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February 21, 2015
St. Helena’s Chapel of Ease is located in the Frogmore area of South Carolina, halfway between Beaufort and Hunting Island State Park. A “Chapel of Ease” is a church built to provide ease to parishioners living far from the parish church. This Chapel of Ease was built for the planters of St. Helena Island since their plantations were far from the main parish church in Beaufort.
This tabby-walled Anglican chapel was built between 1742 and 1747. Tabby is a type of concrete used by English colonists in South Carolina and Georgia, made by crushing oyster shells and burning them into quicklime. Tabby’s white color is the reason that St. Helena’s Chapel of Ease was called “White Church.”
On February 22, 1886, a forest fire destroyed almost the entire chapel, leaving behind four thick tabby walls and the nearby cemetery. In 1988, the ruins were included in the National Register of Historic Places.