Sidney Lanier, Fletcher
The memorial is one of a series of large granite mountain boulders, all about the same size but
of different shapes that comprise the “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South.” Each marker contains a bronze plaque with date of birth and death and a statement about the person’s significance to southern culture or in some cases their relationship to Calvary Episcopal Church.
Images: Plaque | Rear view | View of memorials at "Westminster Abbey of the South"
Front: IN MEMORY / OF / SIDNEY LANIER / 1842 – 1881 / POET AND MUSCIAN / WHO SPENT
HIS LAST DAYS / AMONG THESE HILLS / “THYSELF THY MONUMENT”
Rear: ERECTED 1928 / BY THE / SCHOOL CHILDREN / OF / LANIER’S BIRTHPLACE, / MACON (BIBB COUNTY), G.A.
Calvary Episcopal Church
September 9, 1928
35.442600 , -82.503600 View in Geobrowse
"Westminster Abbey Of South," Spartanburg Herald Journal (Spartanburg, SC) September 24, 1939, Link
Hicklin, J.B. “Elaborate Abbey To Immortalize South’s Leaders,” Forest City Courier (Forest City, NC), September 24, 1931, (accessed May 27, 2016) Link
Jenkins, Mark. “Historical Sketch Of Calvary Episcopal Church,” (Calvary Parish, Fletcher, 1959) Link
Lanier, Sidney. Poems of Sidney Lanier, Edited by his Wife, (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1884.) From Documenting the American South, http://docsouth.unc.edu, (accessed June 16, 2016) Link
Lanier, Sidney. Tiger-Lilies. A Novel, (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1867.) From Documenting the American South, docsouth.unc.edu, (accessed June 16, 2016) Link
“Calvary Church, Fletcher, N.C. Between Asheville and Hendersonville,” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (PO77), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link
School children of Macon, Georgia
Sidney Lanier was also immortalized in stone at the Duke Chapel in Durham as one of the three “Great Men of the South.” He was a widely acclaimed poet, musician and author. Originally from Georgia, he spent many of the Civil War years in North Carolina before being captured in 1864 while serving on a blockade runner. He acquired tuberculosis in 1865 and finally succumbed to the disease in 1881 shortly after moving to Lynn near Tyron in Polk County where a marker was placed at the house where he died.
Calvary Episcopal Church is located at 2840 Hendersonville Road, at
its intersection with Old Airport Road in Fletcher, NC.
Eighteen “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” markers stand in two rows in a lawn area facing Old Airport Road to the right of the church. The Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway is located near the street facing Hendersonville Road. One memorial to Bill Nye is in the church cemetery and the second memorial to Bill Nye is on the front lawn of the church. The Calvary Episcopal Church marker stands near the sanctuary.
This memorial is one of eighteen “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” markers that stand in two rows in a lawn area to the right of the church.
This memorial and the seventeen others now standing along Old Airport Road were originally located in a landscaped plot along Hendersonville Road (Highway 25) directly in front of the cemetery. It is likely they had to be relocated when the road was widened to four lanes.