Frances F. Tiernan (Christian Reid), 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"
IN LOVING MEMORY / FRANCES FISHER TIERNAN / “CHRISTIAN REID” / NOVELIST / BORN IN SALISBURY, N.C. , JULY 5, 1846 / DIED IN SALISBURY, N.C., MARCH 24, 1920 / IN 1876 SHE PUBLISHED HER NOVEL, “THE LAND OF / THE SKY.” FOR SOME TIME SHE LIVED IN WESTERN / NORTH CAROLINA AND SHE GAVE TO THIS SECTION / OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA THE NAME / “THE LAND OF THE SKY”
Calvary Episcopal Church
September 21, 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
Walser, Richard. “Tiernan, Catherine Frances Fisher,” NCPedia.org, (accessed May 27, 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
“Christian Reid Honored as Greatest Carolina Novelist,” The Bulletin (Augusta, GA), October 6, 1928, 12, (accessed June 3, 2016) Link
The principal address was given by Dr. Archibald Henderson who used the occasion to assail against religious bigotry of the time, particularly against Catholics. “Surely it is happy augury,” he said, “that without thought of sect or creed, faith or church, a tablet is unveiled in this churchyard to this distinguished writer, who was also a devout Roman Catholic.” He continued, “At a moment in American political and theological I cannot say religious – history, marred by the most deplorable outburst of religious bigotry, I welcome this opportunity to stand in this…church…to pay tribute…”
Salisbury native Frances Fisher Tiernan (who used the pen name Christian Reid) was a prolific 19th century author with forty-six published works. In 1909 she received the Laetare medal for her contributions, as a Catholic, to American life. The same year she also contributed a poem for the dedication of the Fame Confederate Monument in Salisbury. Her most remembered work today is “The Land of the Sky” a story of summer travelers in western North Carolina published in 1876.
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.