Camp Lawless

Last week I processed a great photograph album titled “Camp Lawless” that documents a group of friends’ vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, circa 1912. The album includes lyrical verses describing those who stayed at the cabin (including several couples) as well as photographs of friends playing cards, singing, and hiking. The camp laws were handwritten on the first and second pages of the album. The last two are my favorite: “8. Thou shalt not chaperone the camp lovers. 9. No one shall raise his voice in song before 9:00 a.m.”

camp laws
washing up
ruffled aprons

I was dismayed to learn that of the three (?) couples that stayed at the cabin the summer of 1912, two had tragic endings. Clifton Moise and Marguerite Cromer were married the same year as the trip, but Marguerite died two years later. Clifton, a much-loved music teacher from Sumter, South Carolina, never remarried.

Paul Hamilton Rogers and Ruth Richardson (who likely put together the photograph album) were married in 1913; however, Ruth died a month later. Before she was married, Ruth was a teacher at Queen’s College in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paul married Arabella Thomas, a former student of Ruth’s, in 1920. They named their first daughter after Ruth.

The donor of the photo album, a descendant of Paul Hamilton Rogers and Arabella Thomas Rogers, knew little about the circumstances of either death.

All images are courtesy of the Jewish Heritage Collection, College of Charleston Libraries.

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