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Fleming Island History – Margaret’s Chapel

Margaret's Chapel on Fleming Island FloridaIt was one of her life’s dreams and today it is an important part of Fleming Island history. Margaret Seton Fleming wanted very much to build a church at her plantation on the banks of the St. Johns River on Fleming Island Florida. That dream was thwarted by life’s events, including the burning of the family home, the death of her husband and the Civil War. Finally, in 1875, construction began on Margaret’s Chapel.

Sadly, the first service held in the new chapel on the grounds of Hibernia Plantation was Margaret’s funeral, but her dream was realized and today Margaret’s chapel still stands under the ancient mossy oaks down a sandy road at the southeastern end of Fleming Island. Margaret and Lewis are buried close by. Lewis’ father, George, is the oldest grave in the cemetery.

The Carpenter Gothic Church is one of five oldest wooden church buildings still in use in the state of Florida. St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery are on the National Register of Historic Places. Margaret’s Chapel is still used for the 8:00am service each Sunday.

Margaret's Chapel on Fleming Island FloridaMargaret's Chapel on Fleming Island Florida

A stirring tale of Margaret’s life is told by Eugenia Price in Margaret’s Story. Lewis Fleming was a widower and Margaret married him and became mother to his two children. Margaret and Lewis’ son, Francis P. Fleming, became the fifteenth Governor of Florida. Their son, Charles Seton Fleming, died in the Civil War.

If you drive down to Old Church Road, you can enjoy the peaceful setting that the Flemings enjoyed – in between Indian uprisings, wars, and fires. Margaret’s son, Francis, became the fifteenth Governor of Florida. The Fleming family still owned land on Fleming Island into the 20th Century. One of the last riverfront parcels owned by a direct descendant was sold to a family we know in the 1980s.

Old Church Road on Fleming IslandSt. Margaret's Episcopal Church on Fleming Island

If you are looking for a home in the lovely Fleming Island area, please call or text us at 904-673-2308. You may also email us at


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