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Cattle Creek Campground, South Carolina


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Our grandtwins Marley and Heeley this week are out at the Cattle Creek Camp Grounds. Clifton's family owns one of the many camp tents out there. I am sure that you have attended one of the few remaining Church Camp Grounds which were very popular in the South beginning over a hundred and fifty years ago.
There is a family story which has been passed down to Mazie over the years. The Johnsons were very found of attending the many Church Camp sites around what we now call the Mid-lands and Coastal areas of the Palmetto State. There are still two that I know of near Branchville. One is the Cattle Creek Camp which is between Branchville and Bowman. I heard on the news this month
    that there is one which blacks have been attending for over a century elsewhere in South Carolina.
It is my understanding that the settlement which Denmark residents call the Country Club which is located on the South Edisto River
 near the old Binnickers Bridge (now known as the Judge Ness Bridge) began as a Methodist Church Camp Ground. Then it gradually lost its appeal to the Methodist folks as a place for weeks long religious retreats and it evolved into a place of escape during Bamberg County's very hot summer months for residents in Denmark before the advent of modern air-conditioning.
It has been told to Mazie over the years that both her Grandfather Lawrence Semme Johnson and his brother Johnny Johnson greatly enjoyed these Church Camp Meetings and were known to travel most anywhere in the state for such gatherings. I am sure that they would take their families to the ones nearby, but would travel in their
buggies or wagons alone to the far reaches of South Carolina.
And it further is told that Grandpa Semme was the brother who attended the most of these old-time religion meetings over a greater number of years. Mazie's Grandpa Johnson was also the Johnson brother who passed on his love of the outdoors to his greater family. Not only his sons, but those of Johnny's depended on learning the great Southern sports of hunting and fishing and exploring the wonderful Southland's outdoor wonders.
Carlisle, Nook, Bud, and other Johnson boys would frequently visit with their Uncle Semme to join in with the many hunts and fishing trips on the South Edisto, because their father Johnny was the more studious of the two -- he loved his reading and the more indoor activities of a scholar.
The fishing stories of Odell and Mary which have been told in the Johnson Family Newsletter are evidence of the love of the outdoors which was passed down to the family from Grandpa Semme.
And to some degree, Marley and Heeley are now enjoying the pleasures of the old-time religion at the old camp grounds which their greatgreatgranddaddy Semme experienced for so many years over a hundred years ago at Cattle Creek Camp Grounds.
These tents still have dirt floors where fresh hay straw is spread for the week or so each year. They are two-story structures which resemble small barns for animals on Southern farms more than they look like a typical tent. I suppose those first camp grounds over a hundred years ago started out with a form of a canvas tent, but I am not sure of that being the reason for the still used name of tent for the structure.
Marley and Heeley also inherited their love of the camp ground week at Cattle Creek from their Ott family. Their father Clifton always sets up the facilities at the Ott Tent the weekend prior to the meeting by taking the refridgerator, and bedding, and other items out there.
The Cattle Creek Camp Grounds has begun in recent years to use electricity and indoor plumbing which was not available in the good old days, but down at Indian Fields Camp Ground nearby, they still forbid electricity and indoor plumbing.
The brothers Semme and Johnny Johnson didn't have a choice during their times of enjoying the spiritualy gatherings at the old Church Camp grounds.
The hot days were spent, as they still are, by sitting on the front of the first floor which is called the tent porch. Since the tents a arranged in a complete circle which inclose a large tabernacle in the center. It was a time to fellowship and visit with neighbors and with those who had moved away from the area, but who would always be sure to return home on that special week each year.
The call to worship each evening was made by the sounding of an instrument called a horn. It still is used at Cattle Creek and Indian Fields, and probably most continuing Church Camp Grounds in this part of the Old South. It is a very long horn similar to those which we saw in our old geography books of shepherds in the Swiss Alps. They are the appropriate musical instruments to call God's herd into a place of shelter to feast upon His Holy Word.
By Marley & Heeley's granddaddy --
Eddie Hightower of Branchville,SC Says Eddie Hightower


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Other campgrounds near Cattle Creek Campground, South Carolina:

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   Comfort Inn, St George, 13 miles away
   St. George RV Park, St. George, 13 miles away
   Stumphole Landing, Elloree, 17 miles away
   Colleton State Park, Canadys, 18 miles away
   Shuman's, Canadys, 18 miles away
   Santee State Park, Santee, 18 miles away
   Jolly Acres Camp and Storage, Saint George, 18 miles away

Public Lands near Cattle Creek Campground, South Carolina:

   Congaree Swamp National Monument, Hopkins - SC, 36 miles away
   Colleton State Park, South Carolina, 18 miles away

   Santee State Park, South Carolina, 22 miles away

   Givhans Ferry State Park, South Carolina, 31 miles away

   Poinsett State Park, South Carolina, 32 miles away

   Barnwell State Park, South Carolina, 38 miles away

Golf Courses Near Cattle Creek Campground, South Carolina:

   Hillcrest Golf Course, Orangeburg, 13 miles away

   City Of Orangeburg, Orangeburg, 13 miles away

   Calhoun Country Club, Cameron, 15 miles away

   Country Club Of Orangeburg, Orangeburg, 15 miles away

   St George Country Club, Saint George, 16 miles away

Current weather conditions and forecast for Cattle Creek Campground, South Carolina
Local climate location: ORANGEBURG 16 miles away

Outdoors Recreation Near Orangeburg, South Carolina
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