14 January 2013

St. Paul Camp Ground

St. Paul Campground, Harleyville, S.C.
I recently posted a photo from Indian Fields Methodist Campground on Facebook that sparked a discussion bringing to my attention that there were other camp meeting grounds that I was unaware of. Just when I think I've almost explored it all, bingo! I tracked down two more. This evening's feature is the St. Paul Campground not far from Harleyville.  
St. Paul Camp Ground is an excellent example of a Methodist camp meeting ground. It contains the buildings common to such properties in South Carolina: a tabernacle, tents, stores, and privies. However, this campground, believed to have been established ca. 1880, was organized by African-Americans belonging to St. Paul A.M.E. Church. The buildings and grounds are used for one week each year (at St. Paul, the week ending the third Sunday in October). The tabernacle is a one-story building clad in rough-sawn weatherboard, with a gable-on-hip roof of V-crimped metal. There are no windows; two entryways, without doors, are evenly spaced at each side. There are 54 tents, two stores, and a storage house on the numbered sites at St. Paul Camp Ground.





16 comments:

  1. I loved that video. And the guy who was puzzled why "people aren't as good Christians as they used to be." I know what he meant by that, but history would show that they're pretty much the same, really.

    Don't know about you, but I could smell the food in that kitchen. I know exactly what it smelled like. My grandmother's kitchen. Earthy beans and fatty meats and collard greens and biscuits.

    A camp like that, they want to save your soul and feed you soul food. Not bad, not bad at all.

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    1. Eating and fellowship appears to be an important part of these camps. Not bad at all, indeed.

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  2. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Faith, food, fun and fellowship! A wonderful combination! If you ever get the opportunity to go when they're meeting you should try it.

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  3. Interesting! I didn't know these campgrounds existed.

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    1. There are more than you think. The ones up north are fancier and often got sold individually. The ones in the south are rustic and natural.

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  4. WHAT A COOL PLACE! It's like stepping back in time! Thanks for sharing Joan!

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    1. You are welcome. It was a fun treasure hunt. I have one more to find.

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  5. That is so cool! Loved the video, too.

    Still, when I saw the kitchen, and the smoke pouring out of the stove pipes, and then imagined how old and dry the wood buildings must be and how close together they were, I would fear that an errant spark could create a disaster.

    S

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    1. That has been a real problem. A couple years ago there was an arson issue. They are only really used once a year but they had a couple of fires.

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  6. This place looks like Shillong....Joan

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  7. Very interesting post, Joan. And the food looks good too.

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    1. There does seem to be some impressive cooking going on!

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  8. Love to see the continuity of generations...what richness in honoring the history plus enjoying the present!

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