Stereoscopic image of a man next to a grave stone surrounded by a fence located at St. Helena's Episcopal Church. The grave inscription reads, "Grave of Brev. Capt. James Stuart, Reg. Mounted Rifles, U.S.A. Who fell mortally wounded in battle with the Indians in Oregon. Leading his men…Victory June 17 …"
In this interview, Father Lawrence McInerny relates his family tree, starting with Michael McInerny from County Clare, Ireland, the first family member to come to Sullivan’s Island in 1840. Married to Julia Lillis, Michael McInerny bought property but had trouble retaining it. He owned a bakery that was destroyed by arson. In 1884, he died in a horse and buggy accident. His son, John Francis McInerny, was born on the island in 1842. John Francis became a brick mason and later operated a lumber business. John Francis briefly served as marshal of Moultrieville. His brother, James, died in Confederate service during the American Civil War. The hard times of Reconstruction forced John Francis to move to Brooklyn, New York, where he married. He moved back to the island in about 1875. In 1876, during the last great yellow fever epidemic, two of his children died. In 1889, he bought Centennial Hall which he renovated but sold soon after renovations were completed. John Francis died in 1914. His son, Joseph P. McInerny, was a merchant on the island and was instrumental in starting the local elementary school. Joseph’s son, Edward Reynolds McInerny, was born in 1910 and ran a successful laundry business. Reynolds, as he was called, was the Father Lawrence McInerny’s father. Father McInerny reflects on his and his family’s recollections of many aspects of island life including the presence of many more children, a significantly larger African American population, an easy-going lifestyle focused on boats and bicycles, the storms that have hit the island, prohibition, the ferries once needed to bring people to the area, and the businesses that used to dot the island. Closing on a personal note, Father McInerny talks about his summer work with the National Park Service and his call into the priesthood.