Friday, December 03, 2010

Yeamans Hall

I love Fridays and getting off early.

At work we are allowed to work four 8.5 hour days and then work a six-hour shift on Friday. Of course, the earlier that you come in, the earlier you get to leave. I REALLY try to get there early, but again... the bed is just so damn cozy in the morning. I usually end up working from 8:30am until 1:30 on Friday. During the week I work a bit over here and there to make up the extra time. One of these days I'm going to start going in at 7am!! I hate the time change and leaving work when it's dark.

While heading home today I decided to fulfill a Find a Grave cemetery request at Yeamans Hall Plantation Cemetery, which isn't too far from my house. I had a general idea where I was headed, but to make sure I stopped home and looked at the request and to confirm the name of the person on the headstone. After getting the info I grabbed my camera and headed out.

According to the map the land was off of a main road we travel all the time. It's on a dead end and I've actually never taken that turn before so I had no idea what was down there. I drove about 1/4 of a mile and came up to a very nice, but very small guard station. I stopped the car as the guard approached. When he came up to the window I said "Hi, I'm looking for Yeamans Hall Plantation Cemetery. Do you know where it's located?" He said "No, I sure don't" I then said "It isn't on these grounds?" and he said "No" I then went on to tell him that according to the map it was located not far from where we were. I asked him what the property was and he said "It's a private club." Okay.... I then said "Are you sure there isn't a cemetery on the grounds?" and he said "Positive!" He then followed that up with "It's probably down Yeamans Hall Road!" Well, we were actually ON Yeamans Hall Road. He obviously meant the other side of the road that went into North Charleston.

I sat there at the guard station trying to get some information on my crappy Blackberry, but nothing would come up! (Imagine that!) He told me that I needed to do something and I looked up and there were a couple of cars approaching behind me so I did a turn around and left the premises.

I really wasn't satisfied, but I drove down the other half of Yeamans Hall Road anyway looking for the cemetery. When I got to Remount Road I pulled over and used my "phone a friend" option. I called the Mayor of Goose Creek, Michael Heitzler, who is my "go-to" person for all things local history in the Goose Creek area. I really need to set his number on speed dial in my phone!

When I got the Mayor on the phone he said there WAS, in fact, a cemetery on the grounds but that he had not visited it in years. He said it was just outside of the clubhouse. I drove back to the plantation and parked my car, got a pen and paper and started walking to the guard station. My plan was to get some names and numbers of people that I could call who had some authority and could get me on the grounds. As I approached the guard station I heard the guard ask a gentleman in the car waiting to go in if there was a cemetery on the grounds. I'm not sure what he said, but when I walked up I told them that I spoke with the Mayor (I know nobody likes a name dropper, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!) and that he said there is definitely a cemetery on the grounds!

The gentleman in the car asked me if I was looking for the confederate soldier and I said no. I explained Find a Grave and that I was looking for a different grave and that it would only take me a few minutes. The gentleman in the car looked at the guard and said "I'll take her" - YEAH! I ran back to my Jeep and followed him into the plantation and down a long, winding dirt road.

This place was gorgeous (with the exception of the golf course, that is!) We finally pulled up to this magnificent club house and he motioned for me to pull beside him. He pointed to the cemetery and asked what name I was looking for. He mentioned some other surnames and said he had not heard of that person, but that I was free to go look. He pointed to where I should park, I said my thank you's and he drove off.

I got out of my car and walked up a little stone path and found the tiny little plantation cemetery. I can't imagine why the guard didn't know it was there. It was right in front of the club house and not hidden at all!

The person that requested the photo had a photo of the grave already but wanted a clear photo of the inscription. There were tons of leaves on the grave so I took off my hoodie and swept all of them off. I took several photos and then ran back to the car for a pen and paper so I could write down the wording on the grave.


To the memory of a beloved
Son and husband


Who departed this life Jan. 5th 1859.
Aged 43 years 9 months and 15 days

And now the Lord what is my hope?

Truly my hope is even in thee.

Who from my throne on high,

Heareth the hardest sigh

That issues from the contrite sinners breast

Seeth the silent tear

The anguish, the despair

And hastens with the balm of love to shed

Upon the wounded heart

And bowed repentant head

W.T. White

I need to read it about 10 times to wrap my head around its meaning! I wonder where Poyas came from. That surname doesn't sound too Charlestonian to me.

After getting my photos of the cemetery I headed back down the dirt road. I really wanted to stop and take some photos of the grounds, especially one swampy area, but decided not to. I looked and felt like I didn't belong! There were rich golfers on golf carts buzzing around since it was such a nice day. Oh well!

Upon leaving, as I approached the guardhouse, I paused for a moment and waited for Mr. Guard to come out so I could talk to him about not knowing there was a cemetery at his own place of employment. He didn't budge so I moved on. It's probably for the better since I might need to go back one day for another photo request! Perhaps he was new. I really should be nicer... it was just that he was so adamant about there being no cemetery! Did he not realize there was actually a working plantation there back in the day? Geez!

As I was finishing this blog I did a Google search on Yeamans Hall Club and found their website. This place is so secure you can barely even access that!! I also found out that Yeamans Hall golf course is one of the top 100 in the Nation. Huh?? How did I not know this when I live less than 5 miles away from it? I wonder if my father, an avid golfer, ever played there? Probably so.

When I got home I sent the 'Find a Grave' requester their photos and information. I'm glad I took the request, otherwise I would probably never have the opportunity to go to Yeamans Hall. It's not my scene, anyway. I really don't look good in white or pastels.

I love conquering private property legally!

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