Little Beaver Creek

The Little Beaver Creek watershed is located primarily in Columbiana County in northeast Ohio, and in portions of Carroll County, Mahoning County, and western Pennsylvania. Little Beaver Creek is a river of deep valleys, wooded slopes and occasional rock outcroppings. The river is boulder-strewn, consisting of fast-flowing rapids and riffles, quiet pools and clear swiftly flowing tributaries. It is a river of great diversity and relatively untouched by development.

Little Beaver Creek is one of only three rivers in Ohio which have also been included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

Little Beaver Creek in Camp Fitch History

 Photo of the Little Beaver Camp SiteIn 1914 the Board of Trustees of the Youngstown YMCA adopted a permanent policy of conducting a summer camp for boys. The campsite in 1914 was established at Cannon's Mills on Little Beaver River. Thirty-two campers where enrolled. The camp continued to operate at that site for the summers of 1915, 1916 and 1917. During these summers, campers were never permitted to leave the camp site without a forked stick, due to the abundance of rattlesnakes and copperheads in the area.

Due to growing enrollment, in 1918 the camp was moved to West Point, also on Little Beaver River. The site had been developed as a campsite by the Elks Club of East Liverpool.[1] At the close of the 1918 camping season, John H. Fitch donated $10,000 to purchase the West Point camp site and make permanent improvements. The property consisted of twenty-six acres of land and a lodge. The total purchase price was $4,500. In gratitude, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution changing the name of the camp from Ot-Yo-Kwa to Camp John H. Fitch.

During the summer of 1919, a $5,600 dam was built to improve swimming and boating facilities; however, in spring of 1920, the dam gave way to a flood and for the next three seasons the camp used a wooden dam constructed by campers and their families.

In 1923, the camp once again reached its capacity at eight tents and one ball diamond. A 93-acre (380,000 m2) site in North Springfield, Pennsylvania was picked to serve as a new permanent site for the camp. The family of John Fitch donated the money for the purchase of the new campsite.[2]

After Camp Fitch

The estate of John H. Fitch sold the West Point Camp to the East Liverpool YMCA in 1923.[3] That YMCA renamed the property Pine Ridge YMCA Camp and operated it as a summer camp until it closed for good in 1974.[4] The log cabin style lodges now on site were built by the East Liverpool YMCA. The dining hall was built in 1957.[5]

References

1. a Youngstown Vindicator, September 3, 1918. Gives $5,000 for Camp Site. Vindicator Printing Company.
2. a Tear, Phil, 1964. Camp Fitch Golden Anniversary. Allied Printing, pp.1-35.
3. a Ed Enterline, 1934 (supposition). History of Camp Fitch. Enterline Archives.
4. a East Liverpool Historical Society, 2007. YMCA Pine Ridge Camp. East Liverpool Historical Society.
5. a Youngstown Vindicator, June 29, 1957. Y Holds Open House at Camp's New Lodge. Vindicator Publishing Company.
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