Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosie And Mr. Hawthorne Visit St. Matthew's Episcopal Church In Hillsborough, North Carolina.

On Tuesday, September 15, Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne left Danville and hit the road for our home on the Outer Banks. I have always wanted to go to Montrose, in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and tour the gardens there. Montrose is the home of Nancy and Craufurd Goodwin. (I wonder if Craufurd knows his name is spelled really wrong), Tours at Montrose are by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. And I'm on my way Tuesday.
TEASE! More on the gardens forthcoming. So sorry. You'll have to wait for that post. But first ... We arrived a bit early for our appointment at Montrose, so we just drove down the road a bit and found this beautiful old church and cemetery.
This is Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church on St. Mary's Road in Hillsborough, North Carolina. In 1752, the General Assembly of Colonial North Carolina originally constituted St. Matthew's Parish as the established church in Orange County.
In 1824, the parish was reorganized.
And on May 21, 1826, this building was consecrated and St. Matthew's has continued as the Episcopal parish in Hillsborough and northern Orange County ever since.
I found this lovely, wintry, black and hauntingly gray photograph of St. Matthew's.
Mr. Hawthorne and I took the opportunity to stroll through the old cemetery churchyard. As always, he went his way and I went mine. We joined back up with different experiences and understandings and a later meshing of the whole.
We met the churchyard caretaker and he was kind enough to point out several of the graves and relate their history. This is the headstone for young Willie J. Hardee, a soldier in the Civil War. There are two mistakes on the small marker. First, Willie wasn't with Wheeler's Calvary. He was with the Texas Rangers. He'd always wanted to be a Texas Ranger and he finally was. For one day. Then he was killed. On his first day. Second, the marker puts his age at 17. He was actually 16. Inscribed: Graduated at Nassau Hall, Princeton, N.J. 1805, Admitted to the Bar in North Carolina, 1808; INTERMARRIED ( My emphasis with boldness.) with ANNE M. KIRKLAND December 7th, 1809 What does "intermarried with" mean? The last inscription: A member of the State Legislature, a Speaker of the House of Commons, a Trustee of the University; twiced Judge of the Superior Court;
in 1829 a Justice of the Supreme Court
in which he presided for 19 years as its Chief Justice. "Labor ipse est voluptus." Shoot. I looked up the Latin, "Labor ipse est voluptus." which I could pretty much already figure out. Labor means hardship, distress, fatigue, toil. ipse means himself. est means is. voluptus means pleasurable, delightful, pleasure-seeking, luxurious. I need to go back and find out who this is.
Another young man killed in the war.
I wish we could have stayed here longer and talked to the caretaker and learned more of the history, but we needed to get to our appointment at Montrose and I still wanted to see the inside of Saint Matthew's
before we had to leave.
THE BELL Hanging in this tower was given to St. Matthews Church, Hillboro, by Mrs. Mary Curtis; Rung for the first service on Easter 1878; and having on it the following inscription:- "To the glory of God, and in memoriam; JOHN HENRY CURTIS, and other Soldiers of the Orange Light Artillery N.C.T. who fell in the service of the Confederate States." "From death unto life" I want to know who the people are in the photographs in the entryway. Some of the most beautiful stained glass windows I've ever seen were in this church. I would have used the word "exquisite" to describe the windows, but I ain't been around that much and don't know what's what. Let's just say, "They were exquisite to me." I would love to know the stories behind this glass.
OK. This would be Jesus. This looks like Jesus too. But he's holding a baby. Who are the two imploring and pleading people at Jesus's feet? Plus, who's in the bottom panel? Mary and Jesus? And the colors are so subdued. Who do the 5 heads at the top belong to? Who has the lamb? Jesus?
I think Mr. Hawthorne and I definitely need to take another trip to Hillsborough and see if we can't take a guided tour of this lovely old church and churchyard, find out its history, and learn the history of those young boys. Mr. Hawthorne said he found a marker for a 14 year old boy who served in the Civil War. (Of course, he waited to tell me this information after we got home and I started writing this post NOT when I was in the graveyard with my camera.) But WAIT, Dear Readers! I had found the grave site on my own. I just didn't know it until I was enlarging my photos. Here's the head stone for a 14-year old CHILD who fought in the Civil War: Inscription: A USEFUL CITIZEN A TRUE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER AT FOURTEEN DEVOTED TO AGRICULTURE AFFECTIONATE, GENEROUS AND BRAVE BY NATURE BELOVED BY HIS NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS WITH HEROIC FORTITUDE HE ENDURED THE SUFFERING WHICH FELL TO HIS LOT AND WITH A FIERY FAITH IN CHRIST PASSED INTO REST BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD I also want to know who did the stained glass, learn the history and story behind the panels, and know who the figures are.


Ken said...

Very nice. Since I am both an art historian and an Episcopalian, I'll see if I can enlarge the pictures later and tell you who everyone is...

Rosie Hawthorne said...

That would be wonderful, Ken. Thank you.