Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Representatives tour area children’s camps

Some of the historic Camp Gorham buildings

Camp Gorham

Representatives of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) were in the area on Tuesday, August 23 to tour Children’s Camps of the Fourth Lake Region.

The tour was led by Hallie Bond, curator of Adirondack Museum’s 2003 exhibit, “A Paradise for Boys and Girls: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks,” and co-author of the book of the same title.

Among those in attendance was Gail Murray, Executive Director of the Town of Webb Historical Association.

Following introductory remarks, Bond led the tour that explored the architecture and history of the Children’s Camps, beginning with Camp Gorham.She was assisted on the tour by Camp Gorham’s Director, Anne Thornton.

Formerly known as Dart’s Camp, the property was sold in 1960 to the YMCA of Greater Rochester and in 1961, Barney Barnum and a group of young men prepared the property for a boys camp.

In 1976 girls became part of the summer camp program.

Larry Davis, left, describes his camping experience to the AARCH tour group. To his right are Camp Gorham Director, Annie Thornton, and staff member Pete Meneilly. courtesy photo.

According to Murray, Thornton spoke about the camp’s history including the replacement of the bunkhouse that burned down in 2008, and the addition of several new cabins on the grounds.

The camp is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The site of the former Moss Lake Girls Camp was also visited.

At one time more than 3,000 girls attended the summer camp, which was in operation from 1923 to 1972.

In 1973 the property was sold to the Nature Conservancy and eventually became part of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. There are no buildings standing today.

The tour of Adirondack Woodcraft Camp, which was founded in 1925, was assisted by owners John and David Leach. Adirondack Woodcraft Camp has a long tradition, celebrating its 75th year.

“Many young people who went there as campers, returned as counselors, and when they had children they sent them to the camp. It’s a generational thing,” she said.

Murray took photos of the cabins and outbuildings at Camp Gorham during the tour which she said can be used to promote the area’s history.


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