LawtonFest, Part 8, James Island, SC

On Sunday just past, the day before Labor Day, we meandered through some of the sea islands near Charleston.  Sugar usually has a plan about where we are going; I tag along and make photos.  I don’t do very much homework about where we are going, so no matter what happens, everything is fresh and unusual.  “Oh, look at that stump!”  “How many bricks does it take to make that wall?”  “What about the price of gas here!”  “Do you suppose there’s a bathroom nearby?”

Part of the trip found us at St. James Episcopal Church on James Island.  As luck and Sugar would have it, there is a graveyard there with – wait for it – Lawtons!  That’s right, a LawtonFest!

There are several buildings to the church connected by a sweeping covered walkway.  We pulled into the lot in front of the furthest building on the right, which appeared to be an office building.  The next building to the left of the office was a sanctuary.  Here’s a shot of the facade.

St. James Episcopal

The steeple and bell tower

How do we know there’s a bell  in the tower?  Well, duh.  We are researchers who will go to the ends of the earth to ferret out information.  That, and I took a picture of the rope that pulls the bell…

We then stepped to the left of this building, and I took a shot of the covered walkway that connects this sanctuary to the next building.  This photo is taken from the backside of the walkway looking toward the street, and you can see how the walkway creates a courtyard area, and frames in the front of the cemetery.

And the first thing we see in the graveyard are.. “Who are THESE Lawtons?”, said Sugar.  A little humming and hawing solved the issue, and provided a link to several earlier blog posts.  So here are the photos and then I’ll explain.

Laura Oswald, Wife of Richard Tyler Crawford, and Daughter of Caroline Vernon and Robert Lawton Oswald, October 5, 1876, May 17, 1931

The inscription at the base of the marker was obscured by sandy grit, and a quick sweep of Sugar’s hand revealed all.  “Her children arise up, and call her blessed.”

Her children arise up, and call her blessed.

Next to Laura is her brother, Vernon.

Vernon Oswald, son of Caroline Vernon and Robert Lawton Oswald, June 17, 1881, March 14, 1938

A quick sweep of Sugar’s magic wand hand, and all is revealed.

"I know that my Redeemer liveth"

Next in line to Vernon is Robert Lawton Oswald.

Robert Lawton Oswald, Feb. 17, 1850 - May 11, 1918

Another sweep of the hand reveals… nothing.

Here’s Robert’s wife Caroline Vernon Oswald.  Poor girl died before she was 40.  Robert lived 25 years more after her death.

Caroline Vernon, Wife of Robert Lawton Oswald, and daughter of Caroline Holbrook and William Henry Vernon, Sept. 16, 1853 - May 25, 1893

Next was a four-sided marker.  I had no paper and pencil to make notes, although I probably could have scrounged some up in the van, but our goal was not these Lawtons, but other Lawtons in the cemetery, so I apologize that the inscriptions in the next photo are not clear, and that I have no good transcription.  We found that the sandy dirt on the shorter markers was actually a benefit, for it filled in the grooves of the inscriptions and made a wonderful contrast in the photos.

Robert Oswald, born in Beaufort, SC, 1828 (?). His mother was a Chaplin and his father was Robert Oswald.

Now here’s our bonus.  On the opposite side of Robert’s marker is his wife, Anna LAWTON Oswald.  She was born in Lawtonville, SC, and is the daughter of R. T. (Robert Themistocles) Lawton, and H. S. (Harriett Singleton) Lawton.  I’ll provide a link later to my blogs about the Lawton Place in Savannah and to Screven County GA.  We weren’t expecting to see a connection to these Lawtons here. 

Anna, daughter of R. T. and H. S. Lawton, wife of Robt. Oswald, born Lawtonville, SC, July 6, 1832, died Nov. 14, 1885

And on each side of this four-sided marker we find more inscriptions.

Alex S. Oswald, June 5, 1872 - April 10, 1935

Wallace N. Oswald, Aug. 17, 1863 - May 15, 1944 and C. Olive Oswald, Nov. 15, 1877 - June 9, 1946, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"

 The sanctuary was surrounded on this side, the back, and the other side by cemetery.  We went around the back of the cemetery to get to the opposite side of the cemetery where Sugar knew was another Lawton plot.  These Lawtons were featured in the book “How Grand a Flame”, and later in the day we would revisit that homeplace. 

Taking a break here now, and I’ll return with more LawtonFest excitement soon.

And the sky was Carolina blue.

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6 Responses to “LawtonFest, Part 8, James Island, SC”

  1. Becky Says:

    In a good Ed McMahon voice ~ “And here are Lawtons!!” Great pictures of a beautiful-looking church. I love the bible verses on the markers.


  2. Becky Says:

    Nah, too much of a contrasting juxtaposition considering the bible verses! 🙂


  3. Leo Says:

    Becky, what’s that in English?


    • Becky Says:

      Dang, Leo, I finally get a chance to use a cool word like that and you denigrate it. I am just trying to do my part to help certain words not be dropped from the dictionary for non-use. P.S. “Denigrate” is also on my list. 🙂


  4. LawtonFest, Part 8 , James Island, SC « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] post is a continuation of September 5, 2010.  In the interest of expediency, I am posting pictures only.  If I get the chance, I’ll add […]


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