Coastal Georgia Historical Society Archives photo of Pink Chapel on St. Simons Island
Two of the plantations that once thrived on St. Simons Island–West Point Plantation and Pike’s Bluff Plantation–were owned by two brothers.
Col. William W. Hazzard purchased West Point in 1818, while Dr. Thomas F. Hazzard acquired the nearby Pike’s Bluff tract in 1827. Like many landowners on the island’s northern end, the brothers and their families were communicants at Christ Church.
The plantation that adjoined Col. Hazzard’s land was called The Village and was owned by John Armstrong Wylly. A bitter boundary line dispute between the two landowners tragically led to Wylly being shot and killed by Hazzard in December of 1838.
Though Col. Hazzard was not convicted of the crime, the two brothers were ostracized by their neighbors. According to local historians in the 20th century, the two brothers erected a small chapel at West Point where their families and the people of their plantations could worship, rather than attend services at Christ Church in a hostile environment. Over the years, the Hazzard brothers died, their lands passed through a series of subsequent owners and the small chapel fell into ruin. It was later rebuilt, re-using much of the original materials.
Although bloodshed may have been the reason for the original construction of Hazzard’s Chapel–known now as Pink Chapel–the structure gained its name and color from the pinkish lichen that grows only in dense shade and colored the chapel’s tabby ruins. Today, Pink Chapel sits on private property in the West Point Plantation neighborhood.
The accompanying image, from the archives of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, shows an early photograph of Pink Chapel and reminds us of our island’s fascinating history.