Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pompion Chapel

This is the group of ladies I met from a meetup group (check out for groups near you). The company I took the girl scouts kayaking with, started this group and last month was the first meetup. I couldn't make it, but hope to make a bunch of them. The goal is to paddle different rivers and waterways in SC. It's always a bit strange to walk up to a group of people you don't know, but once we were on the river we all started chatting. My kayaking buddy Karen. We met last summer in the Master Naturalist class. I'm so thankful that I know someone who can pick up and go when we find a good event. A lot of people will say they are interested in going, but Karen is generally READY to go. View along the river. At some point Quenby Creek meets up with Huger (pronounced you-gee) Creek and create the Cooper River. Then the Cooper meets the Ashley River and goes on to create the Atlantic Ocean (at least according to us here in SC). This is a rice field trunk that was used to let water from the river into the field to flood it. Rice is a balancing act of flooding and drying out. Today it is used for game management. Birds and other animals love the ecosystem back there, I'm sure hunters do too.

Just as I was starting to think I needed a break, we rounded the bend in the river and saw Pompian. This church was built in 1763.

The view of Pompian from the river.

The live oaks and the cemetary. Some of the graves were so old they were crumbling. Others had dates from the 1800's on it. Some were crypts and difficult to read.

We had just arrived at Pompion, and took time to tie our boats up to some trees. The company who sponsors the meetup has permission to stop there and eat on the grounds, but otherwise this chapel is closed to the public except for two services a year. One woman asked how to get information about the services and the warden looked at her and said, "Just add it to your calendar - It's May 15th at noon." We sat down to eat and spend some time looking around when the groundskeepers started burning the brush from the hillside. Smoke was everywhere. Thankfully it didn't last long, and then they allowed us inside the chapel. Oh my goodness, what a treat.
As we sat on the grounds of the chapel the sunlight coming through the trees was tremendous.

The pulpit was built/carved by William Axson. He was one of the masons that worked on the building. Below is his name carved in the bricks outside one of the doors. The other two men credited with helping build the chapel also have their names in bricks, The view from one window. I LOVED this floor. The darker red were bricks??? slowly turning into dust. Absolutely gorgeous with the stone. Amazing symmetry in this building with both sides of pews facing each other. The old cemetary out back and the river down below.

This is the road to Pompion Chapel. With only two services a year it doesn't get a lot of traffic.
I love straight lined architecture - must be a math teacher thing. Lillies found growing on the grounds.

This is a very odd picture, I know, but the glass in the panes have to be original (or at least incredibly old). There are a lot of bubbles and waves in it, and I thought the reflection was pretty cool. A view of the Cooper River from the church grounds. Very symmetrical, each side had the same door, and windows. I'm a sucker for live oaks and spanish moss. This was on the way down a side canal that we decided to explore. At the end of the canal we found this old railway trestle - for a super small train, or handcar maybe, that brought the rice from the plantations around and loaded on to barges. The barges then easily went down the river to Charleston to sell or load on to boats for export. The boathouse decaying in the water. This was a great place for birds. We saw osprey and woodstorks in this area. The railway tracks into the canal. I wonder what they used to actually look like? A house on the Cooper River. Here in SC that is pronounced like the oo in book, not ew.

As we were leaving the canal, Karen took my picture. This was a good one, compared with the one she took as she was spearing me with her paddle. When we got to the end of the canal and started to paddle back, the wind shifted and turned against us. So it was a long hard paddle back to the boat landing. I LOVE the view from a kayak.
After paddling from 9:45ish until about 2:15 we were quite spent....but helped put the 15 or so kayaks back up on the rack. My friend Karen was up in the rigging helping to secure everything. This was such a great way to get out and go somewhere I hadn't known about, and I highly recommend it. Now I just need to get a kayak (and eventually one for everyone else in my family).

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