July 21-27, 2003
Campmeeting has many historic blessings
By SHIRLEY MCDONALD
The store at Loudsville Campground, August 1950. From left are Jerry Lothridge, Marvin Pardue, Mildred Lothridge, Ralph Pardue, Ray Pardue (in store), Mary Pardue Smith and Harry Lothridge. Mildred Lothridge mailed me this picture about three years ago and since I have Campmeeting on my mind, I wanted to jolt others who remember this store.
The picture was made in August 1950. Ray Pardue ran the little store. Mildred Pardue was married to Grady Lothridge and the two little boys belong to them. Ralph and Marvin were brothers, sons of Will Pardue.
Except for Ray, the others all tented together in the corner tent which at that time was next to our tent. This group also included Julian and Louise Powell and their children. They used to have such a wonderful time at Loudsville. Ralph was married to Jenny Edwards. One of the boys was named Lum Pardue. I recall my son, Craig, calling him “Lum Dum Due.”
This tent has not been occupied the last several years. Years go by and folks get older and gradually one by one leave this world. I miss the jolly greetings and music being played from the back of the old tent on the corner.
Mildred and Grady Lothridge live in Gainesville but their health is not so good now. They were not able to attend Campmeeting last year.
Each year Grady would go out of his way to compliment my brothers' singing at the Memorial Service on Sunday. Many years ago, a service to remember deceased members of the campground was started. This was the year that Tommy and Kathryn Branton lost a young son.
Margaret Bloodworth did a loving memorial, lighting candles, and telling a little history. The Black brothers, Charles, Pinkey and Bill, would sing and the Rev. Ben Nicewonger would close with prayer. This continued until Ben died. No one can forget his big booming voice.
Another good memory for me was going to the store. Where else could you hang out, talk to boys and enjoy a cola or perhaps some penny candy? Young folks might remember for the wrong reasons but I was so pleased to receive this picture. It brings back good memories for me.
Porter Glover was one of my favorite historians. It was from him that I learned that a gold miner named Philogus Loud, from Philadelphia, Pa., prospected for gold in the area in the early 1830s and Loudsville was probably named for him.
The first settlers coming into this area were Methodist. The date of the first campmeeting was not known because the first brush arbors were located in a hollow just east of the present Loudsville church.
It is believed that the first campmeeting, as we know it today, was held around 1835. The first deed was made by Francis Logan July 14, 1839, to the trustees: John C. Allen, Allison Ledford, Andrew H. Ledford, Joseph M. Powell and the Rev. John L. Richardson to the church.
The camp grew, even spreading on adjacent land. Eventually the White brothers, Will, John, Frank, Henry and Charley, deeded several acres to the Campground. Later Mrs. Ben Ledford deeded one acre in memory of Tom B. and Hulda Ledford.
In 1966, Miss Pearl Sims deeded one acre in the northeastern sector and for the first time in more than 125 years, the Campground owns all of the land that it had been using.
One arbor lasted until 1905 and then Will Pardue was in charge of renovating and rebuilding one. This lasted until 1948 when the present arbor was built.
Some older persons have said that campmeeting was held every year except one, which was during the Civil War.
There were no musical instruments in the early days. All they had was a tuning fork that sounded middle C. Then the song leader would hum up or down the scale until the desired pitch was reached. Later a reed organ came into existence and was used for years. Now a piano, as well as an electric organ, is used.
For years a trumpet made by Marion Crumley was used to remind people that it was time for a service. Jeptha A. Ledford was the trumpeter in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jim Hubbard is now in charge of the call to services.
One of my brightest memories is of the wedding of Joy Parks and Bob Head that was held under the old arbor. The decorations were outstanding and I wondered what Porter and his parents thought as they looked down from a hole in the floor of Heaven.
Have you seen the book about the Rev. Asa Dorsey’s life? It is wonderful.
Shirley McDonald of Cleveland is a regular columnist for the White County News•Telegraph.