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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Matthew Fontaine Maury, Fletcher

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Historic Science and Technology Figures

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • 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 Matthew Fontaine Maury was the last marker placed in the “Open-Air Abbey.”

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

  • Inscription

    Front: MATTHEW / FONTAINE / MAURY / BORN / SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA. / JANUARY 24, 1806 / DIED / LEXINGTON, VA. / FEBRUARY 1, 1873 / “PATH FINDER OF THE SEAS”

    Rear: Plaque missing

  • Custodian

    Calvary Episcopal Church

  • Dedication Date

    October 9, 1932

  • Decade

    1930s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.442600 , -82.503600 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Matthew Fontaine Maury". Encyclopædia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com, (accessed June 26, 2016) Link

      "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

      “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

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

      “In Tribute to Matthew Fontaine Maury,” Confederate Veteran 40 (1932), p. 371, 398 Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Amanda Austin Byrne, President General, United Daughters of the Confederacy, dedicated the memorial.

  • Subject Notes

    Maury was U.S. naval officer, pioneer hydrographer, and one of the founders of oceanography. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to his home state of Virginia and became head of coast, harbor and river defenses for the Confederacy. After the war he traveled to Mexico hoping to establish a Confederate colony there. He returned to the United States in 1868 to become professor of meteorology at Virginia Military Institute. His lifetime contributions to the fields of oceanography and ocean navigation earned him many titles, including "Pathfinder of the Seas" and the "Father of Modern Oceanography".

  • 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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