At a special ceremony May 6 at St. Luke's Parish Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery, representatives from The Heritage Library Foundation joined community members and volunteers in accepting a plaque recognizing the historic site's National Register of Historic Places designation.
This recognition comes after years of painstaking research and diligent efforts on the part of Heritage Library volunteers, who combed through records, oversaw restoration and research at the site and served as stewards of one of the island's most fascinating locales.
Speaking on behalf of the Heritage Library, Historic Register researcher, long-time island resident and board member Iva Welton said, "Research takes you into areas of knowledge that you might never think of going. While it broadens your outlook and knowledge it can also give you a feeling of excitement when you discover answers that match the precise questions the National Register requires. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and I feel strongly that we as a community have a responsibility to recognize, restore and cherish our precious history. Preserving our historic sites is an excellent way to teach our future generations about our past."
Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Located at the corner of Mathews Drive and William Hilton Parkway, Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery and Baynard Mausoleum are highly visible from Hilton Head Island's main road, and easily accessible.
The final resting place of many of the island's settlers, from colonial times through the antebellum era, the site is currently the focus of a long-term campaign by the Heritage Library to restore the site and position it as a history park.