Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Shady Grove Camp Ground

Marker ID: SCHM 18-15
Location: off U.S. Hwy. 178 S, just SE of the Orangeburg/Dorchester Co. line
County: Dorchester
Coordinates: N 33° 16.594    W 080° 35.769
  33.27656666    -80.59615
Style: Free Standing **


This camp ground, established about 1870, is the largest of 4 Methodist camp grounds in Dorchester County. Tradition holds that Ceasar Wolfe and a group of former slaves, caught in a storm, stopped in a grove here for shelter. Rice planter S.M. Knight asked them to help harvest his fields, and after they did so he gave them this spot as a place of worship. They named it Shady Grove.

The group first met under a brush arbor but later built “tents,” the rough-hewn cabins typical of church camp grounds. The first tents burned in 1958 and were replaced; fires also occurred in 1969 and 1976. The “tabernacle” here is the centrally-located shelter where services are in session ending the fourth Sunday in October. A trumpet call on a ceremonial horn opens the meeting.

Erected by the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society, 2010