The late S.V. Camp’s book will be released at Heritage Day

Published 11:12 am Friday, September 9, 2011


S.V. Camp with his wife, Gail. Camp completed a book on Southampton County history before passing away on March 1 at age 79.

SEBRELL—A book written by a well-known Southampton County businessman, explorer and historian will be released Saturday during Heritage Day in Courtland.

Before passing away on March 1 at age 79, S.V. Camp III had, unbeknownst to his wife, sent his book, which took 20 years to complete, to a publisher.

“I didn’t even know about it until the publisher called me,” said Gail Camp, his wife of 55 years. “That was the way he was. He wanted to surprise me.”

The book entitled “The Camps of Barn Tavern, Virginia” is about the history of the county, the lives of Camp’s ancestors in and around Barn Tavern, and the genealogy of his immediate family.

It was S.V. Camp’s wish that all proceeds from the book, which is selling for $15.99, go to the Southampton County Museum of History.

“We’ve worked very hard to get it ready for this year’s Heritage Day,” Gail Camp said.

The book will be available in the lobby of the main building at the Southampton Heritage Village/Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Heritage Day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The author and his wife worked closely together on the book; he wrote in longhand and she typed his notes.

“S.V. was so involved in so many things, he’d work on it a little and then put it aside for weeks,” Gail Camp said.

The first part of the more than 250-page book deals with early Southampton County, William Byrd’s description of the early frontier and the Nottoway Indians. It continues with the formation of Jerusalem, the courthouse and the Nat Turner Insurrection.

Community life from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s was another element of interest to Camp.

He writes about life on the farm, the Barn Tavern, Barn Tavern Academy, Old Plank Road and the towns of Sebrell and Barn Tavern.

Camp also wrote about hog killings, wash day and seining/corning, common events on the early farms.

He then went into the genealogy of the Camps and Sebrells.

The latter part of the book chronicles Camp’s life, from his birth at Barn Tavern.

The father of four graduated from Virginia Tech and owned a land surveying business. He was a veteran of the Korean War. Camp also was an adventurer who traveled to Africa in search of rubies and to the Gold Coast in search of gold, neither of which “panned out.”

He belonged to the Southampton County Historical Society and was a founder of Southampton Academy.

The books also will be for sale at The Peanut Patch in Courtland and the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Simply Divine and Train Depot Visitor Station, all in Franklin.

“We also plan to send complimentary copies to Virginia Tech and both the Rawls and Ruth Camp Campbell libraries,” Gail Camp said.