Beulah Holiness Camp

Beulah Campground has been just down the block from my Grandma Askews’ home. It contained numerous block buildings of various sizes and I was fascinated by it each time I passed by the campground facility. Today I read the sign and it says, ‘Beulah Holiness Camp.’ A google search yielded the following information: ‘Come enjoy our open-air tabernacle and our air-conditioned dining hall. We have celebrated over 100 years of holiness preaching and worship and would like to add you to our family. Beulah Holiness Camp Meeting is an interdenominational Christian Association established for the purpose of getting sinners saved, backsliders reclaimed, and believers sanctified wholly. It is especially established for the preaching of the Wesleyan doctrine of baptism of the Holy Spirit (i.e. sanctification, Christian Perfection, holiness) as a second definite work of God’s grace in the human heart. When you enter Beulah Campground in Eldorado, Illinois, you are standing on holy ground.’

On my fourth photo-snapping excursion through my old home town I was struck by the many areas that are impoverished…alongside or just down the road from lovely homes and well-kept yards. Eldorado is not unlike many formerly thriving towns in Southern Illinois and indeed all over the United States where the business activity has moved to the main highway, Route #45, that runs alongside the edge of town. There are Hardees and Mcdonald’s and the Big Johns Supermarket and Dads’ Restaurant and other business establishments on either side of this corridor. Downtown is mostly quiet with many of the historic buildings vacant and foot traffic almost non-existent.

The old Orpheum is the center of Eldorado…and my memories of it.

Many hours of Celluloid Bliss were spent at the Orpheum. I loved to hear the, now forgotten sound, of the film clicking along with the projector’s metal teeth as it ran it in front of the brilliant light bulb that in turn displayed the movie miracle on the silver screen. I relished the darkness of the theatre and the immersion in the story that was playing out in front of me. For a time…home was on the giant screen…

Movies at the Orpheum taught me that freedom of thought and purpose and life…was a precious gift that should not be squandered or thought of lightly. The streets and avenues of Eldorado were big to me and contained much to be understood…and they still do…

2 responses

  1. Not a soul in sight. Great photos! Is it camp holidays?

    1. The next meeting that is posted on-line is in 2023.

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