Long Lake Group Camp – Yankee Springs Township MI

Description

Long Lake Group Camp is one of two camps developed by the National Park Service during the late 1930s and early 1940s as part of the Yankee Springs Demonstration Area. The camp consists of two “villages” of eight cabins, each arranged in a semi-circle around a fire pit. They include a dining hall and kitchen and latrines. A bathing beach is nearby.

As one of the many New Deal work-relief initiatives, the NPS’s Recreation Development Areas (RDAs) program constructed dozens of organized camps and park facilities on tracts of sub marginal farmlands for the dual purpose of conservation and recreation.

Labor for Yankee Springs for was provided by non-CCC relief workers, locally employed men (LEM), and non-relief laborers from Barry, Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties.

Work on the RDA project began on November 14, 1936. In the summer of 1939, the Gull Lake Bible Association of Zeeland, Michigan, and the North Side Gospel Association of Chicago, jointly were the first group to use camp.

The design of the camp was a group effort. Peter De Gelke, the NPS landscape architect, created the general development plan for Yankee Springs RDA. Herbert A. Lamley and Theodore N. Zaetsch, also landscape architects, created the layout plan and designed the Long Lake Group Camp, respectively. The architect Ernest F. Hartwick designed the Long Lake Group Camp structures. The individual unit cabins were designed under the NPS philosophy of organized youth group camping, placing an optimum number of four campers per cabin. The wood-frame cabins provide adequate sleeping space, light and ventilation in a compact and economic form.

Now administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Sources, the group camp is used today as part of the Yankee Springs Recreation Area.

Source notes

Murphey, John W. “Long Lake Group Camp Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places nomination, 1996. 

Project originally submitted by John Murphey on February 24, 2015.

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Location Info


Long Lake Road
Middleville, MI 49333

Coordinates: 42.617567, -85.517757

One comment on “Long Lake Group Camp – Yankee Springs Township MI

  1. Charles A Rarick

    My Grandfather and Great Uncle told me they worked for the WPA, making Gun lake from the swamp.
    I am looking for historical documentation on the WPA and Gun Lake. Can you help me confirm this….

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