19 August 2015

Cypress Methodist Camp Ground

Cypress Methodist Campground, Ridgeville, SC  
I've brought you here before and probably will again. The rustic wooden "tent cabins" circle the meeting structure in the center. Every time I have been here or to one of the other camp meeting grounds it has been completely peaceful.  I can't even imagine what it must be like during camp week with good food being shared and hymns sung.

Cypress Methodist Camp Ground is one of only a few campgrounds in South Carolina which, up until the time of its nomination, continues to host annual week-long camp meetings—a vestige of the Great Awakening in American religious life in the nineteenth century. Cypress is significant for its association with Francis Asbury, pioneer of American Methodism, and for its long, uninterrupted use as a site of revivalism for almost 200 years. The campground is in the general shape of a rectangle of 34 tents, or cabins, made of rough-hewn lumber. These cabins, rectangular shaped, are generally 1½ stories and contain earthen floors. The typical floor plan features a hall extending the length of the cabin with as many as three rooms on the opposite side. The second story is accessible by a small stairway or ladder. In the center of the rectangle is the tabernacle, an open-sided wooden structure that is the focal point of these revival meetings. Serving crowds too large for church buildings or homes, the campground responded to both religious and social needs. The tents allowed people to stay overnight, and the campground term remained even though tents were gradually replaced by the current rough-hewn cabins. Cypress Camp Ground was functional as early as 1794, and an adjacent cemetery contains graves from the early 1800s. Listed in the National Register April 26, 1978.


Jack said...

These camp meetings are the kinds of things we read about, but I can't imagine what they are really like. You must go and inform your public.

William Kendall said...

I'd be fascinated by this sort of place. I took a course in university on the history of religion in America, so the Great Awakening was a big part of that.