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New gates installed at PonPon Chapel of Ease

PonPon 2The new gates at PonPon Chapel of Ease have been installed. The Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society (CCHAPS), in partnership with Dorchester County Career and Technical Center (DCCTC), are proud to announce that new heavy-duty gates now flank the entrance to PonPon Chapel of Ease.

After the theft of the previous gates in October of 2011, the CCHAPS board, working with DCCTC’s James Broderick, designed a new set of gates. The school offered the labor and combined four fields to complete the gates. Jens Finck, instructor of brick masonry, not only helped to build the gates, but also spent three days in August to install them. Reese Combee, carpentry instructor, Waylon Ulmer, welding instructor, and Jimmy Bunch and Donnie Pearson, auto collision repair (painting), offered their skills to help the DCCTC student build the gates.

PonPon Chapel of Ease, in Jacksonboro, represents the center of early life in the Lowcountry. This brick chapel is now ruins, but the front facade remains, and the back corner wall is original. There is also a graveyard around the church here many Lowcountry ancestors have been buried. O’Brien Smith and Aedanus Burke, both of whom served as representatives of South Carolina during the Early Republic, are buried at this site. John Wesley, the father of Methodism, preached at PonPon Chapel in 1737. This important historic site needs to be preserved, and the new gates allow foot traffic to visit. The gates can be opened when the property is rented for weddings or other events and when church services are held there.

The preservation of PonPon Chapel of Ease is a priority to the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society. The installation of the gates, along with security measures, are the first steps in making sure that this beautiful historic site will be available to the people of South Carolina for generations to come.

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