13 November 2009

Chapel in the Swamp

Cypress Gardens, Moncks Corner, S.C.

I recently visited in the home of an art student who showed me a drawing of this chapel in her sketch book. Drawn from a photograph, she had never seen the actual scene or had any idea where it was. I remember the first time I walked into Cypress Gardens and thought, "What the heck! What is a stone chapel doing in the middle of the swamp!?"

It didn't belong there, of course and it isn't there any longer. It was a fake chapel built of polystyrene, as part of the film set for The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson. One reference says it finally collapsed during a wind storm in 2006.

Cypress Gardens was also used to film the Notebook. I sat up straight in my chair when the movie screen showed the familiar black swamp full of swans. Too weird. SCIWay had this story about the swans:
The lake scene with swans was shot at Cypress Gardens. The animals weren't native to the area, so they were imported and trained 1 month prior to the shoot so they would learn to follow boats and appear on screen as the director wanted. This all had to be done around the month of January so that filming could take place when the resident alligators were hibernating.
It's a beautiful spot. I've featured pictures of the gardens in spring time, boating on the swamp, the bottle tree and the secret graveyard in the woods. All this is to say, I will be busy on Saturday but the Google Data Center is holding a Community Day and you might want to go.
November 14th Community Benefit Event Set for Cypress Gardens
Proceeds will be donated to The Supporters of Historical Cypress Gardens

The Supporters of Historical Cypress Gardens and Google, Inc. will team up to host a Community Benefit Event on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.