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The Little Texas Campground Cemetery

 

 

The Little Texas Campground Cemetery

written by Forrest Appleby Shavers

 

 

Let me urge the reader to see the Tabernacle at the Little Texas Camp Grounds near Tuskegee,

Alabama.  Tabernacle is the name given to this building by the local people.  Take children and young

people to see it.  It is a bit of early American history that will be gone someday.  It stands, now, much 

like it originally was built.  There is another like it near the site of the old Appleby plantation in South

Carolina.

 

The Tabernacle was a place of worship for the early settlers of that area of Alabama.  Camp  Meeting

Services were held once a year in October after the Fall harvest.  The services lasted a week,

beginning on Sunday.  At that time, small cabins surrounded the Tabernacle and people who lived 

away stayed in them or in tents they brought.  Services are still being held there each year, beginning

on the last Sunday in July and lasting through Thursday.  We visited there in June 1980.   When the

local people found out who we were, we were given a special invitation to come.  They said bring no

food, there would be plenty.

 

The original timbers to build the Tabernacle are still there unpainted.  The rafters, beams, and inside

posts are still in place, just as solid as the day they were put there.  Huge wooden pegs are used to hold

the beams and posts together.  There are no nails.  A tin roof has replaced the original one, but the

original decking is there.  The decking boards are not uniform in lenght or width.  They are 12 to 18

inches wide.  The beams are 18 to 24 inches thick.  The marks of the axes that cut them can still be

seen.  When I first saw it, it was open on all four sides.  Recently, someone has nailed a few painted

boards around some of the sides.

 

Inside is a tightly sealed box near the pulpit.  It must be a piano.  There is no floor, just ground.  Some

of the benches may be original ones, they are made with square nails.  The building measures about

60 by 70 feet.  The cemetery where the Applebys, Segos, and Tallys are buried is only a few yards

away.  Visit it.

 

The following gives the directions to The Little Texas Camp Grounds.  From the court house at 14th

Street aandBroad in Phenix City, go west on U.S. Highway 80.  Turn left on State Road 69 and go

down approximately half-mile.  The Tabernacle will be on your right.  A small church, Wilson's

Chapel Union Church, is across the road.

 

One more thing.  Local people said that this area was named Little Texas because when the young

men of that area got into trouble, they went to Texas.  When it was alright for them to come back to

that area, they would return.  There were so many of them, they called this area Little Texas.  I wonder

how young men of that day could get in trouble? (F.S.)

 

Ed. Note: Oct.  2004: Recently, a visitor to this page, sent an e-mail to Appleby Heritage, giving the 

name of the church at the Little Texas Campground as Williams Church.   Thank you, kindly, Nancy, 

for this information. 

 

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30 August 2004

revised:  11 Oct 2004