CAMP VIOLA COLLECTION
SOURCE: Ida Hughes
SIZE: .2 lf
PROCESSING: BNJ, 2008
Viola Burks (b. 6-28-1879; d. 10-6-1947), daughter of Wiley Pope Burks, Jr. and Eliza Pace Collier, was born in Albany, Georgia. After the death of her mother in 1892, the family moved to LaGrange. She was a graduate of Southern Female College and, in 1923, became one of the organizers of the LaGrange Welfare Association, of which she was executive secretary from 1925-1938. According to a LaGrange Daily News article of August 19, 1946, Miss Burks stated in a speech at First Baptist Church, she became convinced that “…taking children out of their homes into [a] new environment, giving them proper food and care, would mean a great deal to the children as well as the home from which they came.”
Camp Viola had its origin in 1926 when “Miss Viola” took a group of underprivileged children for a four week outing at Camp Cho Cho on Mud Creek on Georgia Highway 219. This location proved unsatisfactory and, in 1928, she purchased and donated to the city the old Brooks place, one mile from Mountville, Georgia. This site became known as Camp Viola, and, over the years, sleeping and dining quarters were added as well as a swimming pool. Funds for much of the early buildings were raised by committees of the Rotary Club, headed by Cason Callaway and Sanford Dunson. The site opened each June and closed at the start of school in the fall. Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs also used the camp.
Viola Burks served as Home Service Secretary of the local chapter of the American Red Cross immediately following World War I until 1947. In 1916, she organized the Business Girls’ League, formed as a group from the Woman’s Missionary Society of the First Baptist Church. She also served as organist at First Baptist and pianist at the Rotary Club of LaGrange.
Camp Viola continues to operate today under the umbrella of Twin Cedars with various local churches hosting week long camps during the summer and other special events throughout the year.
SCOPE AND CONTENT:
The collection contains a history of Camp Viola written by Marian Davis and Shirley Daniel. Included also are the deeds and charter of Camp Viola as well as a copy of Viola Burks’ will. Financial records chart the history of the camp from 1928-1996. A scrapbook from the 1970s shows youth at the camp.
1 Legal deeds, will and charter, 1928-1966
2 History of Camp Viola, 1947-1998
3 Financial Statements, 1963-1996
4 Coordinating Records, 1966
2 Ledgers – Receipt books and Accounts, 1947-1997
Scrapbook, c. 1970
Service Organizations—Troup County
Troup County History
Youth—Societies and Clubs