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.