Celebration set for historic building

BUCKHANNON – The Indian Camp Community is hosting a special celebration for a century-old historic building in Upshur County.

The celebration for the old Indian Camp Normal building will take place on Nov. 10, beginning at 10 a.m. with Sunday School followed by numerous other activities. Activities will include a slideshow presenting the building’s history with photos throughout the century.

On Nov. 11 of 1913, a meeting was conducted to officially open the Indian Camp Normal. The first term of school was taught in 1914, but was closed in 1918 because of World War I and other adverse conditions in the world at that time.

Looking around the sparsely populated community of Indian Camp today, it can be difficult to imagine a community that was large enough to warrant the construction of an institution of higher education – yet that is what happened in the early 1990s.

The West Virginia United Brethren Conference, with the help of the Indian Camp Community and surrounding communities, decided to build a Normal School at Indian Camp. Normal Schools were a training program for students who had an eighth-grade diploma to further their education and to become certified teachers so that they could teach in the public schools. Although their school did not last for many years, their efforts left behind a building that has been the scene of many activities through the years.

The Indian Camp Rock area is already rich in history because of the Indian massacre in the early days when foreign settlers first arrived on the local soil. Because the United Brethren and the German Baptist Dunkards used Indian Camp Rock for church meetings, the community is using the Nov. 10 event to celebrate the century-old building, but also to celebrate the community’s heritage.

The program for the day begins with Sunday School at 10 a.m. followed by worship in the Normal Building and a covered dish dinner at noon. The afternoon program consists of an historical presentation of the area presented by the Indian Camp United Methodist Church Youth Group.

There will also be an afternoon bell-ringing ceremony, a walk to the rocks, music by the Forgiven Disciples, the historic slide show of the building, a vesper service-weather permitting-under the Indian Camp Rock and a covered dish evening meal with a birthday cake for the building.

Anyone may join the community in celebration, whether they are simply interested in the events or have ties to the building or community.