Camp Hill


August 12, 1897

 

CAMP HILL.

 

More About the Bohemian Resort and its Votaries

 

This little woodland paradise is growing more interesting day by day--as the campers grow accustomed to their surroundings and snuggle themselves more comfortably in their temporary homes.

As the days go by and we become better acquainted with our neighbors we interest ourselves with their peculiarities and amuse ourselves with their funny traits.

At the Marion camps Mr. J. F. is the first man astir in the morning, the last man abroad at night, and his cheery voice is the first sound that salute our drowsy senses, as we hug our faithful pillows in the morning.  Indefatigable in work, indefatigable in play, he is hard to beat in anything as those who venture to oppose him on the croquet ground find to their cost.  He plays each game as though his very life depended on winning.

At the Fredonia camp Mr. C. is the best fun.  His very presence is provocative of mirth--he is one of those men whose spirits are over bubling up to communicate their effervescence to others.  One such person in a camp is worth a whole regiment of duller folk.

It seems to put us all to our best to live here in this sylvan scene; our men especially put off twenty years from their age and are become as frisky and as boyish as the youngest here.  All sorts of diversions are hatched up to pass the time away, and wits are sharpened on all who give the occasion.

Miss N. N. with her guitar is so obliging as to accompany all the songs, the young folks sometimes trip the light fantastic toe to her music.  After breakfast in the morning the campers are called together and a sort of family worship is celebrated.  There are two ministers here at present and they take turns in leading these morning devotions.

On Saturday night Bro. Roberts came here and led in a prayer meeting, after which some dear, familiar hymns were sung by the musical ones among us, assisted by several of our neighbors from the outside.

One evening last week we were all called together at the Fredonia headquarters to witness a "cake walk."  Judges were appointed from the Marion crowd and several couples entered the contest.  It was amusing to see how the gate that mother Nature gave to each was travistied and distorted in the "walk."  The before mentioned Mr. C. was declared the favorite, and his walk certainly deserved a prize.  The cake was declared his; let us hope he enjoyed it as he deserved.

Hypnotism has its votaries here, and several afternoon its power has been tried upon various ones with varying success.

Our numbers were swelled by several new arrivals on Saturday evening, but some jolly fellows are forced to leave us temporarily, Business calls, with its imperative voice, and they dare not say nay.

Dr. M. of Fredonia, the first man to fully appreciate the virtues of Hill's spring, is not allowed to enjoy the healing stream in any comfort.  His patients call to him from afar, and many nights, when the camp is gradually settling down preparatory to a night's repose, one may see that good doctor, lantern in hand, traversing the grounds in quest of his horse--he has had a summons and must spend the night hours in a long ride and a waiting by the couch of pain.

There are children here of all sizes but only one genuine baby.  This place is said to be as healthful for infants as for adults.  All Hill's Spring needs to make it a popular watering place is to have it well written up in some prominent periodical--an illustrated article that will make a good impression--then advertise! advertise!! advertise!!! and the thing is done.  Springs with not one half the virtues of ours have proved a fortune to their promoters many a time.

I cannot bear to close these crude notes without making an attempt to picture the scene presented yesterday--Sunday afternoon--as the men, women and children of the different camps all came together in a huge circle and enjoyed a sing.  The ladies in their delicate summer gowns, the different hues all so beautifully harmonizing with the green of trees and grass; the men in their picturesque neglegee attire, the children in all sorts of happy-go-luck dress,--bare footed, bare legged and often bareheaded, perchased on the camp stools or stretched on the grass, the sun glinting through the leaves and lighting up the different colors in the circle.  It is useless to try to sketch the picture with the feeble pencil I wield.

Outside the main circumference, seated in buggies, carriages; wagons--seated on the fence, leaning against the trees, were numerous friends from town and from the country round, drawn hither by the magnet of numbers; we estimate that one hundred people were grouped about when the afternoon sing transpired.

I do not wonder that Bryant call the grove God's first temple.  It is out in the open that the human voice rings clear and musical and no lack of oxygen to feed the lungs cripples the volume of sound.

Off in the grove the catbird sings to its mate and calls her attention to his own superior skill in music.  To one who has the ear to listen to it, the woods is vocal with harmonious sounds, just as the colors that field, grove and plain are dressed in blend in tints that an artist fails to do justice to unless long years of practice have given his hand the true cunning.  It is useless to prolong this description; it will be long ere we campers forget Sunday, August the eighth.

L. A. R.

 

Source:  Crittenden Press. (Marion, Ky.) 1879-1907, August 12, 1897, Image 4 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.

 

[My comments are in brackets.]