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St. Mary Episcopal Church- St Francisville, LA

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Nov. 14th, 2011 | 10:56 am
posted by: cece00 in abandonedplaces

I had seen previous pictures of this abandoned church and loved them. I decided to go out and see if I could find the abandoned church myself. I was able to GPS the approximate location and direct us there, to find a long road that was blocked off by a gate. My friend dropped me off, and I started to walk down the road, which was lined by empty fields and went off into a line of trees, and nothing more to see, but I walked on. Eventually, after the line of trees, I found the church, which was better than I had imagined and better than the couple of pictures I had seen online.


Here was the church as I found it when I rounded a small bend and walked past the trees.






This is a little history on the church:

>>St. Mary's Episcopal Church was built in 1857 to serve approximately 20 plantation families in the remote Tunica area north of St. Francisville, LA. The church was built on the Old East Tunica Road on 5 acres donated by Sarah Mulford, The title description is written "per aversionem" so that the boundaries cannot be identified exactly. In 1928 State Highway 66 was built about 1/2 mile west of the church and the old road was abandoned, leaving the church with no vehicular access, except by private farm roads. The church was deconsecrated in 1947, and today stands empty, gradually being overtaken by the surrounding forest, which has completely overgrown the graveyard north of the church and the old roadway.







One of a handful of graves outside the church. I'm not sure if they've moved some graves, or more were hidden amongst the trees. They say the "surrounding forest" is taking over the area, which is close but not entirely accurate, but these graves were right next to the church. I'm not sure if there were more within the trees, I was hearing some noise (animals) from the trees so I wasnt about to go scouting in there.


Children's graves are always sad.


Next to the last grave. Twins perhaps, and this one lived?



A look up inside the bell tower.



















After finding the church, we went to walk around the cemetery of the church built to replace St. Mary's (a few miles away). It was lovely there, and weird, so I am going to share some of those pictures as well.












One of the strangest graves I've ever seen, and coming from this state, that says a lot.

I cant really tell if the tunnel part was where the body was kept, or somewhere in the upper part of the "chamber". If a casket was kept in the tunnel part, it is obviously long since gone.

The chamber is crumbling and cracked in half. The back of it has a door that leads up from the tunnel below.

NO, I didnt go down there. But I did get pics of the inside of the tunnel and of the door!


Excuse the flash, it was too dark down there to see. I'm not sure how this was ever closed off if the casket was kept down here, or why you'd use such an unusual grave in an area where we usually have to bury our dead under slabs of concrete or marble, because the caskets tend to rise back up out of the ground because of the ground water levels. This location has quite a few buried as you'd normally see in other states (in the ground with just a headstone) but I think it tends to be higher up than some areas. In New Orleans, for example, you'd see almost all graves covered over by stone/concrete.


The back door...


ETA: I tried to find more information on the last crypt, and here is what I got so far. Kinda morbid. OK, pretty morbid. Looks like I was right, though, there is no longer anyone in the chamber. I'm trying to find more information on it.

>>>>A long stair descends into the vented crypt of the tomb. The structure is empty except for trash.

The mausoleum can no longer be entered as the outer walls and roof are in danger of
collapsing. The structure is held together by strapping and props. The wife of one of the Ball family was the first and only occupant.

According to tradition, her husband often sat inside the crypt in his rocking chair. Their children were mortified. At the father’s death, the children reinterred their mother with their father in a standard cemetery plot.

It got dark soon after, so that was the end of my pictures. Hope you enjoyed these!

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Comments {27}

(no subject)

from: silvermoonlover
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
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Great shots! Sorta makes me a bit sad. *shrugs*

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

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pansypoo

(no subject)

from: pansypoo
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
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thanks for the great tour. great pics.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Thank you very much.

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Elizabeth

(no subject)

from: lemonlies
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
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You may want to cross post the cemetery pictures to mourning_souls . They're lovely.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I think I will do that soon! I actually have quite a lot of cemetery photos.

=)

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wolfstano

(no subject)

from: wolfstano
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
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I don't live *ridiculously* far from St. Francisville. I think I might well grab some friends and go exploring soon, thanks for posting! =)

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
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No problem! You should go! I live a ittle over an hour away, and it was easy to find. There are GPS coordinates on several websites if you search for them.

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Serenity

(no subject)

from: dark_fire18
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Beautiful. I would buy that church just to keep it in mint condition.

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Adam

(no subject)

from: spike20
date: Nov. 14th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
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I've seen a very similar thing to that brick structure before. The one I saw was a lime kiln, originally for making cement (it's in a similar state of ruin). With the heavy steel door I wonder if this was something similar.. cremation oven?

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Nope, I did an ETA but it was a grave & crypt. No longer in use.

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Old Blue Eyes

(no subject)

from: babyhomecakes
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
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this is a very beautiful post, thanks!

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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thank you.

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Yes, Jack Shoegazer!

(no subject)

from: jackshoegazer
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
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That's beautiful. Wow.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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thanks!

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The Rage of Winter.

(no subject)

from: rageofwinter
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
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Amazing. Would love to investigate this one day.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
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thanks. you should go check it out if you can.

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JJ_MacCrimmon

(no subject)

from: jj_maccrimmon
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
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Beautiful photos and story. I always love it when the back story is included.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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me too!

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Alexandre Cordonnier

(no subject)

from: bloodangel
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
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Thank you for sharing this.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
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im glad you enjoyed it!

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gaudete1066

(no subject)

from: gaudete1066
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
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Wish I could rescue that church and turn it into my private residence. I'd even be happy to be curator of the churchyard.

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40ozslurpee

(no subject)

from: 40ozslurpee
date: Nov. 15th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
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I really like the graveyard pictures. My friends and I used to hang out in the older part of a graveyard in high school, so I guess it reminds me of that. There weren't many places for teenagers to hang out and the graveyard was right beside our school for some reason. During football games, sometimes the mist would drift off the graveyard on to the football field. (It was pretty cool.) There was a pair of large gravestones that my friend and I would sit on while we were waiting for our parents or for band practice or whatever. Mr. and Mrs. Speight. We were always sure to thank them for letting us use them as benches. We'd leave them flowers from time to time. Maybe that's weird or morbid, but I'm not sure. We used to say, "We're going to go hang out at the Speights'," so it didn't sound so creepy.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 16th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Well, my friend and I like to tour cemeteries and such, too, for fun, so its not too weird ;)

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Maureen

(no subject)

from: hauntingsaudade
date: Nov. 19th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
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That may not have been a crypt. When I was doing some research on a cemetery in the area here, I found out that places like this were used to store bodies in the winter, since the earth was too hard for them to dig up. Just a thought! Really interesting pictures though. Such a shame that a place like that is abandoned. I bet it was beautiful once.

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Bisous

(no subject)

from: cece00
date: Nov. 29th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
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It doesnt get cold enough here for the ground to get too hard to bury people. Only too wet...but an underground vented crypt would not help that.

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John Heaton

(no subject)

from: jheaton
date: Nov. 27th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
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Hard to believe a beautiful old church building like that has been abandoned. Wish I could afford to buy it and fix it up.

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