Camp Dellwood, Part Three

Of all the topics I’ve written about on The Vintage Traveler, the one that generates the most email is that of summer camps.  As I’ve written before, my area was famous for its summer camps, most of which are long closed.  One that seems to universally generate fond memories is Camp Dellwood.  Camp Dellwood was founded in 1926, and sometime later an adjoining camp, Hemlock, was added for boys.  It closed in 1973.

I can remember riding by the camp as a child, as it sat right off the road that we took to travel to my father’s family in the far western part of North Carolina.  I was always envious of the girls riding horses in the riding rink.  The archery targets were set up there as well.

I received these photos from Carol Hastings Sanders, who attended the six-week sessions of Camp Dellwood in 1954, 1955, 1959, and 1960.  She used these pictures, as well as dozens of her own photos and some 16mm movies, to make a 30-minute video, “Going Away to Summer Camp,” with a voiceover describing camp life.  She made it to share with her family and friends, and would be happy to share it with any former campers who are interested.

These photos come from a promotional brochure that Carol says was given out in 1960.  Many of the photos are older though, as they tended to use the same photos year after year.

I’d love to hear from any Camp Dellwood or Hemlock campers, and if you are interested in Carol’s video I can get her contact information to you.

I’m sure this is a creek or spring fed lake, and I just imagine how cold that water was, even in July!



Filed under Camping and Hiking

9 responses to “Camp Dellwood, Part Three

  1. Carol

    As I wrote in a comment on a previous post about Camp Dellwood and Camp Hemlock, I attended camp there in the early 70s. My brother was there before me. I also have some brochures from that time. I have very fond memories of my time there. I don’t remember the source for the lake, but it was chilly and not as clear as my local swimming pool! The spring water that flowed near the gymnasium and was set up for drinking was soon delicious though! Thanks for keeping the memory of the camp alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol Hastings Sanders

      Yes, the lake was quite chilly. I was told it came from a stream flowing down the mountain, which would explain why it looked muddy after heavy rains.

      My summers at Dellwood were wonderful. My two brothers both went to Camp Hemlock during the 1950s, although not always the same years as I went to Camp Dellwood.

      As a bonus to the camping experience, a group of us campers from Virginia reached camp by taking an afternoon train from Newport News to Charlotttesville. Along the way we stopped in Richmond to pick up more campers. Once in Charlottesville, we transferred to a train with a sleeping car for the trip to Asheville. We arrived in Asheville the next morning, and a bus picked us up and took us to camp. What a great time we had on the train!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Allison D. Anders

        My mother, Eleanor Thomas Riepe (1945-2014), attended Camp Dellwood and was later a counselor. I remember she said she taught swimming. She was 15 in 1960. She grew up in Charlotte Court House, Virginia. In the early 1980s she drove us down the old road to camp, and we walked around what remained of some of the cabins and buildings. She loved showing us Maggie Valley.


      • Edward

        I went to camp Delwood 1939 and 1940. Hemlock didn’t exist then. I remember green and gold clothing Friday nights. Raising and lowering flag. Different time and discipline.


  2. Well, summer camps evoke strong memories, no what where they were. I remember going to two different ones–one on a lake in Wisconsin when I lived near Chicago and one in the San Bernadino mountains when I moved to California. Campfires! Crafts! Who can forget it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rebecca Goodwin

    My mother and her cousin attended Dellwood in the 1930s and she often reminisced about the camp and about “Lady Mary,” and English woman who was the camp director.


  4. Doug Carlisle

    I have a good many negatives of pictures made in the 1930s or 40s. My uncle was a counselor there. I would like to give these to someone before I’m gone as I am sure they will be of no interest to anyone in my family.
    A phone call would be great. My number is 704 473 8493. Thanks.


  5. Judy Walker McGuirt

    I attended Camp Dellwood summer of 1960 and have fond memories of new friends and activities! My cabin was Tamanousies and adult leader was named Clarice. I remember Jerri Culloden from Naples, FL and Anne Branchof CopperHill, Tennessee. Sophomore year of college at USC I reacquainted with another camper from that summer who was from Macon Ga – Ginny Durham. Wonderful place in time!
    Owners at that time were M/M Crum of Richmond, VA.


  6. I attended Camp Dellwood in 1952 and 1953. Some of us brought our horses with us. I remember the trail rides, the rifle range, and the icy lake with fond and some shivery memories. So many of my fellow campers are no longer with us. Those were good times. Remember the trip to Biltmore farm for the freshly frozen ice cream. And the wonderful train trip from Norfolk, VA to Raleigh to change trains and on up to Asheville. Bus ride to the camp was exciting too. Drove up from Virginia Beach the next year with my horse Sarah.


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