You don’t have to spend much time around here to figure out I have an interest in history. People don’t change much, do they? We complain about the salaciousness of today’s news media, but our third President, Thomas Jefferson, actually purchased entire news outlets to spew venom at his political enemies, all hidden behind the quills of reporters who repackaged his words as their own.

Whenever I visit Pon Pon Chapel of Ease, I feel closer to our flawed Founders. John Wesley‘s fiery sermons echo between the bricks, though the place was wood when he preached a revival there in 1737. During the Revolutionary War, British General Banastre Tarleton chased Rebel General Francis Marion through the swamps around the place. President George Washington saw Pon Pon on his 1791 Southern tour, a grand march through bugs and vermin.

I timed my Independence Weekend Pon Pon visit to bask in soupy heat. To run through walls of no-see-ums. To encounter a snake or several. I wanted to experience the place as our Forebears knew it.

Instead, I found mown grass and quiet. A few beer cans. Whispered memories woven through a place of perfect peace.


Pon Pon Chapel of Ease is located in Colleton County, South Carolina, near Jacksonboro on Parkers Ferry Road. It is open from daylight to dusk. Though the gate is almost always closed, a person can slip between gate and fence to gain admission.

To view photos from Pon Pon  Chapel of Ease, click here: Andra Watkins Tumblr

What’s your favorite historical site, Dear Reader? Why do you like it?


rotary logoA busy week of events in Cootchie-Land. On Wednesday, I’m speaking at the Lake Murray-Irmo Rotary Club, followed Thursday morning with an appearance at the Rotary Club of Chapin-Sunrise. If you’re in the Columbia, South Carolina area, you can get your Cootchie on by visiting either club. Learn about Rotary, and meet the Cootchie herself. Appearance times and directions are included in my Event Calendar to your right.

I love to yammer on in public, and I’m told I put on a good show. If you need a speaker for an event (and I don’t care where you are), contact me at readme(at)andrawatkins(dot)com. I have talks suitable for high school and college history classes, Boy and Girl Scout groups, outdoor adventure groups, history clubs, retirement communities, service clubs and more.

Oh, and did I mention that I LOVE to talk in public??

The book that started all this continues to garner rave reviews from people I don’t know (including an upcoming BIG endorsement….stay tuned.) If you’ve taken time to write a review on Amazon and Goodreads, THANK YOU. If you’ve been meaning to do it, you can rate/review the book by following the Amazon Kindle link below. To get your very own copy of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewisfollow the links and get reading!

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