|South Carolina Department of Archives and History|
|National Register Properties in South Carolina
Eddings Point Community Praise House, Beaufort County (S.C. Sec. Rd. 183, St. Helena Island)
The Eddings Point Community Praise House, built ca. 1900, is significant as one of four known extant praise houses on St. Helena Island. It is historically and culturally significant for its central place in the religious and social life of the black islanders; it also represents a vernacular architectural form that has survived since the antebellum era. Praise houses were first established on St. Helena plantations in the antebellum period, as slaves used small frame houses or other buildings as places to meet and worship. After they became freedmen, they built praise houses on or near the old plantation, in most instances calling their community by the name of the former plantation or plantation owner. Although the extant praise houses date from ca. 1900, their function has persisted since before emancipation and the basic architectural form has been retained. Since there were, and are, few formal church buildings on St. Helena, most islanders could only walk or ride to the main church on Sunday morning. For other community meetings or services, praise houses were built in each of the communities created by the former plantations, and services were held on Sunday, Tuesday, And Thursday nights, as well as the Watch Night Service each New Year’s. A typical service might consist of singing, prayer, perhaps a member’s testimony of a religious experience, and almost always ending with a “shout.” The Eddings Point Community Praise House is a narrow, one-story gable roofed building of frame construction with the entrance in the gable end. Listed in the National Register May 19, 1989.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of St. Helena Island, ca. 1740-ca. 1935 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.
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