Camp Chinidere

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Chase
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Camp Chinidere

Post by Chase » August 10th, 2012, 9:01 pm

Splintercat wrote:Paul, I had trouble relocating the link, but I found a history page related to Camp Meriwether (BSA) that described the old camp at Wahtum Lake as the precursor to Meriwether. The part that caught my eye was a section that talked about the kids hiking up the Eagle Creek Trail to reach camp (along with their exhausted parents), and pack stock bringing in all of the supplies along the Herman Creek Trail. I believe the lodge at the camp burned in about 1922, so it seems to pre-date the old road along Waucoma Ridge. In other words, the pack route along Herman Creek may have been the only supply route. I'll try to relocate the page, but it made me wonder if the old West Fork trail had any use for this purpose..?

BTW, the camp was not located at Scout Lake, which would seem logical, and was, indeed, based at Wahtum Lake. There are apparently some old artifacts still around, and I've often wondered if some of the waterworks on the north side of the lake are from the camp. Much more to research on this topic!

Tom
Today one of my trail work partners (Busdriver John) mentioned this old Boy Scout Camp at Wahtum Lake, very close to where we were working. After we finished our trail work he led us to some of the remaining artifacts.

Before those pictures, however, I'd like to mention that many of us have seen one of the important artifacts of this camp. You know that pipe that runs along the trail between Wahtum and Chinidere? That was apparently the water supply for the Boy Scout Camp [hereafter referred to as Camp Chinidere].
Photo0360.jpg
bits of metal
Photo0359.jpg
Photo0358.jpg
John thinks this was the old chimney.
Photo0357.jpg
Stones from the structure. Now used as seats at a campsite where the structure used to be.
Photo0361.jpg
The pipe.
This place was huge!
scoutsonejpg-159fb33f1c63d44c_large.jpg
Camp Chinidere.
Camp chinidere july 8 1920 oregonian.jpg
Although the camp was started in 1916, this article is one of the earliest I could find about it, 1920
Ten days later this article appeared. More detail and photos!
Camp chinidere july 18 1920 oregonian.gif
Later that year...problems.
camp chinidere havoc pt. 1 and 2 dec 14 1920 oregonian.jpg
Camp chinidere june 19 1921 oregonian.jpg
Enthusiasm for the camp was up again the next summer.
The Oregonian had roughly 25 articles about Camp Chinidere from 1920 to 1924. Then nothing. The camp burned in 1925. For some reason when they reported the fire, they never mentioned the camp by name, so I had to do some sleuthing to find it. August 22, 1925 was the date of the paper that reported the fire. The suicide haircut article that follows is also worth a read.
Camp chinidere burns aug 22 1925 oregonian.jpg
More here:
http://home.comcast.net/~kevinrudesill/ ... oregon.htm

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Chase
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by Chase » August 11th, 2012, 9:41 pm

Thanks for moving this over here, Jerry.

I forgot to mention a few other key pieces of info in my other post:

1. To find the remains of the camp, start at the west side of Wahtum near the log bridge. Head north up 3 switchbacks to where the trail straightens out. There are a few campsites on the flat spots there. Start poking around. If you keep heading north, up the slope, then you'll see the exposed pipe and you've gone too far.

2. You need to imagine that the area on the north side of Wahtum looked much different in 1920. All (?) the trees were gone on that side of the lake. From the camp you would have had an open view of the lake and the diving area and all that stuff on the lake. I don't think the outlet to the lake was quite the same (correct me if I'm wrong here). No logs floating there. Also, no road in and out of the Wahtum area.

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kepPNW
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by kepPNW » August 12th, 2012, 7:33 am

Splintercat wrote:... I found a history page related to Camp Meriwether (BSA) that described the old camp at Wahtum Lake as the precursor to Meriwether.
That's sorta odd. Meriwether's on the coast. I think the closest to here would've been Baldwin?

Cool history, though!
Karl
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RobFromRedland
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by RobFromRedland » August 12th, 2012, 6:58 pm

kepPNW wrote:
Splintercat wrote:... I found a history page related to Camp Meriwether (BSA) that described the old camp at Wahtum Lake as the precursor to Meriwether.
That's sorta odd. Meriwether's on the coast. I think the closest to here would've been Baldwin?

Cool history, though!
I went to Meriwether several years ago (as an adult), and purchased the book "An Early History of Camp Meriwether" and it talks about Camp Chinidere and it burning, and then the quest to find a new site for the camp, finally settling on the current location of Camp Meriwether on the coast. An interesting quote talking about the challenges of the camp location:
He was well aware of the drawbacks of the Chinidere camp location. It was 14 miles by foot up the spectacular Eagle Creek trail and for 12 to 15 year olds -- skinny or fat -- not to mention mothers or fathers who wanted to see how sonny way making out, it posed serious problems. Every pound of flour, every duffel bag, every board and nail had to come into camp by pack trail up the Herman Creek Trail, a dusty and less beautiful trail but one better suited to pack animals.
Cool history, though! I may have to go up that way to find those artifacts!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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kepPNW
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by kepPNW » August 12th, 2012, 7:14 pm

Wow, that old camp would've really been something, alright.

I went to Meriwether too, but as a scout. Probably '73?
Karl
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Chase
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by Chase » August 14th, 2012, 4:06 pm

I acquired three relevant photos regarding this thread today, though I'm not allowed to post them.

Photo #1 shows Camp Chinidere on September 3, 1923. The photo is clear enough to see that the structure had at least two large rooms made from logs with windows (can't see actual glass, though). One room was much larger than the other with an elevated section, like a loft. There is no large brick or stone chimney visible. It looks as though a large stove pipe-style chimney was used. Looks like a well-crafted structure!
There are a small number of stumps (large in diameter) on what appears to be the south side of the cabin. There is also a large fir in front of the cabin, contradicting my theory that all the trees near the cabin were cut down.

Photo #2 shows Wahtum Lake from the south shore looking directly at Mt. Chinidere. Next to the photo is states, "Mostly tree-covered Mt. Chinidere rises above Wahtum Lake, evergreens cover hills right down to the shore." Dated 1931. This also contradicts my theory that the trees on the north side of the lake were cut down. Cannot see the outlet of the lake in this photo.

Photo #3 is undated, though I would guess it is from sometime after 1931 and before 1950. It shows a similar view as photo #2, though it is of higher quality and shows better photographic composition. The trees on the north side of Wahtum look even healthier in this shot, also contradicting my theory that the trees on the north side of the lake were cut down.

RobFromRedland
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by RobFromRedland » August 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm

Here are a couple of photos I scanned from that book I purchased. Hopefully I'm not breaking any major copyright laws by doing that. I think they are interesting photos, especially given the context here. The "after the fire" photo shows there was a masonry fireplace at the lodge.
CampChinidereLodgeBeforeFire.jpg
Lodge Before the Fire
CampChinidereLodgeInteriorAndAfterFire.jpg
Interior of the Lodge and a photo after the fire
I didn't realize until after I posted these that the interior shot was already posted in the thread. OOPS!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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Chase
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by Chase » August 15th, 2012, 8:41 am

Thanks, Bobfromredland!

Looks like that book is not available at the Multnomah County Library (though I could check other libraries in the area) and goes for too much money through some sellers online.

Does it mention when/how the camp started? I've read different accounts, ranging from 1914 to 1919 as the beginning of Camp Chinidere, although this website states 1918 with some other decent-looking research to back it up. Possibly "unofficial" scout groups were camping there via Herman Creek in 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1917?
I know next to nothing about boy scouts, their organizational structure, and history since I was never a scout nor had interest in scouting.

RobFromRedland
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by RobFromRedland » August 15th, 2012, 4:13 pm

Chase wrote: Does it mention when/how the camp started? I've read different accounts, ranging from 1914 to 1919 as the beginning of Camp Chinidere, although this website states 1918 with some other decent-looking research to back it up. Possibly "unofficial" scout groups were camping there via Herman Creek in 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1917?
I know next to nothing about boy scouts, their organizational structure, and history since I was never a scout nor had interest in scouting.
That website you quoted above is the local Boy Scout council (CPC), so I would assume it is reasonably correct. The book I have doesn't say a whole lot, other than this:
"It had been established around 1914 or 1915 under the leadership of My Brockway (ed: the chief executive at the time). The camp was on Forest Service land and consisted of about ten acres of leased property. Wahtum Lake was a beautiful mountain lake extremely cold and drew its water supply from high up in the mountains. The physical property of the camp consisted of one very large log structure that contained a central room used for dining purposes or for recreational activities during inclement weather. The room had a very large fireplace at the back and at one end was the kitchen and at the other a couple of small rooms - one of which served as the camp canteen or trading post, and another small room that was used as the camp office."
The book kind of contradicts itself too - the text says 1914 or 1915, but there is a page with photos that says "Camp Chinidere" (1918 to 1925). So, somewhere between 1914 and 1918 it appears the camp was created.

This book was published by the Cascade Pacific Council (CPC), so I assume it is reasonably historically accurate, but I think between these two accounts it is probably about the best historical reference you will find. It doesn't really go into the details of how Camp Chinidere was created, I guess since the book is more about how Camp Meriwether came to be.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Camp Chinidere

Post by Eric Peterson » August 27th, 2012, 6:06 am

Ahh, hiked the short cut a few days ago and noticed the pipe. Must have been feeding
from a spring that was further on up closer to the PCT junction, otherwise I thought
what was the point when Whatum Lake is just right there but didn't know the camp
was above the lake and the structure would need a gravity feed system. Cool stuff
Chase, thanks!

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