Sunday, September 2, 2012

Camp Cedar Pines 1915-1949?

Duck Pin
 Thanks to the Sigmans I have some interesting pictures and information about a popular camp called, "Camp Cedar Pine." This camp was operated in a joint venture between the New York Central Railroad and the YMCA of Jersey Shore from the years of 1915 to sometime in the late 40's. It was then sold to a Church camp group.
You can see in one of the pictures a foot bridge from the railroad over Pine Creek to the camp. One of the most common ways to get to camp would have been the train which stopped to let the kids off. In 1933 according to an old pamphlet the cost of staying at camp was: 2 weeks for $25.00/week, 3-5 weeks for $11.50/week or more than 6 weeks $11.00/week.
They had a dam to the south of the camp that raised the water level up so they had a nice swimming area. They also had canoes, horses and a bowling alley. The bowling alley had "Duck Pins," similar to the one in the first picture. I looked the one up to right and it is actually called a rubber band duck pin, these type of pins came out in the 1930's. The pins are quite a bit shorter than regular pins and I guess the rubber increased the action for the game. The ball used looked like 
Boys working on Project
 it was the size of a softball, but hard. The name Duck pin came about because someone commented that it looked like a flock of ducks taking off when you hit them.
The literature about the camp informed parents that children of poor behavior would not be welcome and the parents needed to accept their children would be disciplined by the camp staff. Bad behavior could result in a child being sent home without a refund.
Campers had a pretty strict schedule of daily events. They all went to a large dining hall and on Wednesdays and Saturdays had to show a letter
Swimmers with foot bridge to railroad

Winter scene showing all the buildings
 from home. This is the way they made sure the campers wrote home regularly. Parents were not encouraged to visit much but if they did come they had to stay somewhere else like Cedar Run Inn.
I am not sure how many campers attended this camp over the years, but just looking at a few pictures gives me the idea this was no small amount of children. The children came from all over including a few from other countries.
Today just a couple buildings remain which are now seasonal private camps.
But I have no doubts memories were made and cherished at this camp at the bottom of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Based on the time period of this camp I am sure there are a few people still alive with personal memories.
Now the camp is gone along with the railroad. Times have changed as the railroad is now a bike path. The idea of being in the woods with only a land phone or no phone frightens people today. Maybe its time for something like this to return people to being in touch with the mountains and the woods and pull their hands and minds away from small gadgets of our day.
There is nothing like a campfire, a spooky story, or a song to make us feel really connected to each
Boy campers and leaders
other and this earth we have been given. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.
Camp riders

Stacking them up

Camp Cedar Pine Swimmers


Pianoman said...

Thanks for the history on Cedar Pines Camp. I've driven by a thousand times, but never knew the "rest of the story"

June said...

Thanks for the summary. We are staying in the original farmhouse, originally owned, I think, by the Gambles. The house, now bright red, is by Gamble Run, and was white or light colored in the old photos and attached to the very long "Lodge" (a dining room with the big fireplace) The old house was used as a kitchen, although it has rooms upstairs so it may have housed staff. My parents tore down the part of the Lodge attached to the house as it had become rotten through the refrigeration, etc., that had accumulated damp. But the fireplace half of the lodge existed until recently when it too became derelict and had to be taken down. So the place has returned to a single family residence, summer camp as you note. Across the lawn is another building that we called The teepee, which can also be seen in the photos from the thirties.

I like imagining hundreds of kids running all over the land around here. They really seemed to feel ownership of it.

Please stop by sometime Paula. We'd love to chat with you.

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the camp in the early 1950's for a couple of weeks in the summer with my brother. You mention the Lodge with its long porch (?)es and that brought back a lot of memories of dining , campfires and scary stories, swimming, crafts. A really wonderful time, although at the time I felt we were banished from civilization. We lived in Corning at the time and my Dad worked for the NY Central railroad. I am now 66 and my brother is 71.
Thanks a lot!
Doug Hoover

GeorgeTaylor said...

I spent 3 summers at Camp Cedar pines in the mid 40's. In fact I was playing softball on VJ-Day. There were actually 2 separate camps(one up on the hill and the other down in valley along the creek). One summer the girls would stay at the upper camp, where the indoor activities took place at the large lodge. There were plays annually including "The Student Prince", as well as Saturday evening dances.
The swimming picture brought back a lot of memories. That water was COLD. The camp was closed, I believe in 1944 due to a polio epidemic. I still have a Mossberg .22 rifle that my dad gave me because I was voted the second-most improved camper one summer (I would have won but I wasn't there long enough that summer).
We even had a whole week when the campers were divided into 2 teams for our "Olympic Week" when we all competed in many different athletic events (I won the archery). The winning team got an extra dessert Saturday night.
Thanks for some great memories. This is a great history.
George Taylor

Growing Grey-cefully said...

The camp continued to run into the early 60's. My brother and I were campers in the 50's. Then the Girls' camp was down by the water and the Boys' camp was up on the hill where the big lodge was. My uncle Philip Seitzer, from Jersey Shore worked there when it was a Y camp. There was a riding ring and stable behind the dining hall. The bathroom for the girls was called the Minnipots! By then the rest of the cabins were full wooden buildings and each was named for an American Indian Tribe . It was a great time in my life, too! Pam Fretz Greenman

eaglebear said...

Thanks to all of you who have commented on this post. You add to my and others knowledge.

eaglebear said...

Sorry accidently deleted your Jay so I had to cut and paste it back.

Jay Harris has left a new comment on your post "Camp Cedar Pines 1915-1949?":

I went to summer camp at Cedar Pines three summers during the mid- late 50s. I lived in Williamsport with my parents and two brothers. My mother's younger brother went there as well from his home in Altoona when he was a kid. Many years later I learned that both he and I were housed in the same cabin, the Tuscarora. Some of the things I remember:
* Duckpin bowling
* a counselor shooting a mountain lion that was on the roof of one of the cabins
* going to the town church in the village where we sang "Little Brown Church in the Vale"