Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church

History of the Quilt

Objectives

Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library

STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, CAMERON HILL CHURCH, BY WOMEN OF THE CHURCH, WESTERN HARNETT, FOR HARNETT .COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989

Preface to History of Cameron Hill Church

Cameron Hill itself stands tall -a place of interest to all who pause to contemplate the imprints of time that have passed. The essence of its history is not to be found in the rendering of facts. It is elusive -a cyclorama of wilderness, hardship, attitudes, hopes and nostalgia. brought from the old country. In early days it was a wee bit of Scotland removed. A people, often honor-bound to favor a king that was hated. A people by nature clannish and nostalgia , thus bound to a homeland that had become too harsh to endure, when there was hope in America. Only the brave would come, seeking relief, land, adventure, and independence. Here they came to build homes, churches, schools, and roads.

Looking back, if Scotland had not been the way it should have been, they crafted song and story that made it so. In a child-like way they were harsh, rugged romantics. Even now in the Scottish song and story one feels the lingering nostalgia' for the homeland that never was. Such was the early majority that passed this way. In the mind of the early generations Scotland became a sort of misty and mystic homeland.

Out of the miracle of geology, the hill had emerged as the first prominence up the valley of the Cape Fear. Its soil is firm and red and different. Here the land is in transition from the sands of the coast to the clays of the hill country. On the surface, sprouts a rare pixie plant and its likes. Beneath, lie colors that would rival the rainbow and fragments of ancient wood and creatures that lived in the sea.

Early on, the prominence became a focal point for the wandering pioneers and those that looked to settle. They called it Mt. Pleasant.

Most important was the roadway. It came up from the coast and over the hilltop running down between the present cemetery and highway, thence left and right to pass close by the round top and westward toward the distant mountains. Uncommon to this land is the route from Manchester to near Cameron, no water at all to cross. Before the coming of man, we are told, Buffalo migrating from the meadows of the coast to the pasture lands of the foothills, selected this advantage and trampled out a trail. The animals decreased and the trail was inherited by the Indians, pioneers and settlers in sequence.

Then came the plank road of 1848 and now the macadam, virtually the same route engineered by the buffalo so long ago.

Later permanent settlers came, among them one Allen Cameron. Allen chartered so much land that he owned most of the hill. To distinguish him from several other Camerons he became known as Allen of the Hill. The name Mt. Pleasant faded as more often it was referred to as Cameron's Hill. When Allen passed, it became Cameron Hill.

Thus speak the records, relics and imprints on the land to those who search with profundity. For sure, Scottish traits are no longer so obvious as when Flora McDonald lived on the Hill, but in the fading memory of those who have heard the stories and the sharp minds of those who search, the heritages and spirit yet live.

And still they come from the Isles of Scotland seeking not land but bits of heritage and stories that have survived the onrush of change.

 

Written by: Edward Cameron, 1990

For: Women of the Church, Western Harnett

 

THE STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, CAMERON HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH USA, BY THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH, WESTERN HARNETT. FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT. 1989

The History of Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church USA

This is not a definitive history of Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church USA. rather an observation of how it was in time that has passed. In the late eighteen hundreds there was a successful Sunday School at Spout Springs. Here the leaders talked of spiritual matters and increasingly conversation around the country-side brought up the need for a more local church. Eventually a meeting was held. After some interesting details. the Presbyterian element prevailed.

A delegation was forthwith dispatched to Fayetteville Presbytery. In response to a petition of forty-six signatures. Presbytery called a special meeting 15 February, 1894 and appointed a commission of three ministers to meet at high noon 17 March, 1894 in the school house at Spout Springs to "organize a Presbyterian Church" should "the way be clear." It was. Thirty-eight people enrolled that day: profession 4, by letter, 3 from St. Andrews, 3 from Flat Branch, 3 from Covenant, 3 from Barbecue and 17 from Cypress.

Rev. D. D. McBride preached. Hugh Black and J. A. Mc Gregory made up the session. In 1897, the Church was grouped with Summerville. Sardis, Flat Branch and Barbecue. Later the church experienced grouping with other churches including Mt. Pisgah, Rock Branch. Covenant and Cypress -an interesting array. Let us note that it is a source of pride that this church did not come sponsored. or as a break-away. It evolved from a need and a spiritual heritage brought from many sources, later shared with many groups.

Years age Aunt Ada was to remember that even as a young girl she thought it amiss for the preacher to expound the virtues of the spiritual on the exact stage where night before the "spirited" fiddlers encouraged the more sensual' urge to be rowdy. No one ever said this had anything to do with the fact that when Presbyters met in the Spring of '98, the church was ordered moved t a more central location at Cameron Hill.

On the hill there was no building. Hence, preaching and weddings were held in the Johnsonville Mason Lodge. Soon there was no preacher except for week day service. Interest dwindled. Then it was that Ref. Letcher Smith was invited to come and discuss the advisability of dissolving the church. At the meeting an Elder stood up, and said, "We are not going to disorganize." Whereupon the Reverend Smith replied two things must be done at once: Build a church house and start having Sunday Service.

This was in 190. Rev. Smith made himself available to preach and the people star ed a building effort. The first part of the present building, having been in use for some time, was dedicated in 1909.

There have always been a few lifetime members but the sparse population and economics of the area seems responsible for many visiting worshipers, temporary members and young people moving on with a deep love for "the church on the hill." This affection is perhaps its greatest treasure. Two sons have gone out as Presbyterian ministers, and at least one other to preach.

Crises have been many: In 1904, when there was no building or Sunday preacher; the great depression when there was no money; and the trauma of t e nineteen eighties when an aggressor denomination took away a majority of the membership, so waved the ebb tides.

The nineties, with better facilities and increasing ability to serve the gathering population, should be the apex. To name heroes along the journey of service and struggle may be unwise. I Honorable mention Elder J. A. McGregor, Rev. Letcher Smith, Elder D. A. Huffine Rev. W. A. Stewart and more recently, Rev. Bob Anderson, would not be amiss.

Today, Cameron ill Presbyterian Church (USA) stands tall among its ancient oaks, hard by the two-century-old cemetery. On the highest elevation in the county with an inspiring view across the valley of the, Scots, the church is humbly proud to be a viable member of the family of some 200 churches in the presbytery of Coastal Carolina. Come visit.

 

Written by: Edward Cameron, 1990

For: Women of the Church, Western Harnett

Quilt Square: Designed by Paul Soublet

Row 5 Number 25

Embroidery and Applique by: Marie Lawrence member of Women of the Church at Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church