The Door County Historical Society will host its monthly dinner meeting and program on Camp Meenahga 1916-1948, the private girls’ camp located in Peninsula State Park on Monday, May 23. The program will feature Kathleen Harris as Mrs. Clark, founding camp director. The dinner will begin at 6:00 pm at Mr. G’s Logan Creek Grille in Sturgeon Bay.
One hundred years ago, at the invitation of the State of Wisconsin, two spirited women from St. Louis (Mrs. Alice Orr Clark and Mrs. Fannie Woodward Mabley) established a camp for girls in Peninsula’s great outdoors. Peninsula Park staff member Kathleen Harris will re-enact Mrs. Clark and share the Meenahga legacy. Learn how a $300 fee (circa 1920) offered, in the words of the camp directors, “a [nine week] vacation from fashions and abnormal excitement.” Using historic photos, many never seen from the Peninsula Park’s archives, Harris will reveal where to see remnants of Camp Meenahga in the Park and she’ll explain the Park’s Like to Hike program.
In Ann Thorp’s article in the Peninsula Almanak No. 5, she describes the undertaking to establish “Camp Meenahga” which ironically was an excerpt from a 1976 presentation to the Door County Historical Society by Alice Clark Peddle (Mrs. Clark’s daughter): “In the beginning the setting was primitive and the task of organizing a camp required perseverance and hard work.” During its 32 years many changes occurred, “From bloomers and braids to shorts and short curls, the campers spent their summers in the sun and water, taking canoe trips, learning archery and horsemanship, to putting on pageants and plays.”
Kathleen Harris is the Peninsula State Park Naturalist since 1998. She has spearheaded efforts related to Camp Meenahga archives, and routinely talks about camp history on nature hikes. She holds an MS in Resource Management/Environmental Interpretation from the UW-Stevens Point and BA degrees in History and Sociology from Miami University of Ohio.
The dinner program will be held at Mr. G’s Logan Creek Grille, 5890 Wisconsin 57, Sturgeon Bay (south of Jacksonport). A buffet dinner of Broasted Chicken, Swedish Meatballs, Vegetable, Mashed Potato, Coleslaw, Dessert and Coffee will be served; two pre-ordered, plated options are also available: a Chef’s Salad or Vegetable Pasta Alfredo. Buffet dinner and program fees are $21 for Society members and the guest fee is $25.
Please make your reservation by sending payment to the Door County Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 with a memo stating if you would like the buffet or a plated option. The Reservation Deadline is Wednesday, May 18, 2016. If you are would like to attend the program only, the fee is $5 and the program time is 6:45. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or Director.DCHistoricalSociety@gmail.com
The Door County Historical Society is a membership organization dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The Society operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.
Media Contact: Trudy Herbst
(920) 421-2332 Director.DCHistoricalSociety@gmail.com