Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another Pyramid Mausoleum

I don't really know who is interred in this pyramid made of marble, granite, and glass located at the Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. I'd bet he was a Mason though, because this southern city on the 33rd parallel is host to the "Mother Lodge" of the world.

See my article "Along the 33rd Parallel: A Global Mystery Circle" (fourth link down).


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Blogger Edisto Bound said...

Who's in the Pyramid? (A question asked all the time!)

After W B Smith's death in 1892, his body spent 30 months in the Magnolia Cemetery Receiving Tomb, while the Pyramid Mausoleum was designed and erected by his family, completed in 1894. His remains were entombed, as well as with those of his wife, who was disinterred from her plot outside. His crypt is behind the marble panel at the center back wall, under the Tiffany stained glass window. His wife Frances Susan Jones Smith (1820-1886) is entombed directly below his crypt. Entombed in the pyramid in addition to the primary residents, are their second daughter, a grandson, another grandson and his wife, a grand-daughter and a great-grandson.

Where are they?

To the left of the door, are the first of three kin: At top left, is grandson Representative Richard Smith Whaley(1874 - 1951), who served in the US Congress 1913-1921, and later was appointed by the President in 1930 to the bench as a U.S. Federal District Court of Claims Judge. In the middle-left side crypt is the Smith's daughter, Helen Jones Smith Whaley(1847-1906), [wife of William Baynard Whaley,Jr], who died from typhoid fever at age 59. In the bottom crypt on the left side, is grand-daughter Lillian Heyward Nylander(1877-1944), one of the daughters of Frances 'Fannie' Smith Heyward (Helen's older sister).

In the middle of the mausoleum, on the back wall underneath the stained glass window, is the crypt of William Burroughs Smith, and directly beneath him, is his wife's crypt, Frances Susan Jones Smith.

To the right of the front door, in the middle crypt, is another grandson, one of Helen Smith Whaley's sons; Dr Thomas Prioleau Whaley[The Good Physician]. Immediately above him is his wife Henrietta Righton Robertson Whaley. On the bottom right side is great-grandson Heyward Champion(1905 - 1934), who died fairly young at age 29. He was a manager at Worthington Arms Co. He was the grandson of daughter Fannie Smith Heyward, and brother of the famous South Carolina naval aviator, Carleton Cole Champion, Jr.

All these names are documented and have memorials on the web on Find A Grave. The family has a fascinating and accomplished history. The pyramid mausoleum is featured on the cover of Ted Phillip's book about Magnolia Cemetery, 'City of the Silent'.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Edisto Bound said...

The Pyramid mausoleum was designed by Edward C Jones, noted Charleston architect.

Jones, Edward C. (1822-1902)
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Memphis, Tennessee
Charleston, South Carolina



NC Work Locations:

Flat Rock, Henderson County
Fletcher, Henderson County

Building Types:


Styles & Forms:

Gothic Revival;

St. John-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Church [Flat Rock]
View larger image and credits

Building List
NC Work Locations Map

Edward C. Jones (July 1, 1822-February 12, 1902) was a prolific and eclectic architect in Charleston, South Carolina, before the Civil War and in Memphis, Tennessee, after the war. Jones and his partner and former student Francis Lee established one of Charleston's leading architectural firms of the late antebellum era and planned many of Charleston principal edifices of the period, including churches and civic buildings in Greek Revival, Italianate, and Gothic Revival styles. After service for the Confederacy during the war, in 1866 he moved to Memphis where he developed a practice responding to the economic growth of the New South era. He embraced new styles and technologies and designed numerous landmarks in Tennessee, Mississippi, and elsewhere in the region. He died in Memphis and is buried in that city's Elmwood Cemetery.

Because of his prominence in antebellum Charleston, it was natural that Jones would provide designs for buildings in Flat Rock, North Carolina, which was known as the "Little Charleston of the Mountains" because of its role as the summer retreat of wealthy Charlestonians. By the 1820s Charlestonians seeking to escape the city's sultry summers had begun make their summer homes in the cool climate of the Flat Rock area, and their numbers increased after completion of the Buncombe Turnpike in 1828. During the 1840s and 1850s, especially, many of them built their Flat Rock summer homes in various renditions of the picturesque style promoted by A. J. Downing and others, featuring steep gables and ornate sawnwork trim and porches. (Several of these were subsequently remodeled or expanded in neoclassical fashions.) It is likely that Jones planned more Flat Rock structures than have been attributed to him thus far, but two landmarks are known to be his work.

The hotel variously called the Farmer Hotel, the Flat Rock Hotel, and currently the Woodfield Inn was built in 1850-1852 by investors including Mitchell King and Andrew Johnstone of Charleston. Records of the stockholders include bills for plans ($330) to E. C. Jones and for construction ($7,000) to builder and innkeeper Henry Tudor Farmer. It is a commodious 3-story frame building with hip roof, with its ornate sawnwork porch giving a picturesque aura. Jones's best-known work in Flat Rock is St. John-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Church. A small private chapel had been built in 1833 by early Flat Rock summer residents Charles and Susan Baring, who conveyed it to the Episcopal Church in 1836. In 1852-1854, Jones expanded the chapel and added the tower, creating a romantic hillside composition in an Italianate style complementing its terraced churchyard. The brick church was constructed by prominent western North Carolina builder Ephraim Clayton. It remains an important center of Flat Rock life.

Not far away in Fletcher, North Carolina, Jones provided the design for another Episcopal church—this time in Gothic Revival style—for Calvary Episcopal Church of 1859. Like the Flat Rock church, it was built by Ephraim Clayton. What remains unknown is whether Jones had a role in designing any of the notable collection of substantial and picturesquely styled mountain residences elsewhere in Henderson and Buncombe counties, where wealthy families built summer and sometimes year-round homes along the Buncombe Turnpike.

Author: Catherine W. Bishir. Contributor: Catherine Westergaard.

Published 2012

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