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Hallowed Ground: Old St. David's Church in Cheraw

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Old St. David's Church was the last Anglican parish established in South Carolina under British rule. The church was established in 1768 and the building completed in 1774.

After the Revolutionary War, in which St. David's served as a hospital for both sides, the church ended its affiliation with the Church of England. On the grounds are the graves of soldiers who fought in all major American wars, including a contingent of British soldiers who were members of the Highlanders regiment and who died after becoming ill with chicken pox. The British soldiers are buried in one grave in front of the church.

In the early 19th century, the Episcopalians, the successors to the Anglicans in the US, claimed ownerships of St. David's and remodeled the original church to the building you see today, adding the steeple and vestry.

The congregation moved to a new church in the early 20th century, and in the 1970s, the building was donated to the Chesterfield County Historic Preservation Commission, which restored it to the way it looked in the 1820s.

Two bishops served as rectors of the church, including the Rev. Albert Thomas, who went on to become bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina and author of "The Episcopal Church in South Carolina."

The graveyard has many interesting monuments, including the grave of Moses Rogers, who made the first steamboat trip across the Atlantic in 1819 aboard the SS Savannah.

To tour the inside of the church, call 843.537.8400 during normal business hours.

91 Church St., Cheraw

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