The above postcard is from about 1910 and shows the entrance to the camp grounds. The view has changed very little since then.
Note: The Chester Heights Camp Ground was founded in 1872 when they purchased some 148 acres in what was then Aston Twp. The camp is still in business and the boro of Chester Heights grew up around it. The boro was incorporated in 1945 and has a population of about 3000. The article this week is about Chester Heights Camp life from over 100 years ago.
Children at the camp had to attend meetings etc. it was not all fun. The above certificate is from 1897
COTTAGE LIFE AT CHESTER HEIGHTS CAMP
Fifty Families Already Located There For the Summer
Once more people are on the old tenting ground, getting ready for the camp meeting of this good old Methodist place of 60 many sacred remembrances, and happy gone by days. While many of the old faces are not seen here anymore, yet others rise up to take their places.
Fifty families are already settled in cottages, for the season and only about four cottages are not taken. There are two nice cottages that can be rented and two smaller ones but it is not likely these will be on the market long.
The grounds are being cleaned and put in good condition. There is plenty of water in the reservoir and five good wells with pumps and water of the best. And the water question is to be made one of particular importance. The Cottager’s Association have contracted for and have the cash to pay for an artesian well up on Summit Avenue. The machinery and tools will arrive in a few days and they expect to begin drilling this week. This promises to make the old stagers and natives sit up and take notice.
The swimming pool is full and the folks, big and little, young and old, are making good use of it.
The truckers and nearby farmers are in the grove every day with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, berries, etc.
The camp store and one of the best up-to-date stores, has been open and doing a good trade for one month.
The farmer, Mr. Paxson, supplies the cottagers with ice every day or when wanted. Ice is also at all times ready to haul for the cottagers’ trunks, furniture, etc.
The devotional committee conduct regular Sunday school exercises every Sabbat at 10:30 A. M., and preaching at 3:00 P.M., by the Rev. John Smith of Mt. Hope M. E. Church. Young People’s meeting or song service is held at 3:00 P. M. with the regular prayer meeting every Wednesday night.
The board of managers are trying to have everything in good shape for the camp, both spiritually and financially holding extra meetings of the board to keep in touch with the progress of the times.
The fifth annual carnival of the Cottagers’ Association will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 17th, 19th and 19th. The cottagers promise that this will excel all former years. With music and many new attractions, it has become the great event of the grove. They are to be commended in this good work and should be liberally patronized, as they use the proceeds for the improvement of the campground.
The camp is making a record this season, with one death, one birth, and one marriage.
One of the first campers and original stockholders and about the only one now living, Mrs. Margaret S. Conn and family of Atlantic City, are comfortably housed in her cozy cottage on the Circle. Mrs. Conn is in her eighty-fifth year, but gets out to the meetings and enjoys herself.
The spiritual director, Rev. Jones, has his arrangements about all made and is working to make good this year.
Calvin H. Smedley, superintendent of the grounds, is a very busy man and is making the grove look clean and inviting.
Hamilton D. Ewell, president of the Cottagers’ Association, is another busy man. He has his overalls on and is down to hard pan. He is the right man in the right place.
Special Thanks to Kate Clifford for her work in the newsletter below