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Camp Windigo

Camp Windigo

Posted: 17 Sep 2005 12:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am looking for any information about Camp Windigo in Windsor, Massachusetts. Who lived there, etc? The house was apparently built in 1790 but will soon be demolished by the state. It was used a kids camp many years ago and was given to the state as an addition to Windsor State Forest.

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 17 Sep 2005 8:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
In the early 1970's the camp was bought by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( the Mormons). It was used for about ten years for various camp for church members from Albany area, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. I spent many an enjoyable time there. Several families went up for Thanksgiving in the mid 1970's and we were snowed in and had to wait for the big grader to come and plow us out. I drove by 2 years ago and the brush had grown up but the house was still there.

Re: Camp Windigo

Deb (View posts)
Posted: 20 Sep 2005 11:32AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for the information, Beth. I know that Windigo was used as a camp for kids but did not know about the Latter Day Saints using it.

Unfortunately, the house is slated to be torn down, possibly within the next year. As it was built in 1790, it would be a shame to lose it.

Re: Camp Windigo

Tracy (View posts)
Posted: 8 Oct 2005 1:58AM GMT
Classification: Query
I spent wonderful times at Camp Windigo in my teens in the 1970's. There was a barn just behind the house and to its right. It was floored and filled with bunk beds for the summertime when large groups of kids would go up. I remember hearing that the church sold the property after the barn burned. (I also remember the showers in the barn being strictly cold!)

I don't remember a lot about the inside of the house except a great fireplace in the dining room, and a big kitchen. We didn't spend much time indoors-- when we were inside, we were always in front of the big fireplace. It would certainly be nice to save the house.

I wish I could remember how to get there-- I'd drive by this weekend when I'm out there on business. If you made an effort to stop demolition, I'd back you in name. I live in central Mass. now, so that's probably as much help as I could give.

Tracy

Re: Camp Windigo

Beth Dunstan (View posts)
Posted: 10 Oct 2005 2:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Follow the signs to Winsor Jams. It is very near it. I could drive it by sight but I couldn't tell you from my memory. We would walk to the Jams from the camp. I think it is no more than 1/4 mile away.

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 27 Jul 2009 5:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
You know, I have been googling Camp Windigo for several years, and this is the first time your inquiry has appeared. I attended Camp Windigo in Windsor from 1962-1966. It was 25 years old in 1962 and closed maybe ten years after I left? some time later.... It was a WONDERFUL camp. It was owned and run by two Phys. Ed. teachers from Smith College. It was coed ages 6-12 (13 if you were an old camper). There were 30-36 children in the camp and it was a farm camp. We took care of and raised baby ducks, chicks, pigs, goats, sheep a calf, puppies and kittens. Also laying hens. The camp owned a burro and a couple of horses and used Smith College horses, for a total of six horses. We had riding and swimming and hiking, campcraft, shop, arts and crafts, nature....and of course, caring for the animals. The camp was (now here I may be remembering wrong....) 72 acres and included a blueberry meadow. There was a farmhouse, which I guess is gone now, which had huge trees and a swing in front and several barns: two were the bunk houses, one--right across from the house-- had a theatre in the loft and nature stuff downstairs (many years later I visited and it appeared that the new owners had turned it back into a barn--it housed animals again)--there was also a stable and a pasture and smaller outbuildings for the hens, kitchen staff, etc. Oh, and the pasture was an old apple orchard. So it had been a farm, became a summer camp, then a farm again, and I guess became derelict and was deeded to the state. I am sorry it is gone as a camp, but very happy that it is part of the state forest, and not a condo complex! (It had two ponds that were dug for swimming holes and a stream at the bottom, bordering on the forest. THere was an old cemetery next door, too.) What is your interest? Did anyone else respond? I have been looking for other alumni.

Sally R Zanger

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 27 Jul 2009 2:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Decelles:Bourdo;Granger;Morey
My Grandparents (Decelles) are the people who sold the farm to the Smith College profs. I don't remember if it was 1942 or 1943 . I believe it was 42 .Gramp had a massive stroke and could no longer live on his own. Moved to Worthington to live with one of his daughter. As of abt a month ago the farm house was to be torn down. Has been declared un "fixable " I havn't been up there this year (live in Florida) last year I was diappointed in seeing all the logging that was being done . Joan

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 28 Jul 2009 11:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
It breaks my heart, and it must break yours, too! Miss Logan and Miss Ryder took such good care of that place--it sparkled. We used to eat, all 35 of us plus counselors, in the dining room -- four tables. I suppose the ground floor was all dining room and an institutional type kitchen by the time I was there in the 1960's but I was a kid and a camper and did not look much beyond my nose! I can tell you that the out buildings were also well taken care of. Jack (if you give me a week or so, I will probably remember his surname) was a local carpenter who took care of everything.
Do you know who bought the farm from the professors? I remember it being for sale....my parents were a bit tempted but I remember my father saying he didn't want to buy land with buildings that he would have to maintain. Was it sold to the Latter Day Saints for a camp immediately, or did it go to someone else in between? I wondered if it went back to being a farm, since it looked like that when I was there in the late seventies.
Did your grandparents name it Windigo? I recognize the name Decelle and so I suppose that the camp directors told us that it was the Decelle farm. Was it your family's farm before them? Did the your ancestors build the farmhouse? I confess that every few years I would have dreams, or really nightmares that I went up there and there were condos. Such a beautiful spot. The last time I was there, probably in the late 70's or very early 80's, was during the fall foliage and it was breathtaking. As a child, I did not appreciate the physical beauty of the place, although I surely loved it. srz

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 28 Jul 2009 12:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, I wanted to add to what my sister has already said. One of the things we did for activities as campers was maintain the place, clean out the stream, etc. I was younger over all when I went to camp, but one of my favorite spots was "blueberry meadow" up a small knoll beyond the horse barns. It was likely not as big as I remember, but I don't think I've every been anywhere with such an endless amount of blueberries to pick. And then we made jam. Miss Ryder and Miss Logan also knew all the areas around camp and at least three days a week we took hikes to various areas around the camp. It breaks my heart to think of how it has been abandoned. But I am thrilled that it is part of the state park system and will not be developed.

Re: Camp Windigo

Posted: 24 Aug 2009 6:19AM GMT
Classification: Query
I just got "friended" on facebook by a young man who goes up there all the time because he thinks it is haunted by murdered campers (!??!) and I surely did not want to spoil his fun, but was very happy to see his photos. He did not have photos of the land, so I could not see any logging, but it appeared that the house is still there, so far.
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