The tabernacle of a United Methodist revival campground dating to 1790s. Yearly revivals are still held here. I was not aware of how many are still active after 200 – 300 years in the southern US. This is the second campground we have photographed.
Indian Field Campground, in South Carolina, is a camp meeting site. The design is based on an octagon of 99 tents (wooden) surrounding an open air tabernacle. This layout is based on a description in Leviticus, the old testament bible. (click to view tabernacle article)
Walking towards the tabernacle in the center you get a feeling of how large this really is.
Above is taken from outside the octagon, the back of the tents. Here are open air kitchens and sitting areas.
Tents are close together. Again, the back area here. Community interaction is an important part of this once a year gathering.
A circular road runs around the campground. The far side has the all important ‘private privy’
The tents vary in size. The single-story preacher’s cabin is larger and taller than the other cabins. It has a four-panel door flanked by two-over-two light windows.
This camp, the newer one, was built in 1848. The convenience of a wagon (now small car) trail is spaced around the octagon. The first Indian Field Campground was held on a farm in the late 18th century. It was probably located near the first church building. 1801 was the first camp, one has been held every year since.
I had seen other photographers work of this location, I was not prepared for what I found. Mine will probably fall short of it’s simple grandeur.
Religious camp meetings are the ‘ole time revival’ tent meetings. Only a permanent location. The first camp meeting here was held nearby in Indians Fields, 1801. This campground was built and first used in 1848. Since then it has held camp a week out of every year (it was shorter during the civil war, people were busy).
The tabernacle is a wooden pavilion (new roof) that seats 1,000 people, in the center of an octagon. It is surrounded by 99 wooden ‘tents’. The camp design and layout follows the old testament book of Leviticus, ’99 wood tents and a tabernacle’.
The campground was placed on the US National Register Of Historic Places in 1973.
The grounds are in a very rural location. A circular dirt road winds around the camp. If you look at these photographs (and more to come) you will see everything is open, no walls, high rafter ceilings. The floors are straw / dirt.
Now… there was not a single birds nest, spider web, dust, or any type of animal to be seen. This is in the woods. The local Methodist church must clean and maintain every building, constantly.
I’m not sure how big the overall camp is, but huge works for me.