UNION COUNTY — The Fairforest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution met on Tuesday, October 3 at 3:30 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church.
The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Kathleen Read, Regent. There followed the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States, the American Creed, and the Salute to the flag of South Carolina. Mrs. Read gave a devotional and prayer.
Mrs. Read welcomed our new member, Mrs. Elizabeth Davis, and our speaker, Mrs. Kim O’Dell Winslow. Mrs. Winslow is a native of Union County, on the Board of the Union County Historical Society, and a founding member of the Family Narrative Project. Mrs. Winslow presented a program about Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church that was historical and educational.
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
The 5.1 acre lot that the church stands on is located about 5 miles south of Union off the Deepwater Road. The land was granted by the King of England, George III, to Samuel McJunkin in 1768. In 1815, Samuel McJunkin deeded some of the land where the church now stands to the Mt. Vernon Society for the purpose of building a school. In 1850, Dr. Christopher Young, McJunkin’s son-in-law, sold just over 5 acres for the sum of $50 for the building of a Presbyterian Church. Services were held on the second and fourth Sunday of every month until 1991.
From 1991 until 2015, the old church structure steadily declined. The Presbytery did not have the funds to repair a church no longer in use. W.T. Beaty and Neely Beaty left a portion of their estates for preservation of the church and cemetery. On May 18, 2015, the church was officially transferred to the historical society.
Although the church is more than 150 years old, very few changes were made to the structure. It still has its original floors, walls, pews, raised altar, and Scottish Rite communion tables.The main focus has been on restoration rather than renovation of the church. Over the last couple of years, the roof has been replaced, the original stone piers have been moved into place, the rotted wood has been repaired, the church has been painted, and the windows have been handmade to replicate the original windows. Real authentic shutters will be added. The awnings and concrete steps were replaced with more accurate wooden and stone steps and hand railings.
The friends of Mt. Vernon welcome anyone in the community who would like to serve on the committee to foster and protect the church in the future. The Union County Historical Society is gathering photographs and stories related to the church and the individuals buried in the cemetery.
Kathleen Read adjourned the meeting. Our next meeting will be December 5 at 12 noon at Andy’s in Buffalo.