Several weeks ago I wrote about the prevalence of Biblical place names in South Carolina. One of the place names that keep popping up was “Shiloh.” It’s probably best known as a Civil War battleground in Tennessee. One of my favorite photographic subjects is the old Shiloh School in Anderson County, seen below:
Today, I had a chance to visit Shiloh Methodist Church just outside of Inman, South Carolina. Built sometime in the mid-1700’s (the date varies, according to which source your read), the church fell out of use in the early 1900’s. The white frame building remains, along with its historic cemetery.
I first became aware of Shiloh Methodist through one of my Flickr friends, Tim Linder. Tim had taken a photo of the church’s cemetery, along with its incongruous outhouse, and had entitled it “Eternal Rest Stop.” That photo is below:
I just knew I had to find the place.
I had visited here before and taken several shots. With the slanting afternoon sun and brisk air of early fall, I was itching to get out and take some photos. Shiloh wasn’t too far away from the office, so instead of heading toward Greenville I headed toward Inman.
The main road into Inman was closed due to a traffic accident, so I found myself approaching the church from a different direction. The first thing I spotted was the arched entryway to the church. At first glance this appears to be the main entryway, as it leads to the front of the church. However, visitors are re-directed to another entrance down the road.
The main entrance is a little deceiving. A dirt road leads past a small warehouse to a gate, beyond which lies the church. I pulled up to and parked at the gate, then walked around it to get to the church.
All of the doors and windows were shuttered when I arrived. I would have loved to see the interior.
The cemetery is an odd mix of old and modern stones. The latest is dated 2004. Even though the church itself fell out of use in the early 1900’s, the cemetery is still in use as an active burying ground. At the entrance to the church was a sign advertising plots, being offered by some non-profit organization. In a way, I’m glad to see that the graveyard is still in use, as long as the history can be preserved.
Of course, who could forget the amenities? Here’s the one that drew me to the location in the first place.
When you gotta go, you gotta go.