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Monrovia Street Cemeteries

In the 1860s the Charleston neck, three miles from the Charleston City Hall and outside the city limits, developed as an industrial area for the production of fertilizer.  The Pacific Guano Company became the principle albatross guano importer in the 1860s; their factory was built south of Monrovia Street in 1867.  Other companies such as Merchants Fertilizer Company and the American Agricultural Chemical Company were located to the North, while the Ashley River and railroad provided access to the west and east.

On the north side of Monrovia Street, there is a small Church and four cemeteries. Despite its location among commercial and industrial buildings, the New Life in Christ Baptist Church and cemetery remain in use. An initial survey of the burial grounds, conducted in 2017, uncovered numerous gravestones in various states of disrepair on the land that extends west into the dense vegetation towards highway I-26; there are additional cemeteries located on the west side of I-26.

The four cemeteries on Monrovia Street have been identified from historical records as:

  • Zion Presbyterian cemetery may be associated with the Zion Presbyterian Church, which was on Calhoun Street in the 1850s. It was established as branch from the Second Presbyterian Church, built for African-Americans by two white missionaries.

  • Union Baptist (Farmers and Laborers) Cemetery

  • Wesley Methodist Cemetery

  • Heyward Cemetery, a family burial ground established by George W. Heyward, who was an African-American man that worked at a phosphate plant and purchased the land for the cemetery in the 1930s.

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