A new day. Sunrise at Symmes Chapel. Locals call it Pretty Place. The open-air chapel tops Standing Stone Mountain in northern Greenville County near the North Carolina line. Not far away, Caesars Head juts o’er the land. Close by is Cleveland, South Carolina. Straight ahead? A peerless view of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and below? A 2,000-foot drop to the floor of Jones Gap valley.
Inscribed just above the cross is a line from Psalms 121:1. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills ….” Lift up your eyes to the dawning of another day on planet Earth.
Symmes Chapel, part of YMCA Camp Greenville, looks out over Jones Gap State Park. Its unbridled majesty draws photographers like hummingbirds to nectar.
The start of a new life. More than 100 couples tie the knot here each year. Fred Symmes donated far more than a chapel to the YMCA. He donated memories and grand vistas, oft described by visitors as “breathtaking,” “an indescribable feeling,” and “a perfect 10.”
US 276 will take you to Symmes Chapel. Call the camp office at 864.836.3291, Ext. 0 before visiting.
“Because we’re going to the chapel, and we’re gonna get …” —The Dixie Cups, April 1964