Christ Church, Frederica, 1884, St. Simons Island

Founded in 1808, Christ Church did not build a permanent house of worship until 1820, due largely to economic troubles stemming from the War of 1812.  The first structure stood until the Civil War, when Union troops damaged it so badly that members were forced to meet in their homes until the present structure was built in 1884.

The interior of Christ Church is breathtaking. Shipbuilders built the new cruciform church to resemble an inverted ship’s hull, symbolic of the ship of faith  There are various stained glass windows throughout.

Christ Church Cemetery, Frederica

The church and graveyard are among the most visited and beloved places on St. Simons. It’s the final resting place of many Georgia pioneers and veterans of nearly every war dating from the American Revolution onward. The following photos are a general survey. I’ll be adding more specific burials at a later date.

Hazzard Mausoleum

The Hazzard family owned West Point and Pike’s Bluff plantations on St. Simons. This tabby mausoleum is one of the most interesting gravesites in Christ Church cemetery. The date A. D. 1813 is inscribed on a bronze marker at the foot of the mausoleum and is a bit mysterious. This history of the Hazzards was written by Carey C. Giudici: The Hazzard family was one of the Island’s most colorful families. Originally from South Carolina, Revolutionary War veteran Colonel William Hazzard moved to the area and purchased West Point in 1818. This plantation, just north of Frederica, became the home of Hazzard’s oldest son Colonel William Wigg Hazzard. Nine years later the younger son, Dr. Thomas Fuller Hazzard bought the Pike’s Bluff property that adjoined West Point to the north. The family now owned much of the north end of St. Simons Island. Very active in church activities, they also served as representatives to Georgia’s House of Representatives, enjoyed competing in their racing boats Shark and Comet, and frequently went hunting with their pack of deer hounds. Both were also noted writers; William Wigg Hazzard’s 1825 history of Glynn County is still in print. In 1838 a boundary dispute resulted in Dr. Thomas Hazzard shooting a young neighbor, John Armstrong Wylly. Tradition has it that although Dr. Hazzard was acquitted of any crime, the family was so ostracized by the other planter families that they built their own family chapel on West Point–which became known as “The Pink Chapel” because of the lichen-based discoloration on its tabby walls. Colonel Hazzard’s son, Captain William Miles Hazzard, commanded the local Confederate Army detachment during the Civil War. With nine troops and a slave named Henry, he burned the U.S. Navy headquarters on the occupied St. Simons.

Christ Church Frederica Cemetery Author Eugenia Price Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015
Eugenia Price (22 June 1916 – 28 May 1996)

World-famous for her historical novels set on the Georgia coast in the early days of white settlement, Eugenia Price was largely responsible for the national attention Christ Church has received in the ensuing years. My mother has always been a big fan of her writing. From the Lighthouse trilogy and the Georgia trilogy to the Florida trilogy and the Savannah quartet, most of her books are still in print or readily available on the coast, especially on St. Simons.

4 thoughts on “Christ Church, Frederica, 1884, St. Simons Island

  1. charity knudson

    In 1967 my husband was stationed at Glynco, Ga. for a few weeks. We visited St. Simon’s Island and I fell in love with Christ Church. I plan no on visiting again in March for the tour of homes.

    Reply
  2. Morrie K.

    I stood in several lines at the Island Bookshelf, waiting for Ms. Price to sign her latest book. There was always something magical about those days. The passion in her voice as she read a selection, the twinkle in her eye and the warm smile on her face as she talked with her neighbors about her latest labor of love. Her books are part of my soul and I look forward to resting eternally near her in the Christ Church Frederic’s cemetery.

    Reply
  3. Swayne Jordan

    Years ago I visited the Christ Church and there was a huge round tombstone there. It is not there anymore can You tell me what happened to it?

    Reply

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