I am sure those at Campmeeting are glad for some cooling rain on Sunday afternoon. Back in 1906, Methodist Camp Meeting was held in October. Their Victorian clothing would have been unbearably hot for July Campmeeting. This photo was before the Brinson Railroad moved the site to the present location on south Laurel Street in Springfield. At this time the Tabernacle sat about where Springfield United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center is located between Pine and Laurel Street near the Springfield United Methodist Church. Over time Campmeeting week was moved to mid August then to mid July as school opening got earlier.
Back in the day, as in the accompanying photograph, there were no telephones, televisions and no weather warnings anywhere. For that matter no electricity existed either. Even if a hurricane came there was no way to know it was coming. Animal behavior like that of mules or horses may have been a clue that something was brewing as they often got agitated sensing a change in the barometer perhaps. Even in the 1940s a hurricane struck places in Effingham County with little to no warning causing extensive damage.
Although the power is out from a thunderstorm, with a computer battery, this column can still be written. The loss of electricity is inconvenient. We are accustomed to our electrical appliances for refrigeration, air conditioning and so much more. Our water in the country depends on the power, too.
We are indeed blessed to live in modern times but life was much simpler back then. No one locked doors or worried over their safety like today.
They worked hard and were so glad to gather to worship. People were able to spend time with others that they were only able to see once a year and everyone looked forward to this time of fellowship. It was much like a family and community reunion for many from the rural areas who seldom had the opportunity to visit. Folks from other denominations always attended Campmeeting. Some of the attendees still stay in their tents which were crude shelters back in 1906. For 225 years they have kept the faith and enjoyed the privilege to worship the Lord and be with other Christians for the duration of Campmeeting.
This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact her at 754-6681 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.