South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Mount Carmel A.M.E. Zion Campground, Lancaster County (Cauthen’s Crossroads vicinity)
S1081772900701 S1081772900702 S1081772900703 S1081772900704 S1081772900705
Brush Arbor Brush Arbor
Left Rear Oblique
Brush Arbor
Left Elevation
Brush Arbor
Roof Rafters
Log Cabin
S1081772900706 S1081772900707 S1081772900708 S1081772900709  
Cabins Cabins Cabins Cabins

Mount Carmel A.M.E. Zion Church and Campground is one of the earliest sites in South Carolina associated with the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Founded ca. 1866, Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Zion Church and Campground was part of the widespread growth of independent black churches that occurred in the South during the post-Civil War era. Mount Carmel A.M.E. Zion Campground consists of a complex of structures located in the general form of a rectangle. A line of approximately fifty-five small “cabins” or “tents” and a brick church lie along the outer edge of the rectangle, creating a large open area in the center. An “arbor,” or open-air structure, is located in this area. The majority of the cabins are small frame or concrete block structures with metal roofs which are still situated directly along side each other and oriented towards the center of the rectangle. On the southern side of the campground is Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Zion Church, a brick structure with a belfry and gable roof. On the northern side is the church cemetery. Although significance of the site is primarily historical and not architectural, the design of the campground and its landscape reflects its use as a setting for a collective religious experience. Mount Carmel is also among the state’s few surviving campgrounds where annual gatherings continue to be held. Additionally, the rectangular design landscape exemplifies one of the typical shapes of nineteenth century religious encampments. Listed in the National Register May 10, 1979.

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