Camp Sequoyah

Camp Patch from Camp Sequoyah

This was a 520 acre Boy Scout Camp located on what is now the Eastern wooded portion of Camp Fitch. The camps ran simultaneously for many years and Campers and Staff who were present when both camps were operating share stories of pranks and baseball games between camps. By the 1970's the camp ran year around and saw over 5,000 campers pass through every year. It even ran it's own amatuer radio station on site and had a well established apple orchard.[1]

History

Mr. A. E. Doerr sold his farm to the Washington Trail Council (Now consolidated into the French Creek Council) on June 29, 1929, five years after the Holliday Family sold part of their farm to Camp Fitch. This property and its mile of shoreline became known as Camp Sequoyah. The 520 acre camp included an apple orchard and large barn for storage with an elevated earthen walk-in. The barn later burned down. The Boy Scouts cleared the land and built the camp facilities themselves. This included cabins, an archery range, and a rifle range. In 1954, a Dining Hall was built at a cost of approximately $150,000 and designed in the shape of a cross. By the 1970s, Sequoyah operated year around, hosting 5,500 campers a year. In 1975, The French Creek Council voted to consolidate all summer camping activities to Camp Custaloga Town in Meadville, PA. Camp Sequoyah was permenantly closed and officially sold to both Laport Builders and Camp Fitch in 1983. The 200 acres Laport purchased went to develop private cottages. Camp Fitch purchased the rest, including all of Sequoyah south of Ables Road and 300ft of lake front property, about 300 Acres total. The cost of the portion purchased by Laport Builders was to expensive for camp to justify. The Boy Scouts removed their Totem Pole and other Valuables.[1][2]

A map showing the boy scout camp as it was in 1950. The Archery Range, Amphitheater, and Rifle Range are still there.

The Property Now

Most of the infrastructure, like the dining hall, were located North of Ables Road and anything still standing is on private property. The Archery Range, Rifle Range, Amphitheater, and Order of the Arrow Camp Site were on what is now owned by Camp Fitch. The Amphitheater and Order of the Arrow Camp site still exist, but are overgrown from lack of use. The Amphiteater is visible from Ables Rd near the upper pasture. Anyone wanting to access it should wear long pants and closed toe shoes due to the large quantity of poison ivy. The Order of the Arrow is harder to find, especially in the summer due to the foliage. Dann Olin is one of the best resources for those wishing to see these sights.

The property has been left mostly undeveloped and serves as a natural buffer to the township. The upper pasture is one of the few improvements made to the area. This makes it ideal for horseback riding, hiking, and out camping in the summer.

As of 2012, the rifle range and archery range pavilions are still standing. The boy scout craft shop is standing, but the roof and floor are near rotted out. A latrine on the far east edge of camp marks an old tent camp site.

This building was probably the craft shop, located in the field just west of where Abels turns South.

Using an outdated map, the approximate location of this may make is Alstadt Lodge.

This lodge may have been the health center. It is still standing North of Abels Rd, Across from the red staff house.

The Dining Hall still stands and appears to be in good condition on private property.

The former Ranger's Home now serves as staff housing for Camp Fitch.

Ben Pratt and Eric Jay exploring the entrance to the rifle range.

Ben Pratt at the rifle range, notice the man made hill behind the where the targets stood.

See Also, Works Cited

References

1. a, b Baker, Evelyn, August 24, 2002. Camp Sequoyah - 55 years of Scouting. Erie County Pennsylvania Genealogy.
2. a Tear, Phil, 1964. Camp Fitch Golden Anniversary. Allied Printing, pp.1-35.
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