For years in Gaston County, North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, there was a local tradition on Friday or Saturday night: Get the whole family in the car, and head to the fish camp.
A fish camp is not what it sounds like. You don't fish there. You don't camp there. Instead, it's a place to eat—a simple, family-owned seafood restaurant.
For much of the twentieth century, these restaurants were a centerpiece of family life and social life. Nowadays, though, they're hard to come by. Mary Helen Montgomery explores the role fish camps once played in Gaston County communities and the causes for their recent decline.