Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blackford Church and Camp Meetings

Blackford Church and Camp Grounds. The dining hall and sleeping quarters on the right with the front porch, and the next small building was one of the sleeping cabins.

Blackford Church and Camp grounds are located in the northern part of Crittenden County, near the Tradewater River. A railroad bridge connected this area in Crittenden to the little town of Blackford in Webster Co.

These camp meetings started in the mid 1920's. Although not as famous as the Piney Fork and Hurricane Camp meetings, it was still a big event and people would come for miles around and from many far away states such as Oklahoma. Texas, Georgia, Kansas.

The campground consisted of the church, a two-story dining hall, a large open-air shed and in later years, two two-room cabins were built. The dining hall had two long wooden tables, but this was still not enough to seat everyone at one time, so there were two setting to feed everyone.

The upper floor of the dining hall was more sleeping quarters. Fresh straw was available for sleeping on.

The old wooden shed was made of wood. The sides were open and roof was made out of wood, and was covered with rolled roofing. The old shed had deteriorated so bad that it had fallen down in the early 1950's, and the revivals were held in the church building. The week long camp meetings ended in August of 1953, but yearly revivals were still held in the church building.

This area has now been turned in to the Veteran's Memorial Walk, by Dan Witherspoon, and the church is being renovated into a Museum and Welcome Center.

The Genealogy Society plans to go here this coming Saturday on a field trip. I'll share the story of the Memorial Walk and pictures in a future entry.

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