Off-site exhibit rocks Camp Long for the park’s 75th birthday

September 11th, 2016

Please enjoy this video of the flag ceremony at Camp Long’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, including speeches by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and others. At the end, Jerry Thornton, who grew up in West Seattle and worked at Camp Long as a teen, relates some history of the park.

 

Volunteer Bob Carney (right) orients board member Jenni Bodnar and husband Steve to our ongoing exhibit in the Camp Long lodge at the 75-year celebration at the West Seattle park on Sept. 10, 2016.

Volunteer Bob Carney (right) orients board member Jenni Bodnar and husband Steve to our ongoing exhibit in the Camp Long lodge at the 75-year celebration at the West Seattle park on Sept. 10, 2016.

By Bob Carney

One of the exhibit's display panels

One of the exhibit’s display panels

Click this image of intern Cleone Abrams to see her essay about Camp Long and the role of Clark Schurman and others in its creation.

Click this image of intern Cleone Abrams to see her essay about Camp Long and the role of Clark Schurman and others in its creation.

One of the hidden jewels of West Seattle is Camp Long, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this fall.

This 68-acre park is the only one in Seattle that allows overnight camping. Ten rustic cabins built in 1938 fit the bill. There also are nature trails, beautiful trees, a creek and small pond, picnic shelters, a large campfire ring and an impressive stone lodge (known as the Head House) completed at the entrance in 1941.

The lodge was constructed by the workers for the U.S. Works Progress Administration (WPA) with paving stones obtained from the city during removal of the Madison Street cable-car line.

Many rock climbers had their first experience on Camp Long’s Schurman Rock — a 20-foot-tall, erratically shaped climbing rock made to incorporate every potential climbing problem.

To help celebrate Camp Long’s 75th year, our organization put together an exhibit that tells how Camp Long came to be. Pictures and text illustrate how a dedicated judge, William Long, with Clark Schurman and others, conceived the idea for Camp Long.

There are even stories of “benevolent larceny” employed to get the required material to build the camp during the Depression years.

Camp Long is at 5200 35th Avenue S.W. The exhibit is in the main hall at the lodge. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Thanks!

This exhibit is funded by a smART Ventures grant through the city’s Office of Arts & Culture. Photos and artifacts are provided by the National Park Service, University of Washington Special Collections and the Seattle Municipal Archives.

Special thanks to the Mountaineers’ historian, Lowell Skoog; to Sheila Brown and Jeanie Ouellette-Murphy, the director and education staffer, respectively, for Camp Long; and to Tiffany Hedrick, Cleone Abrams and Bob Carney.