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Historic Church Is One of Goose Creek's Hidden Gems

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 360-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.
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For a former bedroom community, Goose Creek takes great pride in its collection of notable landmarks. Along with these often-overlooked historic sites, the city also plays host to visiting artists and special guests, offering visitors plenty to see and do while in town.

Start with history, always a staple of a Charleston area vacation itinerary. Its most illustrious gem is St. James Church, built circa 1713 by early planters from Barbados. The church is one of the earliest examples of Georgian church architecture and, despite its relatively small size, offers many classic features: stucco-covered brick walls and a slate jerkinhead roof. Its arched windows are protected by exterior wooden shutters and framed by plaster architraves adorned with cherub heads.

The vestry was incorporated in 1778. According to one story, the presence of the royal coat of arms over the pulpit saved the church from destruction in 1779-80 when British troops marched through South Carolina after capturing Charleston. The church was registered as a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970.

Also of historical interest are the ruins of Crowfield Plantation, named after Crowfield Hall in Suffolk, England. The property originally was owned by John Gibbes, a member of the Royal Assembly. It was sold to Arthur Middleton, who raised rice and indigo on the land. The plantation's two-story house, built around 1730 by his son, William, was all but destroyed by the Charleston earthquake of 1886. The 2,850-acre homestead was sold to West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. in the 1930s. What remains of the house—still studied for its architecture—is protected by a conservation easement.

More modern attractions in Goose Creek include the city’s Community Center, where a different local artist’s work is displayed each month. The Center also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Among the most celebrated was the visit to youth gymnastic classes by 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.

Goose Creek’s active recreation department hosts its own community events, including a fall festival, Fourth of July celebration, spring concert series at Cornfield Plantation and the popular BBQ & Brews Festival.

Carnes Crossroads, a neighborhood community within Goose Creek, is the site of various landmarks and events outsiders are just beginning to discover. The Green Barn is a historic venue used for an array of special events, from a seasonal farmers market to cocktail parties, live concerts and fitness classes. The Barn also is home to the city's 25-meter pool with beach entry and splash-and-play area for kids.

The development features a number of parks, many with playgrounds and playing fields; scenic lakes and hiking trails, several connecting the Green Barn to the pool and Village Green; and an array of soon-to-open shops. In addition, Roper St. Francis Hospital is developing a 90-acre medical campus that will include the first full-service hospital in Berkeley County.

Not far from Carnes Crossroads are Lakes Moultrie and Marion, both known for exceptional fishing. If you can't find what you’re looking for in Goose Creek, chances are it’s only a short drive away.

Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 360-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.