YMCA Gorham History

1872 William Henry Dart (“Bill”) came to the Adirondack Mountains (the “Northwoods”) to trap.

1879 Bill Dart built the first cabin on the north shore of Second Lake. This cabin still stands today and is known as “Gorham Cottage”

1887 Bill Dart built a second building which was used as a guest cottage. A year later, he married Mary Kronmiller who became his business partner and cook and a third cottage was added.

1892 Bill Dart purchased the entire lakeshore from Dr. Webb. With the completion of the Adirondack and St. Lawrence Railroad, visitors could now ride the train to Big Moose Station; take a stagecoach to Big Moose Lake; then take a boat to Darts Landing. From there, they boarded a buckboard which was pulled by ox to Dart’s Camp.

1901 The lake was given the name “Dart’s Lake”.

1908 “Dart’s 4th Class Post Office” was established and Bill Dart became the first postmaster. The Post Office remained in operation until 1953. The current safe that is located in the Camp Gorham office is the original safe from the Post Office.

1921 Bill and Mary Dart retire and their daughter, Emma, and her husband, John Lesure, take over Dart’s Camp. 1925 Annual horseshows begin at Dart’s Camp. 1927 Dart’s Camp for Boys began and ran concurrently with the resort until 1933.

1930 The new main building was constructed, which is the currently dining hall.

1933 Around this time, tough times set in and a Utica Bank takes over the property.

1943 George H. Longstaff purchases the property from the Bank.

1960 The YMCA of Greater Rochester purchased the entire property with the intention of opening up a summer camp for boys.

1961 A group of young men began working on the property to prepare it for use as a boys camp the following summer. This pioneering group—known as the “Campmakers”, worked under the leadership of Ranger Barney Barnum and Director of YMCA Camping Services Weldon Hector.

1962 YMCA Camp Gorham opened as a summer camp for boys. The camp was named in honor of Jack Gorham and his wife, Irene, who played a prominent role in making it possible for the YMCA to purchase the property.

1963 The first Family Camp was held during the week following the end of the boys camp program. 1976 YMCA Camp Gorham went co-ed and welcomes both boys and girls to its summer program.

1979 The Bunkhouse complex is winterized in order to provide a longer camping season and six years later, Cedar and Birchwood cottages were build as the first two winterized cottages.

1989 Birch cottage was built, followed by the Infirmary in 1991.

2008 In December, the Bunkhouses are burnt to the ground in an accidental fire. No one is hurt, and plans begin to rebuild the structure in 2010 begin. 2009 New “High Peaks Village” opened with 5 Adirondack log cabins for youngest girl campers.

2010 Official Alumni Association chartered for Camp Gorham. Larry Davis Jr. becomes the first Chairman 2011 Wilderness Lakes Lodge is officially opened for year round use. Camp Gorham also celebrates its 50th birthday!

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Events Calendar

Camp Corral

June 24, 2018

  Camp Corral at YMCA Camp Gorham:  June 24 – June 29, 2018 – children of military families experience the week of a lifetime!

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Aug 19 2018

August Family Camp!

Family Camp August 19 – 26, 2018 YMCA Camp Gorham specializes in premier family camping programs! Families look forward every year to unplugging from the […]

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Sep 28 2018

Women’s Adventure Weekend I

Join us with your best friends for a weekend of Adventure in the Adirondacks!  September 28 – 30, 2018

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