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Camp St. Mary records

Identifier: A-01-1041

Scope and Contents

The Camp St. Mary collection contains administrative records, camp operation records, and memorabilia of the catechetical summer camp for children, in Bluffton, South Carolina. Administrative records include correspondence and property records including plats, property descriptions, and photographs. Camp opertational records include brochures and press releases including details of camp rates and schedules, as well as religious instructions. The memorabilia material includes photographs and scrapbooks from the 1930s-1960s and depicts campers, staff, facilities, religious ceremonies, and diocesan bishops, priests, and nuns.


  • created: 1931-1997, undated
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1930s-1960s
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/2002


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Diocese of Charleston makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright or other literary property in the materials contained in its archives. In providing access to or permitting the reproduction of any such materials, the Diocese of Charleston does not assume any responsibility for determining the nature of any rights, ownership or interest therein; nor for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use; nor for determining the nature of any liabilities (for defamation and invasion of privacy) that may arise from any publication or use. This rests entirely with the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Camp St. Mary, a catechetical summer camp for Catholic children, was founded near the Okatee River in Beaufort, South Carolina, by the Diocese of Charleston in 1928. Father James Linehan organized the religious vocation camp for children of Beaufort missions who were in need of catechetical instruction. The priests of the diocese and the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy provided religious teaching to the area children. The original camp was located at the plantation house of William Pinckney. William Eustace Pinckney was born in Walterboro, South Carolina, to Eustace Bellinger Pinckney and Mary Martha Porcher in 1863. In the late 1860s, Eustace Pinckney moved his family to Okatie near Bluffton. As the only Catholics living in the area, the Pinckneys relied on visiting priests to perform religious rites. Sometime before 1916, the family built a simple wooden structure known as St. Mary's in the Woods as a place of worship. In 1922, the Pinckney family deeded the church to the Diocese of Charleston, and Bishop William Russell dedicated it as the Church of St. Mary. In 1931, Bishop Emmett Walsh chose to prioritize the camp as a diocesan project. After obtaining funds, he purchased property across the river from the original campsite in Okatie, for an enlarged camp with permanent buildings. Two barracks for sleeping, a dining hall and a kitchen, a sisters’ convent, and a chapel were erected, as well as a boat dock with a diving platform, which was built on the river. Once the permanent buildings were erected, Bishop Walsh officially designated the camp as Camp St. Mary. The camp operated into the early 1980s. In the late 1990s the property was sold to Beaufort County to create a park.

Note written by


0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box; 3 scrapbooks)

Language of Materials



Administrative records, camp operation records, and memorabilia of Camp St. Mary in Bluffton, South Carolina.

Source of Acquisition

Found in collection

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Lively, December 2002; and Melissa Bronheim, November 2014.

Inventory of the Camp St. Mary records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives Repository

114 Broad Street
Carriage House
Charleston SC 29401 US