Saturday, March 31, 2012
The "Torching Of History" Story
It was an ordinary day. Just pulled over to take a photo of the Nazarene Campgrounds near North East, Maryland. Every time we travel down Rt. 272 South, towards North East, we pass the campgrounds. The Nazarene Campgrounds were built on 60 acres of land right off Rt. 272 in the early 1900s. It was a very popular location for church-affiliated summer camps, family vacations and related gatherings since that time. Rev. Pick from the local Nazerene District Council was instrumental in getting the boys and girls camp started. For years and years it flourished, primarily during the summer months. My wife would often tell me that a woman who works with her, Betty, would tell her stories about camping during the summer at the campgrounds. Every now and then we would stop to take a photo so Carol could show Betty what the campgrounds still looked like. Then a few years ago, during a summer trip to drop off my photos at Kathy's Corner store in North East, we noticed that the place looked vacant. I read in the local "Cecil Whig" newspaper that the campgrounds were having financial troubles and were for sale. Financial constraints and demands upon the Philadelphia Nazarene District to maintain a campground which featured 60 acres that had about 200 boxy white cabins along dirt roads, a large Tabernacle and the surrounding grounds must be extremely expensive. In 2006 the campground was sold to a developer, Rhine Proterties LLC. Then, in 2009, the burnings started. Since that time, six arsons have taken place. The small cabins are being torched; sometimes multiple cabins are enveloped inflames at one time. Finally, today, as we stopped to take a photo, all we saw were piles and piles of debris that are the remains of the once popular campgrounds. I'm sure Betty will be upset when she sees the photos. Another piece of history is being destroyed. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. PS - Photos from the top are Tabernacle at the Nazerene Campgrounds, cottage torched in 2009, and photo take recently of the remains of the campground.