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Old 05-23-2004, 12:14 PM   #1
Arleen Zimmerman
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named after "Welfare Metropolitan" ?

Someone a while back posted that our camp got its name from Welfare Metropolitan. What was that?
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Old 05-23-2004, 10:35 PM   #2
tinaoxer
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How did Wel-Met get it's name

Hi, I thought I remembered something about the Metropolitan Jewish Welfare Association.

My husband Ed, who was associated with Wel-Met for a much longer time.......remembers something like: Needs of kids were " well met", he is not sure where that came from...

Maybe someone else has better ideas.

Tina Shriman Oxer '61-'64

Ed Oxer '55 -'64
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:51 PM   #3
David Fried
 
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What follows is gathered from information I received from the Director of the Ten Mile River scout camps:

The Van Allen family from New York City purchased about 1,000 acres in the late 1880s, on a property know as Crystal Lake. They developed the property by erecting buildings and making various improvements. Every summer, the Van Allen family and their friends spent a month or more at Crystal Lake. They built a large hunting lodge and called it Stag Hall.

Some New York millionaires then purchased the property, also for summer family vacations and outings.

In 1923, 3,000 acres of the property was purchased by three Monticello residents as an investment.

Two years later, they sold 800 acres to Isidor Liebow of Brooklyn, for use as a youth summer camp. The property included a hotel, large clubhouse, cottages and various outbuildings.

During the late 1920s, Camp Wel-Met for Girls was developed on Crystal Lake of the former Van Allen property.
It operated there until 1929 when the property was sold to the Queens Chapter of the Boy Scout Foundation of Greater New York to create Camp Man of the Ten-Mile River Scout Camps.

Many Wel-Met buildings were utilized when the Boy Scouts purchased the Crystal Lake Tract in 1929. These consisted of a waterfront, five wooden buildings on the hill, a dining hall and two wooden buildings on the lakeshore and Stag Hall. Stag Hall had numerous bedrooms and was used as an administration center, trading post and medical office and the Camp Man headquarters until it burned down in 1937.

In 1935 Wel-Met Inc. a non-profit organization was established by the Metropolitan League of Jewish Community Associations to operate country camps for urban residents and the Wel-Met we know was born.

If someone has the time to go to the Columbia University rare manuscript library some more intresting information might be available.

Thats all I know
David

An interesting side note from a Tusten history site:

Gordon Ransom LaBarr
Born 13 August 1821, died 15 April 1882. Gordon is the 5th generation of LaBarr’s in this country, decended from Peter who immigrated to America from France in the mid 1700’s and settled in PA. He is the son of Jacob and Sarah (Ammerman) La Barr, born in Pa buried in Tusten Cemetery. He married first an Amanda? And second to a Susan Fetter born 7 March 1835 in Germany, died 2 January 1901.

In 1875 New York State Tusten Census their children were Emma, Francis, James H., Calvin S., Jacob D., Daniel F., Jackson I., George G., Margaret, Joel.

Gordon served as Postmaster in Beaver Brook from 20 Dec 1871 to 25 April 1882.

Descendants of the LaBarr family still live in Tusten
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Old 05-24-2004, 10:17 PM   #4
tinaoxer
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thanks

Thanks David, we will keep looking for history....Tina Shriman Oxer
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:25 PM   #5
sscher
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early history

I have a picture (from the Boy Scouts) of an entrance to Wel-Met in their camp that got taken over by Ten Mile River. I don't know how to send pictures through this page. I just joined a half hour ago.

I am trying to find history of Wel-Met from the days when they were in Harriman State Park. Anyone know anything about those times?
Sue Scher
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:02 AM   #6
MitchEDELSTEIN
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What about Camp Utopia?

All of the history is appreciated, however Narrowsburg was definitely called Camp Utopia. I have a post card of the old Camp gate with Camp Utopia on it. I have memories of arriving in the morning at the admin building at Narrowsburg and when the sun was shining right you could see the old Camp Utopia sign below the brown paint. And finally if you look up Camp Sternberg, the current Camp on the Narrowsburg site, that we came to appreciate so much last summer -- you will note that their address is: Utopia Road

Mitch 6/10/2004
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Old 06-11-2004, 06:47 AM   #7
Marty Baicker
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Camp Utopia

There appears to be some contradictory information about the history of Wel-Met.

According to original documents in the archives at Columbia University, Wel-Met was founded as the Metropolitan Jewish Centers Camp Association, Inc. in May of 1935. I have a copy of the original Certificate of Incorporation.

There is nothing in the Wel-Met archives that refers to a Camp Wel-Met for Girls. Wel-Met orignally operated at Bear Mountain State Park as a camp for boys. The camp opened in 1935. So this is a bit of a mystery.

The Metropolitan Jewish Centers Camp Association, Inc. (later to be officially known as Camp Wel-Met) purchased Camp Utopia (what we all know as Narrowsburgh) from Isidor and Laura Liebow of Brooklyn, New York on January 7, 1944. The Liebow's had operated Camp Utopia for 7 years. Wel-Met paid $90,000 for Utopia. With cash from the Utopia sale, the Liebows purchased another site, several miles from Narrowsburgh and opened a second Camp Utopia. This property was described as " 600 hundred acres.... a bare tract....with a spring- fed fresh water lake 125 acres in area".

Mr. Liebow died in 1953 and his family put the second Utopia up for sale. The Liebow family approached the Wel-Met board about purchasing this camp because "of the poor children you care for". The sale was completed in 1954 and the Barryville Divison was born.



Marty Baicker

Last edited by Marty Baicker; 06-11-2004 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:54 PM   #8
Sharman Mancher
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Cool

Marty,
I really like you in this role as official historian!
These questions have gone unanswered for so long.Thanks.
With Love,
Sharman
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:01 PM   #9
David Fried
 
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What else did you find in the archives ?
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:09 AM   #10
Marty Baicker
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the wel-met archives

Hi David,

The Wel-Met "archives" at Columbia contain 4 or 5 boxes of Board of Directors minutes, historical documents, reports, internal memos, financial statements, and a lot of miscellaneous "stuff". There are also the bills of sale for the purchase of Narrowsburgh and Barryville and a copy of the original certificate of incorporation. Marty
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:52 AM   #11
David Fried
 
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Hi Marty,
Its very cool to see you looked at that stuff. I was hoping that there were some photos or better yet rosters of campers that could help us find lost campers. But it sounds like no such luck ? Thanks you have saved me a trip.
If you have a way to scan the documents and post them to the photo section I will make a history section.
Thanks,
David
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:06 AM   #12
DavidG
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Additional info

As Marty said Camp Utopia operated at the Narrowsburg site from 1937 to 1944--so that 'May, 1937' inscription on the stone columns facing the main entrance of the dining room are from Utopia not Wel-Met. In addition, before Narrowsburg, Camp Utopia (run by the Liebows) operated out of Milton, Vermont since at least 1921, possibly earlier and also possibly out of another location also in the Berkshires.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #13
MitchEDELSTEIN
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Great research = Thanks to all

Greetings from my home in Raquette Lake NY in the Adirondacks. As many "Camps" in the Adirondacks have names, my house has a name and a craved sign in front. The sign says "Met-Wel" It was named in honor by the two new owners, Elliott Masie and Mitchell Edelstein who had met and worked at Camp Wel-Met many years before.

FYI, in the Adirondacks a "camp" is any place that people use to live, visit, vacation, etc.

"An Adirondack camp does not mean a canvas tent or a bark wigwam, but a permanent summer home where the fortunate owners assemble for several weeks each year and live in perfect comfort and even luxury, tho in the heart of the woods, with no very near neighbors, no roads and no danger of intrusion."
William Frederick Dix, Summer Life in Luxurious Adirondack Camps, 1903


Mitch Edelstein
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