Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


Camp meetings, evangelistic Christian gatherings conducted under large tents and pavilions, originated in the United States in the early nineteenth century. These outdoor revivals lasted several days during summer months. One of the Commonwealth’s earliest rural revivals was conducted by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Clinton County. The grounds were laid out in 1869 at Pine (or Pine Station), about six miles west of the county seat of Lock Haven, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and along the line of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad. “Over four hundred comfortable board tents, with shingle roofs, have been erected, generally sixteen tents in a block, eight on the first floor and eight on the second, each tent being 9×16 feet,” wrote John N. Welliver, Lock Haven, a founder and first president of the West Branch Camp Meeting Association. Other buildings included a tabernacle, which could seat 2,500 worshippers, an outdoor auditorium, two large boarding houses, restaurant, and a residence for officiating preachers. The religious retreat, also known as the Wayne Camp Meeting and the Pine Station Camp Meeting, thrived for thirty years, until the Flood of 1889 destroyed or carried away most of the buildings and structures.



The Mt. Gretna Campmeeting Association, chartered in 1892, has welcomed summer colonists to the idyllic retreat in Lebanon County for twelve decades. “Since the beginning,” the organization recently proclaimed, “the most earnest of the summer people in Mount Gretna have been members of the Campmeeting Association. Their use of the grounds initially lasted about ten days for the Bible Conference that is still held here every year. It wasn’t long before they extended their stay to the entire summer season, building cottages that are still lived in to this day.” The United Brethren’s camp meeting is located opposite the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, also established in 1892. The Brethren mapped out plots for tents around the tabernacle, but by the first meeting, worshippers erected one hundred cottages on the small tracts. Today, nearly 250 buildings remain. The grounds are distinctive because the diminutive cottages — many with porches — are separated by no more than one or two feet. For 2011, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has adopted “William Penn’s Legacy: Religious and Spiritual Diversity” as its annual theme.