This Episcopal chapel was built in 1810 for the Pineville community in Berkeley County. The village was settled as a planters’ retreat in 1794, as wealthy families from Lowcountry plantations came here during the summer months to avoid the heat as well as illnesses borne by mosquitoes in low-lying rice fields. Because a racecourse for horses had been established here three years earlier, in 1791, Pineville became a logical setting for a retreat. A jockey club – formed in 1792 – brought planters to the area for recreation, and soon the town was populated with 60 households.
Other amenities followed the racecourse and first homes, including a library in 1810 – built the same year as the chapel – and a ballroom for dances. A school, Pineville Academy, was established in 1805 and attracted students from across the state. Pineville continued to be quite popular with planters until disease struck the community in the 1830s. During this time people fled, and a new pineland village – pine trees were thought to promote good health – was established in nearby Pinopolis.
Though some people later returned to their Pineville homes, the community never regained the popularity it enjoyed prior to the 1830s. Many of the homes and buildings were burned to the ground during the Civil War by Union troops in early 1865. Four original structures remain today, including the chapel. Also located in Pineville is the burial site of General Francis Marion. General Marion was buried at his brother’s plantation, Belle Isle Plantation. Marion’s own plantation, Pond Bluff, is now submerged beneath Lake Marion, which is named for the general.
Pineville Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Pineville Historic District:
The Pineville Historic District illustrates Pineville’s original role as a nineteenth century pineland village as well as its gradual transformation to agricultural land and to a year-round community in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Berkeley County’s wealthy planter class, wishing to avoid the fevers associated with their low lying plantations during the summer months, established inland settlements, particularly in areas wooded with pine trees, beginning in the late eighteenth century.
The Pineville Historic District is composed of four principal buildings, three residential buildings and one Episcopal church, ranging in date from ca.1810 through 1925. In the mid to late nineteenth century, Pineville was a densely-settled village that included as many as one hundred buildings, including an academy, racetrack, library, churches, and residences. Much of the town was burned by Union troops at the close of the Civil War in April 1865. In the years following the war, much of the land that made up the village was converted for use as farmland. Since that time, Pineville has remained a small community of less than twenty structures surrounded by open farm and hunting lands.
Pineville Chapel – Interior
More Pictures of Pineville Chapel