December 31, 1914, in Ridge Spring, South Carolina Frederick P. Byrd was born to the overjoyed couple, Eleanor Greene and Dr. Frederick Percival Byrd. He grew up in the small town and, upon graduating from State High School, started attending Clemson University.
During college, Frederick found himself distracted by a young woman named Addie Elise Colclough. Like Frederick, Addie was born and raised in Ridge Spring, and afterwards she went on to graduate from Rice Business College. After their courtship, Frederick and Addie were married at Grace Episcopal Church. Once married, they began their lives together living in Ridge Spring.
Frederick worked as an electrician and was also an on-call volunteer for Gravatt when there were electrical problems. He even wired Stewart Hall.
Addie worked with Civil Service at the U.S. Postal Service, the Clemson Experimental Station, and Fort Jackson. She was an active and devoted member of the Daughters of the King and had a renewing Cursillo experience at Gravatt. She used her sewing abilities to make altar linens for Gravatt’s conference center. She was an important asset in the gift of the Bishop’s Room in Cole Lodge to memorialize her sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Reuben Asbill.
Frederick went on to work at the Savannah River Plant until his death on July 21, 1961. Addie died on June 11, 2014, in Newberry, South Carolina. Not only did Frederick and Addie leave behind a legacy at Gravatt through their acts of service but also through their two sons, Joseph S. Byrd and Frederick C. Byrd.
Joe graduated from Clemson University with a degree in electrical engineering and went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Ann Harrelson. After their wedding, they moved to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Over Joe’s lifetime, he designed electronic instrumentation for the first chimp in space, worked at the Savannah River Laboratory, and earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from USC where he later taught and gained the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Joe was an ardent supporter of Gravatt where he contributed his electrical skills to multiple buildings on the camp side and helped his dad with the wiring of Stewart Hall. Joe and Ann continued the Byrd family tree with sons, Steve and Greg Byrd, who also attended and worked at Camp Gravatt. Joe died in 2000. His wife still lives in Lexington.
Frederick and Addie Byrds' younger son grew up at Gravatt too and credits much of his faith formation and his call to the priesthood to his time at Gravatt. Father Byrd has been lovingly known by generations of campers for his story-telling and pastorly guidance at summer camp and through youth and college ministries in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, where he served in several parishes and then as Archdeacon.
In 2015, Father Byrd announced his intention to give a gift to build a new infirmary in memory of his parents and his brother, Joe. Greg Byrd and his wife, Connie Mancillas Byrd, quickly agreed to give generously to the project in honor of the Byrd family. The new building will be called the Byrd Health Lodge and is scheduled for completion in spring 2016.