In 2016 the Gullah Society was approached by Stephen J. Zoukis, Founder and CEO of Raven Cliff Co., LLC, about a property that they are developing at 1505 King Street. The development has been named PACIFIC BOX & CRATE and will house software company Boomtown, a food court and other clients and retailers. The name 'Pacific Box and Crate' is derived from the businesses that were once located on the property. These were the Pacific Guano Company (1869-1889) and the pack and ship company, Dixie Box and Crate (1997-2005).
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 on this site 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. The business prospered for twenty years; by 1879 it was producing 36,000 tons of fertilizer (Woods Hole Historical Collection). In 1889 the company declared bankruptcy.
At the end of Monrovia Street, adjacent to the Pacific Box and Crate property, 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. In order to mitigate the changes that will occur in the area as a result of the Pacific Box and Crate development, Stephen Zoukis is working with the Gullah Society to support the maintenance and preservation of these historic cemeteries. An initial survey, 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 who possessed relatively reformed racial attitudes for the time (Pickett 2010: 92)
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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The Gullah Society P.O. Box 2187 Mount Pleasant, SC 29465