Those who attended the early camp meetings have precious memories of times on the “old campground.” A veteran minister, Norman Allen, whose parents were baptized in 1918, spoke of his recollections of the first meetings on the Duke Street grounds. “During camp meeting, we lived on the campground for seven weeks during the summer months. Those who rented homes during the year would store their belongings with friends and give up their homes, saving a couple of months’ rent. In our tent we had a wood cook stove that Mother cooked on. It also kept us warm on rainy days. Children had to play by their own tents, and weren’t allowed to run about. The wash tent was a busy place—no automatic washers in those days! Mother taught my brother and me how to embroider to keep us quiet.
Those who attended the early camp meetings have precious memories of times on the “old campground.”
“There was a very good store, located where the shower rooms are now. We could buy staples such as eggs, bread, and milk. The store also had an excellent meat market. Some campers used ice chests to preserve their food. A man would drive through the grounds selling ice. Children would follow him around and get ice chips whenever he had to cut a block to size.
“In the tabernacle there were benches, sawdust chips in the congregation area, and straw around the altars. Teachings were at 2:30 in the afternoon, and lasted for two hours, with the majority of the time given to the teaching itself. Children’s meetings were held in the children’s tabernacle [now a maintenance facility] in the mornings.”
Among Reverend Allen’s memories were the duties to be completed every evening after the services. He would help pick up the songbooks and “roll” the benches back so the sawdust could be evened out and sprinkled with water to control the dust before the meetings on the following day.