16 August 2008

Chesser returns

Ok, so last Friday, what I expected to be a quick trip to add a view historic markers to the Folkston post turned into a more substantial and interesting trip. We begin a few miles south of Folkston, at the old Sardis Church, pictured above, marker below. Built sometime before 1821 and certainly reflecting the construction of the time period, it is the oldest church in Charlton County. But despite what the marker says, I didn't find anything that was obviously a bullet hole.

Inside the Sardis Church
These little butterflys are everywhere!
Burial section for the Chessers (remember them?) and the Roddenberrys, another early local family.
This section has only small stone markers without labels. Normally only seen in mass military graveyards, there is nothing here to indicate why this section is marked this way.

This area is the Crews family, another major family in the area. The most legendary was Lydia Stone Crews, the "Queen of the Okeefenokee", although she is buried elsewhere.
This seems to be the oldest section of the cemetery
Another local bug, a cricket, maybe?
Just up the road from the Sardis church, are these three markers. Actually, it looks kind of funny driving by because they are all clustered in a group.

Well, I didn't see the mill pond, but this is where the British were attempting to attack in 1815.
This here is about the location of Trader's Hill and Fort Alert. Off the highway on acountry road, it is now the Trader's Hill Recreation Area, providing a campground and access to the brackish St Marys River.

According to the historic marker, this shelter, which is the only thing labeled as a Methodist Church in the area, is where Fort Alert was. It is located just outside the rec area, about half a mile from the river. And turning down another dirt road, a very short distance away is the mentioned cemetery.

Perhaps the most interesting find of the day, Erasmus Tracy, leader in the Seminole War and active in Georgia politics.
Tracy family plot
This marker is made of wood. Any markings that may have been on it are long gone.
Some very fancy plots for the Jones family
Here we again see the Chesser family, but a much larger group of them. They also have a unique form of headstone, a sort of low triangular shape that looks more like it is painted than carved.

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