Sunday, July 15, 2012

Campground Methodist's 175th Year Do Dah!

(click on any picture to make it larger)

The Arbor

The Marietta Methodist Campground Arbor is a famous landmark of Marietta and Cobb County.  For OM's I think it even has more of home feeling than the other famous landmark The BigChicken.  See more Arbor pictures at the end.

This is the 175th Anniversary celebration of the Campground Church which is now named East Cobb Methodist.  It is a ten day celebration.  We carried my mother-in-law Marie there on Saturday.  She will soon be 92.  She grew up practically in the shadow of Arbor.  Well, she was actually born in the parsonage there August 1920.   True!

Years ago she attended the Camground annual meeting.  This year she returned to see her items she donated to the Campground HistoryMuseum, which are housed in the old schoolhouse she attended many years.

We attended the morning service.  The music was  led enthusiastically by Sheryl Smith Lassiter.  The preaching was done by Dr. Dwight "Ike" Reighard, the pastor of Piedmont Church.  He talked about Bible vs science and said the Bible claimed the earth was round long before it was popular.  As a comic relief he talked about the smell of barbecue they were cookling just feet away and  Varsity Hot Dogs, in fact he mentioned both several times. - He knew how to get an "amen" out of me.

While we were sitting in the pews listening to the energized music, a sermon, and food I studied the huge exposed rafters.  They are well over a hundred years old.  Then I noticed the little mud-huts of the dirt dobbers.  Each rafter was lined with many dirt dobber nests. It was like a little well-planned sub-division.  Humans only come around ever so often, maybe a week in the summer and an occassional wedding - but these dirt dobbers carried on daily routines - it was their city.  We humans were only visitors, soon to leave.

This is the museum on the campground grounds.  It used to be a school house called The Academy.  Marie attended school there for years.  Years later the alumni  formed an organization to meet annually and keep up with each other.  Marie was the archivist for the group.  She kept old newspaper clippings, newsletters, pictures, and other materials, which she donated to the museum about a year ago.

James Walker Gaines.
To me and other old class-mates he is Walker Gaines.  To others he is Jim Gaines.  I was in school with him since at least the 2nd grade, maybe the 1st grade too.  On Waterman Street he lived directly across the street from the East Playground of Waterman Street School.  He and his family owns a "tent"* at the Campground.    There are two that was handed down in the Gaines Family.  His household owns one and his sister Grace's family owns the other one.  When we got to the Campgrounds I asked around and found out his "Tent" number and hunted him down.  It was the first time I have seen Walker since about 1960.  Once my eyes adjusted to him and my mind calculated the age factor, I came to the conclusion that he hasn't changed a bit since the last time I saw him 52 years ago, except the hair of course, and he told me the same thing, including the hair difference.

* They are called tents because they actually used to be tents when people came from miles around.  Now, they are cabins - two story cabins with front porches, swings, and probably all the comfortss of home inside.

Walker and his wife lovely Darlene were the catalyst that brought all of Marie's archives collection of the church and the Academy to the museum.  We renewed our friendship because he saw this blog and through email converstions I told him Marie wanted to donate it to someone who would care and he knew just the right party - his church's history committee.

The Mars Hill Back Porch Pickers

The above bluegrass band entertained the people at the picnic.  We have heard them play several times at the Acworth Opry and the Red Top Mountain Bluegrass Concert.  They have a good bluegrass reputation because they are good.  In between songs when the leader introduced the members of the band, he introduced the banjo player as being from Franklin, North Carolina, which got my attention, because of family research.  Between the next few song sets I wouldn't leave him alone, pumping him with questions with who he was related to.

Thelma, Belinda, Marie, & Tammy

Rex, Angle, Drew, & Jessica

The above two pictures are some of Marie's family who attended the event also.

J. Walker Gaines and his wife Darlene.  He met her in Maine while in the service.

Darlene Gaines and Marie standing by the antique old store display case that had some of the stuff she donated.

Speaking of the Marietta Methodist Campground History Committee, here he is:  Ron Phillips.  I remember Ron and his brother Gene.  They lived on Waterman Street just down the street from Walker - in fact they they are first cousins.  A lot of the members of this Methodist church are related, cousins and once and second removed cousins, when they say welcome to our family, they mean it.

Below.  I try not to let anything go to waste.  Here are some more pictures of the much photographed Marietta Campground Arbor that I took from different angles - remember to click on each picture to get the most out of them.

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