Moving Star Hall

National Register Listing
Street Address:
River Rd., John's Island, SC (Charleston County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
S10817710118
Description and Narrative:
Moving Star Hall, built ca. 1917, is significant as the only remaining praise house of the South Carolina Sea Islands that has been identified. It functioned as the meeting place of the Moving Star Young Association, a religious, social, fraternal, and charitable community institution, and is significant for its role in preserving black music and religious and social/humanitarian traditions. Largely supplanted by churches after emancipation, the praise house represented a survival of a purely plantation institution into the early twentieth century. The praise house functioned as a community meeting hall, place of religious worship, center for spreading news, and face-to-face gathering place to promote community solidarity. The crudely built, one-story, rectangular, frame, weatherboarded building is set on low concrete block pillars and has a metal-covered gable roof. The façade has a hip-roofed porch, which originally had four wooden post supports and a plank floor. The posts have been replaced by two modern wrought iron uprights set at each forward corner. At the time the praise house was built, Johns Island was geographically isolated from the mainland. Until the mid-1970s, Moving Star Hall housed a “tend-the-sick” and burial society, a secret fraternal order, and a community of worship. One outbuilding, a privy, is located to the rear. Listed in the National Register June 17, 1982.
Period of Significance:
circa 1917;20th century
Level of Significance:
State
Area of Significance:
Social History;Ethnic Heritage: Black;Performing Arts;Religion
National Register Determination:
listed
Date of Certification:
June 17 1982