Local History Series: Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery

    Zion Chapel of Ease and Baynard Mausoleum
    Zion Chapel of Ease and Baynard Mausoleum

    Hilton Head is home to so many incredible historical sites. Whether vacationing on the Island for the first time or a year-round resident, Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery is a truly special place to visit.

    It is the location of the Island’s first Episcopal chapel built between 1786 and 1788 for local plantation owners and their families.  Spanning 2.4 acres along William Hilton Parkway near the intersection of Mathews Drive, this centuries-old cemetery contains the graves and memorials of 4 Revolutionary War soldiers.  It is also where you can find Baynard Mausoleum, the oldest standing structure on Hilton Head dating back to 1846.  William Baynard, a prominent cotton planter, built an estate on the Island in 1793 in what is today Sea Pines.  The remains of this antebellum residence, which served as Union headquarters during the Civil War and burned down shortly thereafter, can still be seen off Plantation Drive.

    Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery is one of two historical areas on the Island owned and maintained by the Heritage Library.  The other site is Fort Mitchel in Hilton Head Plantation, c.1862.  For tour information (including Haunted History Tours and Historic Bike Tours) or to learn more about Hilton Head Island’s rich history, visit the Heritage Library website.


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