The Craig Reunion
The ties that bind us come from all different sources. One of the most important is family heritage. I know that because mine is rich in history and tradition. I have a greater appreciation for the toils and sacrifices my ancestors set for me after enjoying the fruits of their labor at a Craig Family Reunion.
Every year in April my family on my dad’s side join together in Lancaster, SC for a family reunion. It is held at what is now known as the Craig Farm. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandparents and distant relatives join for a delightful luncheon and renewal of our great heritage.
The covered pavilion at the rear of the house is a setting of grace and beauty, formed of 20 stately columns and a wall that surrounds it. The landscape is breathtaking with brightly colored flowers and trees. The pavilion offers a great place for a peaceful and wonderful meal. A guitar playing and banjo pickin duo add harmony and fun to the talkative crowd who are so glad to re-connect.
A quiet walk through the grounds and the old farmhouse bring home the ancestors who came before us. It is as if they remain to hold us together, bringing us hope and restoration to a world that is much different than what they experienced. As my cousin and I wandered around the bedrooms, baths and hallways I felt the presence of their spirits. It made me wonder if they had any idea how life would be now. The simplicity they enjoyed as I stroked my hands on the wooden walls and homemade bed linen, there was a part of me that wished for a moment I could go back in time.
As we gather together, memories are made, e-mail is shared and loved ones who have passed on are given honor for those of us who remain. We all had a great time.
Family History of the Craig Farm
John Craig, Esquire, my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Scotland via Northern Ireland to South Carolina in 1772. He received a land grant from King George III and in 1773 began purchasing the land that is now considered the Craig Farm in Lancaster County. He and other family members fought in Revolutionary War battles that occurred in this area, and the old farm house was occupied by Union troops in April 1865.
The Craig House dates back to the 1830’s originally used as a farmhouse. It was enlarged in 1901 by John Edgar and Amanda Drennan Craig. The names Edgar and Drennan have been handed down to my father, grandfather and uncles. In 1989 the Craig House was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Today, the Craig Farm consists of 400 acres and includes 6 ponds, 9 bridges, an old stone cattle crossing and numerous nature trails—one of which takes you to the “Big Hollow” where the family hid its livestock from the marauding Union troops in 1865. Today it is owned by 5 Craig siblings of a branch of the family of my Dad’s generation and Johannes Tromp.
KILBURNIE the Inn at Craig Farm
The Craig Farm is also enriched by the amazing history of the Kilburnie Inn across the street. Registered as a historical landmark in 1979, the oldest dwelling in Lancaster was built by a dentist named Joseph Lee around 1827. My great-grandfather Craig and his wife Amanda Drennan were married at Kilburnie in 1883, when it was her parent’s home. In 1999, this building was saved from destruction and literally moved to the Craig Farm and is now an elegant and luxurious Bed and Breakfast Inn.
The Kilburnie Inn nestled in this farmland is the setting for many venues. Some of those include weddings, receptions, meetings, films and photo shoots and concerts. Kilburnie partners with the Lancaster County Council of the Arts to bring classical music in the form of concerts. Kilburnie has also been featured in Southern Living Magazine. The Inn is also a place to hibernate from a world of stress and busyness to give those who stay there relief in the form of peace and quiet.
This is a tie that binds me to my ancestry and their way of life. In the 1930’s my grandfather, Edgar Drennan Craig started a car business, which itself grew out of my great-grandfather’s car business in Lancaster, SC. Handed down to his sons, it employed many in the family and gave jobs to some who were with the company for decades. In 2004, Craig Motor Company was sold. The bond it holds for me today is one of deep strength and courage of those who went before me who laid the groundwork for my grandfather to step into this great blessing.
This brings me to the question as to why I am writing this. Why was I born into this family? Why have I received so much and been blessed with such great family history and success? What did I ever do to deserve any of this?
The answer is; nothing. I did nothing. Christ did it all. It is simply and foremost that it is by God’s grace that I was born into this family, in this place and time.
Growing up it seemed natural to me. “Why me?” I would ask God. I began to question my validity in this world. What I came up with astounded me.
Learning all about it most of my life I had never really understood the depth of our Saviors death and resurrection until crisis hit and I had nowhere to go. That is when I found the feet of Jesus hanging on the cross.
The truth is God loves everyone and wants only good things for his people. We live in a fallen world, but God has a way out of every trial and problem. He wants us all to seek him personally so he can get us out of the messes we are in even if those messes came from someone else.
1Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Acts 17:26-28 (NIV) opened my eyes to a reality that I recently discovered. Seriously pondering these verses and connecting the dots that I was born into this family, in this place at this time was a God given gift. This gift exemplifies the creativity of God in the map of his creation from the beginning of time. Placing that into perspective with the generations of those who have gone before me, I am humbled to be living in a time such as this.
Since this is true according to the Bible, none are mistakes. We are here for a reason, a purpose that lays the foundation for each of us .No matter who we are, what family we are born into, or whatever we have been through, God has a plan for each of us; a plan that can give us double for our trouble.(Zechariah 9:12 NIV) It is up to us as individuals to discover what that plan is. The cross of Christ is a good place to start.
In summary, I am very proud of my family history. The strides they have taken in their sacrifices and successes to achieve what those of my generation have witnessed are to be commended. I wish I could say I had something to do with it, but I can’t. God gets all the credit for that.
If you are interested in learning more or visiting the Kilburnie Inn and Craig Farm please log onto www.kilburnie.com or e-mail Johannes@kilburnie.com
Written by Cathy Craig Neil
Kilburnie the Inn at Craig Farm/ Design by Mywebsiteguys/www.kilburnie.com/30 April 2011