Documenting the American South

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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Joel Chandler Harris, Fletcher

  • Type

    Marker

  • City

    Fletcher

  • County

    Henderson

  • Description

    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.

    The inscription is dated June 9, 1929 but the dedication ceremony was held on August 25, 1929.

    Images: Plaque | Rear view | View of memorials at "Westminster Abbey of the South"

  • Inscription

    Front: JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS / EATONTON, GEORGIA / DECEMBER 9, 1848 / ATLANTA, GEORGIA / JULY 3, 1908 / CREATOR OF / “UNCLE REMUS”

    Rear: ERECTED IN APPRECIATION OF / JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS / BY THE / UNCLE REMUS / MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION / ATLANTA, GA. / AND / CHILDREN OF PUTNAM, GA. / JUNE 9, 1929

  • Custodian

    Calvary Episcopal Church

  • Dedication Date

    August 25, 1929

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.442600 , -82.503600 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Westminster Abbey Of South," Spartanburg Herald Journal (Spartanburg, SC) September 24, 1939, Link

      Bickley, R. B. "Uncle Remus Tales." New Georgia Encyclopedia 26 August 2013. (accessed June 4, 2016) Link

      Harris, Joel Chandler. Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches, New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1887. From Documenting the American South, docsouth.unc.edu, (accessed June 25, 2016) Link

      Harris, Joel Chandler. Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881. From Documenting the American South, docsouth.unc.edu, (accessed June 25, 2016) 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

      “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

      “Episcopalians Honor Joel Chandler Harris,” The Bulletin (Augusta, GA), August 24, 1929, 6 Link

      “Fletcher Markers,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed May 25, 2016) Link

      “In the Memory of Joel Chandler Harris,” Confederate Veteran 21 (1929), p. 394-395 Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    Uncle Remus Memorial Association and children of Putnam, Georgia

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    James B. Nevin, editor of the Atlanta Georgia, was the featured speaker. Mrs. A.M. Wilson president of the Uncle Remus Memorial Association presented the tablet and Mrs. Robert Blackburn who was “famous for her gift of dialect interpretation” gave an Uncle Remus reading. Grandchildren of Joel Chandler Harris unveiled the memorial.

  • Subject Notes

    Joel Chandler Harris is most well known as the author of Uncle Remus tales which are African American trickster stories that tell the exploits of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and other "creeturs.” That were recreated in black regional dialect with his earliest stories had been collected from several black storytellers he met while working on a plantation during the Civil War years. Harris work was the largest collection of African-American folktales published during the 19 th century.

  • Location

    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.

  • Landscape

    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.

  • Former Locations

    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.

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