Camp Washington Carver, named for the legends; Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver is located in beautiful Fayette County, West Virginia. It is home to the very first African American 4-H camp. It is also home of the Appalachian String Band Festival. In 1940 the first building was completed, but it quickly expanded to become what it is today.
Camp Washington-Carver is a spectacular location atop the
beautiful mountains of West Virginia. The camp was named for two legends:
Booker T. Washington and George Washington-Carver. It is located in Fayette County
and has been known to be the very location for the first ever 4-H Camp for African
Americans. There were programs here that helped develop African American
culture. One of those programs included the Appalachian String Band Festival,
which was held at the Great Chestnut Lodge, “the largest log structure of its
kind in the world.”
In 1940, the first building on the campus was completed. It
was a two-room guest cottage, along with a water tank and pond. But just
two years later, the campus expanded tremendously and began to attract the
interests and hearts of the residents of West Virginia. In those two years, a
log lodge, two frame dormitories, a swimming pool, and a bathhouse were all
completed. In July 1942, the camp was dedicated and opened to the public.
Initially, it served the purpose of an off-campus learning
for what is now West Virginia State University. The Clifftop served many
different programs, all of which catered to African American culture and
successes. The camps ranged from 4-Hcamps to the Boy and Girl Scouts, to church
camps and other programs. The dining hall and pool could be rented for luxury
gatherings such as weddings, reunions, or picnics. The camp became a part of
the West Virginia Department of Culture and History to become an arts center.
Now, it has made the national Register of Historic Places and still holds the
Appalachian String Band Music Festival which attracts thousands of
people for the exciting week in August.