Saturday, August 6, 2016

Camp Meetings in Boothwyn 120 years ago, Twin Oaks and Beulah!!


A rare picture of the Twin Oaks Camp in Boothwyn from my collection


NOTE; 120 years ago summer camp meetings were the thing. Besides Chester Heights there were several others. The two below started almost back to back. Read the articles and get an idea of living in a tent at four dollars a week was like.

August 22, 1895 – CHESTER TIMES
            NEW CAMP GROUNDS 
Boothwyn Will be Selected and Camp Meetings Held There – Thirty Acres Will Be Bought – Local Preachers of Philadelphia, Wilmington and Delaware County Interested in the Movement Which is About to be Consummated
            The movement which has been on foot among the local preachers of Wilmington, Philadelphia and Delaware County, to establish at Boothwyn a camp meeting grounds, is about being consummated.  There have been two meetings of those interested, the last one having taken place on Saturday last, when a good representation went over the ground with Superintendent McCartney.
            The company has decided to purchase thirty acres of ground and it is proposed in the future to sell lots and erect cottages thereon.  A series of meetings have already been arranged to take place in the beautifully shaded woods, south of the Chichester Road, which is within easy access of the station on the B & O Railroad.
            On September 18, a grand temperance rally will be held followed on the 19th and 21st respectively, by a Christian Endeavor and Epworth League meeting.  On the 20th and 22nd, the day will be set apart exclusively for focal preachers.  A meeting will be held in the near future at which the local preachers from all points are invited to be present. 
The services will be held in the main Tabernacle in the center of the grove and benches are arranged in a semi-circle.  The dwelling tents are arranged in a circle with two avenues for entrance.  Large oak trees keep the circle comfortable and shady in the warm weather.
The Heavenly Recruits’ Camp Meeting will commence this evening at 8 o’clock in the Thorpe Woods, at Twin Oaks.  Presiding Elder L. F. Haas, of Philadelphia, will be in charge.  There will be several appropriate and short addresses, and some excellent singing.  During the ten days’ session of the camp, the following ministers, with several laymen, will take part:  Rev. L. F. Haas, Philadelphia; Rev. J. Trumbauer, Philadelphia; Rev. E. L. Hyde, Chester; Rev. C. W. Ruth, Indianapolis; Rev. H. M. Tengle, Auburn, Pa.; Rev. W. P. Jones, Conshohocken; Rev. J. Redgreaves, Wilmington; Rev. C. Brown, Freeland, Pa.;  Rev. T. J. J. Wright, Reading, Pa.; Rev. Moses Weber, Ontario,, Canada; Rev. Lewis Matson, Norristown; with a few other ministers and laymen from other denominations.
                The large auditorium tent has a seating capacity for 5,000 people, and as the weather is so beautiful, and the Recruits are noted for their earnest speaking and hearty congregational singing, there will doubtless be a very enthusiastic and soul-stirring time.  After this evening seven services will be held each day at the following hours:   6 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.  For the evening service the 7:03 train from Chester, on the B. & O. R. R., will be found very convenient, and the 10:17 train for return.

   The prices for board are:  $4 per week; 75 cents per day; dinner, 35 cents; breakfast or supper, 25 cents.
   The B and O Railroad Company will sell return tickets, good for the entire season, and has also kindly consented to convey camp equipage free of charge.
   The woods are in splendid order, and the favorite well of water is also in good shape.
   The Chester Times, as usual will be served on the grounds, and will contain daily accounts of the proceedings.
                The camp woods are pleasantly situated about a quarter of a mile from Twin Oaks station, and immediately adjoining the school house.  There is an excellent well of water and a new pump, and cold water is guaranteed to all, but if the supply runs short, J. C. Thorpe’s spring house will be called on.
            The restaurant and store will be conducted by Adam Summers and William Riley and they will receive the provisions from Chester.  No privileges will be granted to outsiders to sell their wares on the grounds, and ice cream, soda water, soft drinks, tobacco, and other articles of this kind are tabooed.  Nothing but the necessities of life will be offered for sale.


June 29, 1896 – CHESTER TIMES

            PRETTY BEULAH PARK – The New Religious Resort Opened on Saturday – Very Impressive Ceremonies – A Glorious Time in the Woodsy Boothwyn – Excellent Speeches by Able Speakers and a Vigorous Song Service Conducted in a Shady Nook
            Beulah Park at Boothwyn, the new religious resort, was formally opened and dedicated on Saturday for divine worship.  At ten o’clock the Sabbath schools of Mt. Zion Church, this city, made their appearance and soon the beautiful grove began to resound with the voices of the delighted visitors.  Games of various kinds, singing of hymns, social chats and the expressions of joy on all faces indicated the pleasure of the occasion.
            At 3:30 o’clock Rev. B. F. Campbell called the people together under a large, shaded spot and opened the religious exercises by conducting a vigorous song service of fifteen minutes duration.
            The program for the dedicatory exercises was completed and the preliminaries rendered as follows:  Invocation, Rev. W.H. Aspril; hymn, “Coronation;” Psalm 68, Rev. T. M. Griffith, D.D.; dedicatory prayer, Rev. J. W. Miles; hymn, “A Charge to Keep I Have;”  Remarks, Rev. B. F. Campbell.  Rev. Dr. Griffith, pastor of the South Chester M. E. Church was the first speaker, who delivered an eloquent address on the thought of the occasion.
            “One of the most beautiful things on the face of the earth is a grove and the trees with their leaves clapping for hoy is a fine type of a man possessing God.”
            “Earth is only an outlying country, our home is heaven, and when we get there we will be very much like angels.”  “There are three things for which we ought to be thankful.”  1.  Where we are.  2.  When we are.  3.  What we are.  Mr. Griffith broadened his thought under these three headings and closed with some illustrations.
            Rev. W. H. Aspril, pastor of Upland M. E. Church, followed in a neat address.  Rev. J. W. Miles, pastor of Wallingford M. E. Church, Rev. C. W. Langley of Sloam M. E. Church, and Rev. Hiram McVey of Trainer M. E. Church, all delivered telling addresses and wished the camp meeting great success and a harvest of souls.  Rev. B. F. Campbell made a few announcements, the doxology was sung and Rev. T. M. Griffith, D. D. pronounced the benediction.  The outlook for the camp meetings from July 11-19 is very promising.


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