Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Pon Pon Chapel / Serving the Community for Many Years

Marker ID:  
Location: in the woods 0.1 miles northeast of Jacksonboro Road (State Road 15-40, Jacksonboro SC
County: Colleton
Coordinates: N 32° 48.527    W 080° 29.397
  32.80878333    -80.48995


Here on the old stage coach road connecting Charleston to Savannah, the Anglican Pon Pon Chapel of Ease served the Jacksonborough community for many years. The parish of St. Bartholomew's was established in 1706, however its first minister, the Reverend Nathaniel Osborne, did not arrive until 1713. An act of the General Assembly provided for a Chapel of Ease in 1725 and Vestry ordered a brick building to replace the wooden chapel.

During a visit in April 1737, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, preached twice at the chapel. (Picture included) Wesley wrote in his diary about how impressed he was to have had so many from so far to hear his gospel.

Unfortunately, this church was burned during the American Revolution. According to some records, it was rebuilt between 1819 and 1822, (Picture included) and was used until 1832 when it was again destroyed by fire. The site is often referred to today as "The Burnt Church." No effort was made to rebuild the chapel.

Family members continued to use the cemetery. Buried in the cemetery are O'Brien Smith and Aedanus Burke. Smith, the owner of Duharra Plantation, entertained George Washington in 1791 and both Smith and Burke served in the legislature.

The chapel and four acres were deeded to the Colleton Historical Society in 1970 to celebrate the Tercentennial of South Carolina. With additional interest, the Society received a grant from S.C. Archives and History in 1975 to repair the wall of the chapel which had been severely damaged by hurricane Gracie in 1959. The Society in cooperation with others holds various events on the site throughout the year.

(Map of 1775 showing location of earliest St. Bartholomew's chapel on Chehaw)

Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.