Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Camp - 1927

From John's Collection ...

A letter, written about 1927, to promote a girls summer camp, Twanekotah, in Lake Chautauqua, New York. The aging effect has taken a toll on the paper, but the content seems timeless.

The letter is in our collection because it is a part of a publication entitled "Achievement in Photo-Engraving and Letter-Press Printing, 1927", by the American Photo-Engravers Association, Chicago, Illinois. We have a lot more to share from this publication in future posts. Of course, this was way before word processing. This sample was intended to show how a letter could be printed and then customized by adding an address before mailing, thus the large space at the top below the camp logo.

Something like this letter usually creates questions for us ... in this case, what happened to the camp? A Google search usually provides an answer. The Jamestown, New York, Post-Journal, published an article on August 1, 2014, about the camp, which included the following: "The camp was located on 50 acres on the west side of Chautauqua Lake. Before the girls camp occupied the land it had been Sylvan Park. Sylvan Park had served as a picnic grove stop on the trolley line on the west side of the lake. It did not develop into the amusement park that Celoron and Midway did. Sylvan Park provided a bathing beach, baseball diamond, woods and open areas with dining pavilions and other small structures within the area. Many company, church and other organizations' picnics used this site the first couple of decades of the 1900s. Today many campers continue to enjoy this site as Camp Chautauqua which provides campsites for RVs and other campers." A lady named Karen Livsey, Archivist for the Post-Journal, wrote the article.

Looking back on our own experience, we enjoyed summer camp at a place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Believe it or not, Blue Mountain Ranch is still in operation! In a future post we will share our experience and an old brochure from over 50 years ago. :-) Here is the cover ...

How about yourself? Have you ever been to "Summer Camp"? Was it fun? Did you enjoy it or hate it? :-)

From John's Journal ...

We're updating John's Island's format starting with this post. Now that we are in our sixth year of publishing this blog we realize its value as a journal. It's so easy to look back to the past and see what was going on and view a selection of photos. It's actually much easier that just looking through the photo archives where everything is organized simply by date. Going forward, we're going to try two sections of most posts: From the Collection and From the Journal. The journal will include pictures taken on walks, ships spotted, sky photos, flowers and other plants, etc.

Holland America Westerdam
arriving July 23rd 5:12 AM
We like the reflection.

July 21st 8:12 PM
Sun is behind the Olympic Mountains.

A Washington State Ferry heading to Seattle
Note the lighthouse at Alki Point behind.
Vashon Island in the far distance.

July 20th 6:21 AM
Early sunshine on a Bulk Carrier at anchor
beyond the Marina

July 20th 6:22 AM
Patchy clouds in the morning sky.

July 21st  7:02 AM
Two tugs cozy up to the Alpha Happiness
with Hapag Lloyd Container Ship behind.
The tugs will move Alpha to the Grain Terminal.

Closer look at the tugs and Alpha Happiness
Don't you love the name of this Bulk Carrier?

Tugs move Alpha Happiness to Grain Loading Terminal

July 21 8:17 PM
Evening sky.


  1. Very nice post, John. No, I don't remember ever going to a summer camp, but the world was different when I was a girl, growing up while moving around a lot. My dad was in the Air Force. Love the ship and sky pictures, as always. :-)

  2. never went to summer camp. :) love the deep blues in several of your views.

  3. That first photo of the Westerdam is stunning.Some day I hope to be on one of those cruise ships.Great photos.In reply to your comment on my blog regarding the railroad tracks.There are seldom trains on that track and yes,jake would like that shot,I am sure.Thanks for remembering someone so special to me.

  4. I never went to camp when I wa a kid. Your collection gives us lots of history.

  5. So interesting the "Summer Camp" from your fine collection, John.
    Very beautiful the ship images and the landscapes, and what an amazing sky in your fifth picture.
    Many greetings, happy Sunday!

  6. I never wanted to go to camp though my mother would try to get me there. I just wanted to stay home and play outside with my friends or by myself. I lived across the street from the town pool and had a great woods to play in. I didn't need a camp!! : )

  7. Wow, you've preserved that letter! Cool.
    Alpha Happiness is a great name. I wonder if I can name my future kid that. :P

    Another fantastic shot of the skies.

  8. Thank you for the amazing photos. Love the last one.

  9. I love that picture of the sun behind the Olympic Mountains :) such a tremendous shots. I went to summer camp a few times as a youngster. Good times :)

  10. Hello John, I have been to girl scout camps when I was young, they were fun. I love seeing the ships, gorgeous views and photos. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  11. Love the Olympic Mountains and the evening sky photos, and I also like the reflections from the Holland America Westerdam. Great to hear campers are still enjoying the girl's camp--and the boys camp is still in operation. My grandma has shared fond memories of when she went to camp as a girl, and first learned how to swim.
    I myself have great memories from chess camp in 2010 and again last year, and so many awesome memories of going camping with my family as a small child. Thanks for an awesome post!


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