From the Archives, August 12, 2018

Now and Then, Part II

This week’s “Now and Then” takes us to Stahlman’s Waterfront. A waterfront is not an area you would think would change dramatically over the years, but as you can see here, you would be… well, mostly right, but a little wrong.

The top photo is Stahlman Waterfront in 1970. Note the large tree with a white sign on it. The sign says “Stahlman Waterfront” and marks the entrance to teh area. There is a double log fence and from there you can clearly see the L-shaped docks. The docks have wooden decks on metal frames. Just behind the tree you can barely make out the wooden lifegaurd tower. And, of course, in the distance, Explorer Island.

The bottom photo is Stahlman Waterfront in 2015. Only a stump remains of the tree and the while the “tower” is in the same place, it is a permanent rock structure. The docks start in the same place, but are made of different material and take a different formation. The fence is different now too. Also note the disability access trail to the waterfront, which would not even have been dreamed of in 1970, but was installed in 1995. And, of course, let’s not forget Explorer Island in the background. That is quite literally what 45 years of growth looks like.

Waterfront

Top: The Stahlman Waterfront in 1970; Bottom: the Stahlman Waterfront in 2015.

From the Archives, August 5, 2018

Now and Then, Part I

Taking a look at the old hanging sign inspired us to run a specific series for August, something we’re going to call “Now and Then.” The whole idea behind this particular series is pretty simple. As Boxwell is always evolving, we wanted to show some of the changes side by side. So, we’ll pick something mundane and put two photos side by side: something from several decades ago and today, or at least close to today.

In the spirit of something mundane, we thought we start with signs. The cedar planks that are routed out with the names of various locations are undeniably part of the “Boxwell aesthetic.” They help define how the camp looks and feels. But even these signs have gone through changes over the years.

On the left is the first major directional sign you see upon entering the reservation: the sign at the Cripple Crab pointing out where the different camps are located. This is how the sign looked in 1970. With the arrival of Camp Craig in 1973, the “Boxwell Reservation” plank was replaced with “Camp Edwin W. Craig.” From there the sign remained mostly unchanged until the 1994 Capital Development Campaign and the addition of CubWorld and the demise of Murrey

Since then it has slowly transformed into the picture on the right. This photo was taken in 2002, but the sign is largely the same today, all the way down to the security camera hiding in the shadow in the upper right corner. Notice that in this photo you can see the Health Lodge in the background, which didn’t exist when the 1970 photo was taken. Also, if you look closely, the Parnell and Light planks still appear to be the originals.

Crab Sign

The sign at the Cripple Crab in 1970 and 2002.

From the Archives, July 29, 2018

The Entrance to Boxwell: More Kudzu

Here’s another post on the old hanging entrance sign. Just a little more on this and we’ll move on to something, we promise!

The sign here is after the 1972 Capital Development Campaign and the addition of Camp Craig. You can see the addition of a “Camp Edwin W. Craig” plank on the bottom of the sign. This is the way the entrance sign would look for approximately 20 years before it came down in the 1990s.

This photo also has one other point worthy of note. You can see that 1974–the year of the photo–was one of the years that an attempt was made to kill the kudzu on both sides of the road. If you’ve been out to camp recently, you’ve probably realized kudzu is an incredibly resilient plant!

HWY 109 sign

The hanging entrance sign after the addition of Camp Craig.

From the Archives, July 25, 2018

The Entrance to Boxwell: Follow-up

Just a small follow up to Sunday’s post. Here is another, better photo of the hanging sign at the entrance to Boxwell. More importantly, it is an even better view of the crazy kudzu madness. Note that Camp Craig is not listed on the sign, so the kudzu growth here is all pre-1973.

More on the sign in the days to come!

Hanging sign

Hanging Sign at the corner of Creighton Lane and Highway 109

From the Archives, July 22, 2018

The Entrance to Boxwell

The recent road-widening construction on Highway 109 forced Boxwell to move its current sign. This got us thinking about the old entrance into camp and some of the history there. So, this week, we look at the hanging sign.

The hanging sign was not at Boxwell when the current location first opened, but it came along pretty soon thereafter (more on that later). The sign was on one of several steep embankments. There was an embankment on each side of Creighton Lane as you turned in, and of course, one across Highway 109 that is still there today. When you turned into Boxwell coming north toward Gallatin, the hanging sign was on the right hand side of Creighton Lane, just like the current sign is.

Of course, these embankments were prone to heavy erosion when the rain, er, Boxwell dews came. So, as legend has it, Stahlman’s Con-Yard Director, a White County teacher by the name of Tom Parker had a solution: the sttaff would plant kudzu on the embankments. The invasive nature of the plant species was not yet understood in the States, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Boxwell Staff planted a LOT of kudzu over several summers–one plant about every foot! Indeed, planting kudzu was even an SL activity for both camps; no one was spared.

As you can see in this photo from about 1970, the kudzu has taken root, both under the sign and across the highway. It is already quite thick in this photo, leading to periodic attempts to kill it. None were wholly successful!

Hanging sign

The original hanging sign entrance to Boxwell Reservation, ca. 1970.