This is part 2 of our look at Camp Wishe, a children’s sleepaway camp that has been abandoned for more than 15 years. Click here for part 1!
Camp Wishe is located on what used to be old Route 6. When the Wishe family purchased the property in the 1940’s, it consisted of a run down inn, a defunct gas station (which we’ll see in the third installment), and an old ice house.
The family decided to try their hand at a summer camp, and in the late 40’s, began clearing the land by hand – cutting down trees, moving rocks, and building the initial structures.
In the first year, Camp Wishe boasted 12 campers and 3 counselors. Within a decade, that number rose to over 100 campers, and by 1951, the first cabin was built. Below, a picture of a cabin in pristine condition taken decades ago…
…and today, after 15 years of abandonment.
Frankly, they’re in pretty good shape all considered – and I challenge you to not imagine spending nights here in a bunk as a warm summer breeze blows through, the trees creaking outside…or better yet, curling up in your sleeping bag as a thunder and lightening storm rages outside, with only mosquito netting and the overhang of the roof to keep out the elements.
I love the Camp Wish cabin names, posted beside each bunk’s door. Below, signs for Bunk II: Lettuce Inn, and Bunk III: Shangrila.
Bunk IV: Twilight Zone (would’ve been my choice):
Bunk 5: Rocky Road.
Inside the cabins, wood-frame beds are still lined up as if campers are expected later this month:
Some have mattresses, and even pillows!
Best of all though are the names covering the walls, ceilings, and floors of the cabins:
There must be hundreds in total, spanning decades:
Mar Slept Here…but when?? Always leave a year! Note the cat drawing and the flower…
The oldest date I caught was from 1963…
A bunch from the 1970’s (note: Cherry the great!):
I wonder where Lurch and Scooter are today:
Outside one of the smaller cabins, a forgotten trunk:
Two smaller cabins with a roofed-over yard area:
Inside one of the cabins…
A ton of old camp supplies:
Wondering where the bathrooms were? I’m pretty sure either the toilets or showers were found in this structure (probably my least favorite part of camp):
I think this slightly more reinforced structure was the counselor cabin:
My favorite bit inside…
This old chalkboard…
…which still has a bunch of whimsical chalk drawings depicting the camp’s horses (it was a riding camp, after all):
Amazing this kind of thing would still be around after 15 years:
And much nicer bathrooms!
If you’re looking for a camp locale for your next production, it wouldn’t take much to restore these cabins enough for a shoot – and you can’t beat this authentic, totally classic camp look. Best of all, with the camp closed down, you’d have your run of the place without having to worry about campers showing up for the summer season.
But there’s even more! Coming Thursday, the final installment, with a look at the camp’s rec facilities, including the old pool, basketball court, and lake!
And if you missed it, be sure to check out part 1 here.
If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,619 Scouting NY readers have donated $34,304! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!