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Tuesday, May 17 • 3:05pm - 3:20pm
(Architecture Graduate Research Session) Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery: Present Communication of Past Devastation

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The Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery is located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which was once the amonst battleground of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. This site was directly involved in the exchanges between the English and, later, the Union because the site was located in the center of social happenings on the Island during the time. The Zion Chapel of Ease (c. 1786) once existing on the site but was desecrated by freed men following the Civil War. All that remains on the original site are the gravestones and one large Greek Revival mausoleum from the church cemetery. The predominate Antebellum Hilton Head families were buried in the cemetery as a means of communication of their status in the community. The Baynard Mausoleum (c. 1845) is the oldest extant structure on Hilton Head Island and is in need of major repair. The sandstone slabs, which make up the exterior, are targets of moisture and show signs of efflorescence. The limestone roof slabs have slid down due to wooden interior roof beams deteriorating. This process has left the interior exposed to the area's subtropical humidity and moisture accumulation. Even age and valor cannot fully protect this site and the rich cultural heritage tied to the place. The Baynard Mausoleum and substantial family plot, which includes the both the Kirk and Davant families, has been vandalized by both man and natural elements continuously for over nearly 200 years. The site sits at the corner of a major passage through the island without protection of a fence or security of any kind. As if nature wasn't enough of an enemy for the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery, vandals have created devastation by dismantling the cast iron fencing around the family plot and mausoleum, dislocating gravestones from their original positions, and pillaging the cast iron coffins from the Baynard Mausoleum. Restoration and conservation work on the site has been slim due to funding and lack of knowledge on the historical significance of the site. Hilton Head Island has evolved to become a resort town primarily, ranging in population throughout the year but rising in residents during the summer months. Concentrations of people desperately care about safeguarding and conserving the site to honor the notable architecture, funerary artwork, and history of the site for future recognition of its cultural heritage for later generations. With the efforts of its current owner, the Hilton Head Heritage Library, the cemetery is currently undergoing the nomination process for the National Register of Historic Places. The research of this abstract includes executional protection of the gravestones on the site, the future conservation repair of the Baynard Mausoleum, and the restoration of the cast iron fences on the site. The intention is noting the importance of the site to South Carolina and regional history and developing a conservation plan for the pristine examples of funerary artwork and architecture from the mid-19th century.

avatar for Anna Lindamood

Anna Lindamood

Student, Savannah College of Art and Design
Ms. Anna Lindamood is a Master of Arts Candidate in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a graduate student, she has conducted research in the concentrations of historical significance, cultural heritage, and conservation to hone skills to safeguard... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 3:05pm - 3:20pm EDT
Room 515