Open Air Westminster of the South, Calvary Episopal Church, Fletcher
A series of markers comprises the “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South.”
Each monument is a large granite mountain boulder. On each boulder is a bronze marker engraved with the name, date of birth and a statement about the person’s significance to southern culture or in some cases their relationship to Calvary Episcopal Church. All of these stones are of about the same height but of different shapes. It is this that gives the Abbey its unique appearance.
The boulders are erected in rows – a “Poets’ Corner,” a “Musicians’ Corner,” a “Statemen’s Corner,” an “Artists’ Corner,” a “Benefactors’ Corner,” and a “Short-Story Writers’ “Paragraph’.”
Images: View of memorials at "Westminster Abbey of the South"
Calvary Episcopal Church
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
Seay, Majel Ivey. "An Open-Air Westminster Abbey," The State (NoCar F 251 S77), Vol. 2 Issue 4, June 1934, p11, 22, il, (accessed August 31, 2020) 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
Dr. Clarence Stuart McClellan, Jr., pastor of the church from 1924 to 1930, is originator of the “Abbey” idea, the purpose of which is "memorialize the fine and noble things in the Old South and pass these on through bronze and granite to future generations." He conceived the idea of having various patriotic and civic organizations erect native stone monuments with appropriate bronze tablets on them.
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 Calvary Episcopal Church marker stands near the sanctuary.
Eighteen “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” markers stand in two rows in a lawn area to the right of the church.
All markers 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.