Henry Timrod, 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: Rear view | View of memorials at "Westminster Abbey of the South"
Front: HENRY TIMROD / BORN IN CHARLESTON, S.C. / DECEMBER 8, 1829 / DIED IN COLUMBIA,
S.C. / OCTOBER 7, 1867 / LAUREATE OF THE CONFEDERACY
BEFORE THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES / HE TAUGHT SCHOOL AT “THE MEADOWS,” / THE SUMMER HOME OF DANIEL BLAKE / OF CHARLESTON, S.C., NEAR THIS CHURCH
“MY COUNTRY! AND IT SHALL NOT END / AS LONG AS RAIN SHALL FALL AND HEAVEN BEND / IN BLUE ABOVE THEE;” / TIMROD
Rear: ERECTED 1930 / BY THE / UNITED DAUGHTERS / OF THE CONFEDERACY / SOUTH CAROLINA DIVISION
Calvary Episcopal Church
August 17, 1930
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
Moore, Rayburn S. “Biography. Henry Timrod,” The Poetry Foundation, http://www.poetryfoundation.org, (accessed June 10, 2016) Link
Parnam, Eunice Brown. “Memorial To Henry Timrod,” Confederate Veteran 37 (1930), p. 422, (accessed June 7, 2016) Link
Timrod, Henry. “The Poems of Henry Timrod,” from Documenting the American South, docsouth.unc.edu, (accessed June 7, 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
“Fletcher Markers,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed May 25, 2016) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, South Carolina Division
1500 people were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony. The marker was draped with a Confederate battle flag while the United States flag flew above. The ceremony which began inside the church was presided over by Rev. Clarence S. McClellan with Henry T. Thompson, son of South Carolina Governor Hugh Thompson, giving an address on Henry Timrod. After the indoor ceremony a processional led by national, South Carolina state and Confederate flags made its way to the memorial where it was unveiled by three children; Elizabeth Metts, Cornelia Greer Walker and France McIver Gapen. Music was a big part of the indoor and outdoor parts of the ceremony and airplanes dropped rose petals as wreaths were laid and “Taps” played to finish the event.
Prior to the Civil War, Timrod’s writing was limited to only one published book of poetry. The political activities and impact of war seem to have aroused his poetic imagination and he quickly became the literary spokesman for the south. Although an unofficial title, he is known as the poet laureate of the Confederacy.
Despite his association with the Confederacy, Henry Timrod’s name is not well known today. Yet he is tied to a controversy that arose regarding one of the most recognizable names in 20th century pop culture. It seems that Bob Dylan relied heavily on the works of Timrod for song lyrics included in his 1995 “Modern Times” album.
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.