Beside the logging activities located around the Perley’s Mills station I want to model at least one of the regional camps boys/girls camps. Ward wrote about the children who came to Bridgton and the surrounding areas to attend summer camp and placing one in proximity to the station will prompt passenger stops through the end of September as the campers exited the area at the end of summer and started preparations for the new school year.
I have photos of a few of the Bridgton and North Bridgton camps, but I was on the hunt for a camp in the Perley’s hamlet area. A Google search for local camps turned up a digital copy of the 1910 Maine Register Or State Year-book and Legislative Manual. On page 676 it cites two summer camps local to the station & the Denmark area: Wyonegonic (girls), Wiona (boys), listing Chas. E. Cobb as the proprietor. The boys camp is about 5 miles North of the girls’, on the East side of Moose Pond, so the Southerly camp, ~4.5 miles from the station, is the likely modeling candidate.
The first girls camp in the area offered a 1 month stay at a boys camp in 1892. According to Maine History Online, “Many early camps were based on the idea that overcoming the ills of contemporary society (urban and industrial problems) required helping youths experience a more “primitive life.”
“Wyo,” established in 1902, consisted of three camp sites and was one of three girls-only camps in the region that year. The photos I have or have reviewed show the girls learning horseback riding, first aid, archery, swimming and boating. With the logging going on at the time, I wonder if there were any lessons taught about deforestation around the camps. Per a reference below, tents were not replaced by cabins until 1929.
A relatively recent article about Wyo states that transportation to the camp in the early years was by barge, yet one a few years later cited the use of the railroad. Without another camp identified in close proximity to Perley’s, and since this is about building a scale railroad, I will lean towards the article which references the RR and pull one of the Wyo girl’s camp sites within reasonable distance of the station for modelgenic purposes.
Wyonegonic is an active camp today, operating from June until August, and continues to be a popular destination. Deposits for attendance are required by November 1st of the preceding year.