carolina ETV