Continuing our series of archival photos and documents, today we have this; it’s an original application to attend Rockbrook from 1921, its very first year. That summer, girls attended for one long session that lasted 8 weeks between July 6th and August 31st. This application shows that Elizabeth Fisher from Hackensack, NJ was one of 35 girls who traveled to Brevard to be the very first Rockbrook campers. So neat!
Did you know that before Rockbrook was a summer camp it was well known in the area as a working farm? Henry P. Clarke, the father of Nancy Carrier, camp founder, was a well respected farmer in Brevard. After doing some research we have found that Mr. Clarke bred chickens, shorthorn cattle and even raised dogs. There was a large garden plot, muscadine grape vines and a dairy that was run by a family member of Mr. Clarke. When Rockbrook was founded in 1921 the farm provided all of the food and meat for the whole camp!
While doing the research on the farm, we came across Mr. Clarke’s name in several publications. We learned that Mr. Clarke operated a kennel called Brevard Kennel. Here is a snippet from The Field Dog Book:
We also discovered an interesting advertisement in the back of The Country Gentlemen Magazine for Rockbrook Farms Shorthorn Cattle. Check out the ad as well as a birthing record of two of the cows Lady Mell and Minerva.
It is clear that Mr. Clarke was a man of many talents! In our next blog we will share a great article about Mr. Clarke “saving the farming season” with his new modern tractor.
One of the most common memories shared with us from our former campers is their recollections of Polar bear swim in the chilly lake at camp. Campers would get up at the rising bell, and with their counselors would run down to the lake for a quick dip. What a refreshing way to start the day!!
We found a great write up about Polar Bear in our Rockbrook Memories Book. Jerkey, a much beloved Rockbrook director would lead the girls in their morning plunge.
“Much of the fun at camp that summer stemmed from Jerkey’s leadership. I can see her now as she led us during those wee hours of the early morning in a series of setting up exercises before we jumped into that icy cold pool. Somehow, even in my shivering state, she made it seem glorious thing to do.”
You will be glad to know that the Polar Bear tradition continues today and that the camp lake is as chilly as ever!! As the camp song states: “Polar, polar, polar bear, you can be a part of it all, if you dare!”
We were so excited to see former Rockbrook counselor and Junior Line Head extraordinaire Christy Middleton Buchanan when she stopped by the RBC office last week. She came by to introduce us to her sweet baby girl Mirabelle! Mirabelle was born July 1, 2010. She is absolutely adorable and already has been introduced to all of the Rockbrook songs! We wonder what her favorite song is?
Christy says that she is already counting down the days until Mirabelle can be a Rockbrook camper! Summer 2018 will be here before you know it! We will be waiting Mirabelle!
What a gorgeous time of year it is in Brevard ! The beautiful fall colors have arrived at Rockbrook and boy are they amazing. Even though it is quiet without the sounds of summer, it is a wonderful time to see the splendor of the changing leaves. The smells of woodsmoke and the crunching of the leaves are magical!
Here’s to the changing of the seasons! Happy Fall everyone.
We were thrilled to visit with former camper Shea Hussey Lackie and her parents and daughters last week. Shea wanted to give her future Rockbrook campers a tour so they would know all about camp when it is their time to attend. Sarah enjoyed walking around with them and sharing camp stories.
Shea’s parents were kind enough to bring copies of two Rockbrook photos that were taken in 1921, the year that Rockbrook began. Shea’s grandmother Kathleen Conant Hussey attended camp that year and is in both of the pictures. We were particularly excited about one of the photos as it features the campers eating dinner in The Rockbrook House. Before the dining hall was built, all meals were served inside The Rockbrook House (or Carrier House as it is sometimes called) but we have never found a photograph of mealtime. We were so happy that they were kind enough to share this picture with us as it is a great addition to our archives.
If you have any photographs that you would like to share please let us know. How lucky we are to have so much history in one place, here in the heart of a wooded mountain.
We had a nice conversation the other day with Belinda Strickland aka “Sparkie” who was a camper at RBC in the 1960’s. She told us that one of her fond camp memories was being chosen to be part of the Camper Council. The Council met weekly with Jerky and discussed lots of topics including the upcoming special events for the week. Most of us here in the office had not heard of the Camp Council before. What stories or memories do you have of the Council? If you have any information on the Council or any other stories you would like to share we would love to hear from you!
We sure have had a cold winter this year in Brevard, but take a look at this photo from our archives. Can you imagine ice skating on the frozen Rockbrook lake? It looks like the Carriers were having a great time sliding around- they didn’t even need ice skates! These days we drain the lake in the winter, but if we didn’t it would probably look just like this picture.