WPA Document E79

WPA Document E79 Explanation

Since many of the epitaphs that could be read and documented in 1936 are no longer legible, this website is heavily dependent on the documentation provided in WPA Document E79.

The Works Progress Administration, later renamed the Work Projects Administration was created during The Great Depression to put unemployed, mostly unskilled, people to work. They built roads, paths, bridges, and even outhouses. And, as part of a historical records project, they documented epitaphs on grave markers including those in the St. Peter’s Catholic Church yard. We are very thankful for that 1936 snapshot of the cemetery.

The WPA work was documented in a type-written document now preserved in the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina. A look at that 1936 document is a history lesson itself. There are explanatory pages followed by 23 pages of epitaphs, the arrangement not alphabetical but apparently geographic, based on a wandering path through the graveyard. 

Screen shots of the WPA epitaphs are included with current photos of markers in Markers and Epitaphs. Thirteen of the markers documented by the WPA workers in 1936 cannot be found in the graveyard in 2020. Those are listed HERE.

Download, examine, and enjoy the entire PDF file here: 1936 WPA Epitaphs. E79