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Bethany Cemetery — Charleston, South Carolina

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Bethany Cemetery

This chapel sits within the 55-acre Bethany Cemetery north of the Charleston peninsula and adjacent to historic Magnolia Cemetery. Owned and maintained by St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the land was purchased by the church in 1856 when its first cemetery on Reid Street – called Hampstedt Cemetery – reached capacity during a yellow fever outbreak.

Bethany Cemetery Receiving Tomb

Kathie Lee of Hollywood, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hampstedt Cemetery was sold at auction and divided into lots in the 1930s when assessments were not paid for a street paving project. When the Charleston Housing Authority purchased the Hampstedt Cemetery property in 1981, the department had no idea the land contained human remains. After it begun site-preparation work, the graves were discovered, and the Housing Authority relocated 437 graves to Bethany Cemetery in 2009.

Bethany Chapel

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Though Bethany Cemetery is affiliated with the Lutheran congregation, people of all denominations are interred at the cemetery. The cemetery is known for its Victorian-era funerary art, as seen on its headstones and monuments.

Bethany Cemetery

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Receiving Tomb – Bethany Cemetery

Bethany Cemetery Receiving Tomb

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The receiving tomb, seen above and below, stands close to the chapel at Bethany. Many historic cemeteries had these, but rarely are they still intact. Before the days of refrigerated storage, deceased people were stored in these masonry tombs while their burial plot was prepared and families gathered. The materials used to build these structures promoted a cooler environment in which the decomposition process would in theory slow until the body could be properly interred.

Bethany Cemetery

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures – Bethany Cemetery

Bethany Cemetery Entrance, Charleston

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bethany Cemetery

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bethany Cemetery Statuary

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bethany Cemetery Chapel

Donnie Smith of Moncks Corner, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bethany Cemetery Info

Address: 10 Cunnington Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405
GPS Coordinates: 32.815377,-79.947790

Bethany Cemetery Map

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2 Comments about Bethany Cemetery

SCIWAY says:
May 25th, 2018 at 2:05 am

Hello Donna, we searched the website, Find a Grave, for a memorial for Mary Daniels McCoy Ice with no results, we changed it to just Mary Daniels McCoy and still nothing. This doesn’t mean that she isn’t there as Find a Grave is volunteer ran and it could be that it has not been completely documented yet. We recommend reaching out to Bethany directly, they have ways to see who is buried in the cemetery and where their plot may be. If needed, I (Brandon Coffey), would gladly take a photo for you if you find out where it is and couldn’t get here. I live in the Charleston area. My email is Bethany’s phone number is (843) 723-3121.

Donna Burgess says:
May 24th, 2018 at 7:16 am

I have been searching for the grave of my Great Grandmother, who according to her death certificate is buried in Bethany Cemetery. She died in Roper Hospital 12/19/1925 and was buried 12/22/1925. Her name was Mary Daniels McCoy Ice. Would you have any information or be able to at least point me in the right direction?

I would so appreciate any help you could give me. I live in Kansas and trying to find things back east is hard especially when I’m new to this.

Thank You


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