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Old 03-27-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
mcdude
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Talking Alton Bay Camp Meeting Grounds


ALTON BAY CAMP MEETING GROUNDS
1863-2005
PREFACE
Like myself, I'd guess many of you have driven by the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center and don't have much of a clue what this place is all about or of its' rich history. I actually drive through the campground to get to my camp up over the mountain. After picking up a few postcards of the campground, my curiosity was piqued so I enlisted the aid of our photopost friend, JacksonB, since I knew his family had ties to the campground. Despite having a full plate, JacksonB has been busy scanning and uploading photos from his photo albums so this is truly a collaborative effort. (Thanks JacksonB!) Most of the postcards are from the divided back era so they are dated 1907-1914. I'm guessing most of JacksonB's photos are from the 20s and 30s. Rather than note which image belongs to whom I will post a link to our respective galleries at the end of the thread so that you may see the photos individually and use photopost's wonderful enlargement feature. There aren't too many images available from 1863-1907 so the text will be accompanied with images of various buildings in the campground complex.

ORIGINS OF THE CAMP MEETINGS




Rand Hill Road Entrance - A now and then photo - top photo is 1946 while bottom photo was taken in February 2005.








Click here to SUPER-SIZE this map.



Old Stereoview photo of the Alton Campmeeting Grounds.

Last edited by mcdude; 04-07-2006 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:36 AM   #2
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OFFICIALS and SERVICES



Farmer's Market

The Campground Store

The Campground Store

The Boarding House

The Boarding House

The Square with Boarding House

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Old 03-27-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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The OLD PUMP

The Famous Fump


Meeting at the Pump













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Old 03-27-2005, 10:38 AM   #4
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Campground Police

Campground Policeman at Alton Bay




Attentive audience listens to the preacher. Carl Magoon with daughter, Frances, in lower right.

Campground Preachers

Ministers and Wives

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Old 03-27-2005, 10:38 AM   #5
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The ADVENT GROVE

"Annual camp meetings have been held at the Conference Center since 1863. The years with the highest attendance were between 1866 and 1880. In 1872, an estimated 35,000 people attended the Sunday services; five concurrent services were held. That year, 4,000 came by the Lady of the Lake and Mt. Washington, 6,500 came by train and 11,015 teams of horses brought the rest. The camp meetings greatly supported the railroad" - JacksonB





Thousands of people attended the annual campmeetings. Many arrived by train or various steamships including the Mt. Washington.
The TABERNACLE


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Old 03-27-2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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The GREAT CAMPGROUND FIRE of 1945





Click here to SUPER-SIZE this text (for easier reading)




The CAMPGROUND TODAY



This is one of the new chapels built after the great fire.


More buildings erected since the great fire.

Today the "campground" is known as the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center and is a prosperous faith community. Here is a link to the web page.
REFERENCES and ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thanks to JacksonB

"The History of Good Old Alton Bay" - Compiled and written by Paul Blanchard for the Advent Christian Publication Society - 1946 - Much of the scanned text and some photos from this brochure.

"Winnipiseogee Heritage" - Part 1 and 2. The Alton High School History Class - 1980.

LINKS

Link to JacksonB's Gallery

Link to mcdude's Gallery

For more information on the Advent Christian denomination

A short history of the Advent Christian Church

The Roots of Seventh Day Adventism

Description of an Indiana Camp Meeting

More about Millerism

Here are some interesting related links sent along by Island Girl (Thanks!)
Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association
and
A History of the M.V. Camp Meeting Association

Article about March 2005 Fire at the Campground.

October 2003 Fire at the Campground....click here and here.

Last edited by mcdude; 07-31-2006 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:47 PM   #7
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Nice post Mcdude. & thanks to JacksonB for making his material available. It is indeed interesting to walk through the ABCC now, as there are still many cottages left that are literally only a foot or two from their neighbor. (If you do walk through, no smoking and no alcoholic beverages). It is really quite a place to see, and a tie-in to the history of the lakes region.
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Old 04-22-2020, 05:05 PM   #8
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Default Another fire, Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

This thread is 'out of date'! since it was started in 2005, another fire ravaged the CCC Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009.

https://www.fosters.com/article/2009...S_01/704199948

Quote:
ALTON — Fire Chief Scott Williams remains humble. He defers accolades for his quick decision-making on April 12, which prevented a historic 14-alarm fire at the Christian Conference Center on the bay from getting out of control, to the men and women who fought the blaze — and the dispatchers who managed the response.

Williams, who assumed command of the Alton Fire Department in February, is responsible for running the show in a town some firefighters call the “Bermuda Triangle” of the state.

“Alton has taken a thrashing for the last couple of years,” Gilmanton Fire Chief K.G. Lockwood said, citing a 30-acre wildfire on Mt. Major last year, a pile of 3,000 tires that burned in 2007 and the Alton Bay pavilion, which was destroyed in a four-alarm fire in 2006.

On Easter Sunday, hundreds of firefighters and an estimated 73 pieces of equipment from 57 fire departments and emergency support agencies across the state were called to fight a wind-driven fire at the conference center, founded in 1863. The blaze destroyed 45 and damaged 12 privately owned seasonal cottages on conference center land. Firefighters contained the fire and prevented it from spreading into the dense collection of businesses, and seasonal and year-round homes around the bay.

“The volume of fire was almost unimaginable,” Williams said, adding that he agrees with Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson and other fire chiefs who responded in calling the blaze the “fire of a career.”

Over a six-hour period, firefighters drew an estimated 51 million gallons of water from the lake to stop the fire, he said.
More background on the CC and the 1945 fire.
https://www.fosters.com/article/2009...S_01/704199885
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:52 PM   #9
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On April 12th 2009 we were on our way south from West Alton planning to drive through town. We got no further than Bay community center. That is me in the 2nd photo.
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:55 AM   #10
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Do I remember some were not allowed to rebuild? I know it was a big issue but not sure how it ended.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:26 AM   #11
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Default Can't remember all the restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tis View Post
Do I remember some were not allowed to rebuild? I know it was a big issue but not sure how it ended.
Can't remember all the restrictions, but I believe the number of spots that could be replaced was 25, and there is restrictions on space between units and the type of construction materials that can be used.

My daughter lived across the street from the Rand Hill Rd entrance into the campground, and we raced down to load her and the kids into the car and bring them to our house. There were LP tanks exploding, and the top of one went right over the top of the small church next door and landed in the woods. Fortunately, it didn't start a fire in the woods. When one of those tall silver LP tanks exploded, the noise was deafening and I felt the concussion from the blast on my chest. We left and went straight to our house after that.

There were many heroes that day among the responders who kept the fire from getting to Rand Hill Rd and then jumping it. If that had happened, the fire would have had a clear shot all the way to rte 140! (Rand Hill Rd is the street that when on rte 11 heading west at the end of the bay, is straight ahead of you when you take the 90 degree right turn to head down into the bay parking and businesses. )
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upthesaukee View Post
Can't remember all the restrictions, but I believe the number of spots that could be replaced was 25, and there is restrictions on space between units and the type of construction materials that can be used.

My daughter lived across the street from the Rand Hill Rd entrance into the campground, and we raced down to load her and the kids into the car and bring them to our house. There were LP tanks exploding, and the top of one went right over the top of the small church next door and landed in the woods. Fortunately, it didn't start a fire in the woods. When one of those tall silver LP tanks exploded, the noise was deafening and I felt the concussion from the blast on my chest. We left and went straight to our house after that.

There were many heroes that day among the responders who kept the fire from getting to Rand Hill Rd and then jumping it. If that had happened, the fire would have had a clear shot all the way to rte 140! (Rand Hill Rd is the street that when on rte 11 heading west at the end of the bay, is straight ahead of you when you take the 90 degree right turn to head down into the bay parking and businesses. )
I remember the exploding LP tanks. We originally were in the Bay parking lot near Shibley's and then the FD had us move back near the Mt Washington dock. We saw one tank rocket up way above the 90' trees. Those FD personnel all did a heroic job and all were in danger of flying debris.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:45 PM   #13
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My mother lives across the street from the campground. I got the call, not the call I ever want to get again...ever!

“The campground is on fire!” That’s all she said, I replied “I’m on the way” I lived in south Alton at the time and made it to the Bay in minutes. Parked on Bay hill as that was as far as I could get. Ran across the bridge, how I dodged the police I don’t know as they weren’t letting people over the river. Got to her house and there were spot fires all over the field and ash landing on her roof.not a good feeling!
Got most of the fires out and hosed the roof and all was good.
For quite some time burning pieces of old newspapers and magazines were falling all over the place ( later found a piece of Nat Geo magazine dated 1942 in the yard)

Something I’ll never forget, it was quite an event!
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