Phillips Community and Cainhoy Cemetery stories updated

Posted By Bill Payer on Aug 4, 2021 | 0 comments

There are new developments on two stories we’ve been following on the Cainhoy Peninsula…..efforts to get historic recognition status for the Phillips Community and the ongoing clash between a housing development and possible black graves.

The Moultrie News current edition has the Phillips story. The Charleston County Council approved the second reading of an ordinance in favor of historic designation with a final vote scheduled for the end of August.

“It’s been a long time coming for this historical district,” said Richard Habersham at the meeting. Habersham, who is a Phillips Community resident and the president of the Phillips Community Association, said the process was slowed due to the pandemic, but after two years it’s in the final stages of approval.

The third and final reading for the settlement community’s historic district designation will be at the Charleston County Council meeting on August 31.

Many Phillips Community residents are in favor of the designation to protect the historic, family-owned land for future generations. The Phillips Community dates back to 1875 when land from the Phillips Plantation was sold to freed men and women after the Civil War, according to the historic designation application. Today, the majority of the lands purchased by the freed families are owned by their heirs. The current narrow and rectangular plats still closely resemble the original map, which shows the land has been preserved since the post-Civil War era.

However, some property owners worry the historic designation might cause their property values to decrease and/or make the property difficult to sell if they decide to move.” To read the entire Moultrie News article CLICK HERE. (Non-subscribers may encounter a paywall).


Phillips Community | Mount Pleasant Historical

Historic Phillips Community Threatened

The second Cainhoy update involves the ongoing battle between a housing developer and groups who say further construction may endanger black graves. According to the Daniel Island News, ” Construction can resume on the newest phase of the Oak Bluff subdivision off Clements Ferry Road, after a new archaeology study reported no evidence of unmarked graves in an area slated for homes.    A stop work order was issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on May 5 after Charleston City Councilwoman Marie Delcioppo, Grant Mishoe of the Gullah Society and longtime community advocates MaeRe Skinner and Fred Lincoln paid a visit to the site and spotted what they thought were sunken graves on a parcel that had just been cleared by the developer. After the DHEC directive, the developer, Oak Bluff Development LLC, hired the Columbia-based Chicora Foundation Inc. to conduct an archaeological study of the site so a proper determination could be made. 

Pictured is the area directly in front of the McDowell/Old Ruins Cemetery entrance (seen at top of photo), where the developer of the Oak Bluff subdivision has cleared land to make way for its newest phase of residential construction. A recent archaeological study did not identify any evidence of unmarked burials in the path of development, outside the cemetery’s borders.

To read the entire Daniel Island News article by Elizabeth Bush CLICK HERE

And for more background on the cemetery controversy CLICK HERE

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