A Gallery of Historic Camp Meetings
I’ve only visited a handful of old camp meetings – Beech Springs, Epworth, Greer Baptist Camp Meeting, Shady Grove, and Indian Springs. Greer only has a tabernacle and no camp facilities. Beech Springs has changed so much from its original plan that it doesn’t really qualify. However, Epworth, Shady Grove, and Indian Springs are of historic interest to me.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the tents were often passed down through families, and each family was responsible for keeping up their tent. Accommodations are rustic, at best.
I wanted to see how many more of these campgrounds there were, but I had to set some parameters. I excluded modern camp meetings. These included meetings held in convention-like facilities or in churches. I included Beech Springs only because of its connection to our family. I also included a handful of camp meetings that only had a tabernacle but no camping facilities, such as the Greer Camp Meeting.
With these parameters, I found nearly 120 camp meetings across the US. Most of these are east of the Mississippi, but there are a few out west. I was surprised at how many there were in Pennsylvania and New England. In a couple of these towns grew up around the camp meeting and actually subsumed and replaced the camp. I only included Ocean Grove NJ because of its historic tents and Great Auditorium. There was still an identifiable camp meeting element there.
I plotted the locations on a Google Map.
In Google Earth I captured an overhead image of many, but not all of these camp meetings. Those appear on the next pages…