( click here for the Camp Crowell Hilaka Memories project)
- 2018 Park office renovation, plans for Lake Jinelle dam upgrade, Invasive Species Task Force, new roofs on old structures, horses on bridle trails, doors on outhouses. Programs include scheduled hikes, "Get to Know Your Park" lecture series, guided tours, and the return of Trick or Treat on the Trail.
- 2017 June 12 - Challenge to RJRD's management of the Clean Ohio parcels is resolved.
- 2017 - Transformation from camp to public park
- 2017 May 6 - Gund Hall re-opens with the Richfield Firefighter 5K Run / 1K Walk
- 2016 October- December Master Plan options and Community Response
- 2016 August 22 - RJRD votes to name the property Richfield Heritage Preserve.
- 2015 - 2016 first year as a park. Park opens from dawn to dusk daily starting October 6, 2015.
- 2015 June 30 - RJRD purchases the property from Western Reserve Land Conservancy
- 2015 - Clean Ohio Grant awarded to help with land purchase, creating natural preservation zones within the property
- 2015 January - Western Reserve Land Conservancy purchases property from GSNEO for approximately $4,000,000.00
- 2014 November 4th - Voters of Richfield Village and Richfield Township approve a bond issue to purchase the Crowell Hilaka property and a levy for funds to operate it.
- 2014 September / October - Coalition for Greater Richfield launches the Richfield Together campaign. Bobbie Beshara & Sandy Appidone, co-chairs. Statement: Why Crowell Hilaka is Important
- 2014 June - Formation of the Richfield Joint Recreation District ( RJRD ) between Richfield Township and Richfield Village for purpose of acquiring Crowell Hilaka / Ohio Revised Code Section 755.14
- 2014 April - Buckeye Trail Association pledges $33,600 for preservation & public access
- 2014 March - Conservancy extension granted from GSNEO until November of 2014
- 2013 December - Richfield Village Council asks if the Conservancy can request a contract extension from GSNEO
- 2013 October 20 - FoCH hosts Crowell Hilaka Open House with Conservancy sponsorship.
- 2013 October 1 - Richfield Village endorses FoCH purchase of Crowell Hilaka
- 2013 Sept 19 - Richfield Township endorses FoCH purchase of Crowell Hilaka
- 2013 September - Richfield Historical Society endorses FoCH purchase of Crowell Hilaka
- 2013 August 30 - FoCH launches publicity / fund-raising campaign
- 2013 August 27 - FoCH meets with the Conservancy. Funds in excess of $4,000,000 are needed to secure the purchase of the property from GSNEO - contract between Conservancy and GSNEO due to expire in November 2013
- 2013 June - GSNEO announces Western Reserve Land Conservancy withdrawal from purchase agreement for Camp Lejnar. This prompts questions about the Conservancy’s contract for Crowell Hilaka.
- 2012 September - Members protest a council-sponsored closing ceremony.
- 2012 July - GSNEO announces purchase agreement with Western Reserve Land Conservancy
- 2011 December - Camp Crowell Hilaka is closed
- 2011 and beyond - Closure of Crowell Hilaka is part of a national trend to sell Girl Scout camps
- 2011 April 16th - GSNEO Board of Directors announces it will sell Camp Crowell Hilaka along with four other camps. Members organize to protest.
- 2010 - FoCH hosts numerous events to showcase the camp
- 2009 – GSNEO Board of Directors organizes the Vision 2012 committee to evaluate all the camps in the council. Survey results. Crowell Hilaka is the favorite camp of GSNEO.
- 2009 September 15 - GSNEO announces it will allow north half of camp to remain open pending Vision 2012
- 2009 July - Friends of Crowell Hilaka is formed to stop the closure. FoCH reaches out to Western Reserve Land Conservancy
- 2009 June - GSNEO announces it will close Crowell Hilaka and eight other camps on October first
- 2007 – Merger of Lake Erie, Western Reserve, Erie Shores, Lake To River and Great Trails Councils to form GSNEO
- 2005 – All horses are sold.
- 2003 - first Cadette/Senior Summit
- 2002 - September 26 - GE Day of Caring
- 2001 - New planning for expansion at Crowell Hilaka and at Camp Lejnar in Lake County (15-megabyte file; may take a few minutes to download)
- 2000 – Last summer of resident camp at Crowell Hilaka
- 1999 - October - Devastating lawsuit filed by parents of a child injured while in the horseback riding program
- 1995 – Camp Margaret Bates closes, forcing constituents to move to Crowell Hilaka. / First Blue Jeans Benefit
- 1992 - Spiff's Garden planted in honor of Lisa Lee Pruett. Lisa's troop planted a woodland garden and returned on Memorial Day every year for 25 years to tend it.
- 1990 - Oviatt Road intersection with Rt. 303 moved 150 feet west
- 1980's Camp Life
- 1984 - Horses moved to Crowell Hilaka / structural upgrades to historic buildings
- 1983 – GSLEC hires landscape architects Knight and Stolar to create a master plan for Camps Crowell Hilaka and Lejnar
- 1979 - Scouting Outing adult training event
- 1977 - "Catch Today" Canadian Camp Exchange
- 1970's Camp Life
- 1976 - Crowell Hilaka designated as LEGSC's "principal outdoor program property". Couldn't do it without the Camp Managers
- 1976 – Doodle-le-Doo national Wider Opportunity event
- 1972 - 40-person delegation from Japan stays at camp and plants a Japanese garden
- 1969 - Gemini Cabin dedicated / New boathouse constructed
- 1968 - National Senior Roundup
- 1967 - New construction is completed at Camp Hilaka; the major additions included "George Gund Hall," "Louis D. Beaumont Pool," Chagrin Cabin," eight other units and a water system and sanitation plant. Resident camping expands.
- 1960's - Camp Life
- 1967 - March 15th – Pipeline right of way granted to East Ohio Gas Company.
- 1963-1966 – Fundraising for Camp Hilaka expansion project
- 1963 - Merger of Cleveland Council with Lake County Council (which included Geauga County ) to form Lake Erie Council.
- 1960 June 12th – The new land is dedicated and named "Camp Hilaka" for Lake Linnea, or the "High Lake."
- 1960 – "Hi Lea Shelter" built in memory of Sallie Louise Parker.
- 1959 - August 4th - Lightning strike at camp kills 2 girls
- 1959 - Gemini Road constructed as the entrance to the new northern acres. Troops begin camping on the new property.
- 1958 - May 18th – "Mable Smith Shelter" dedicated in honor of a beloved 10-year council staff member.
- 1957 – Cleveland Council purchases the 93 acres of land adjoining Camp Julia Crowell and brings the total property to 336 acres.
- 1953 - First map showing the Gas Cut, "a thirty-foot strip of meadow across the width of the property". south of its current location
- 1950s – Camp programs expand
- 1950 - Seely Cabin built.
- 1949 – Hilltop House built
- 1947 - World Encampment held at Camp Julia Crowell. Sundial dedicated in meadow below the mill.
- 1940s - Camping is increasingly popular.
- 1943 – Camp Julia Crowell is among the first in the state to allow African-American girls for summer resident camp.
- 1942 - Camp Julia Crowell earns its "V"
- 1938 - Camp LIfe
- 1937 - Camp Julia Crowell is opened
- 1937 - Camp Julia Crowell is named for the first commissioner of Cleveland Girl Scouts.
- 1937 – Girl Scout families and supporters raise the money to purchase the Kirby estate. The fund raising committee pointed out that Cleveland was the only Ohio council without a camp.
- 1936 - Kirby agrees to sell estate to Cleveland Girl Scout Council
- 1936 - Amity House built for Herbert and Helen Neal
- 1920s: Kirbys buy the adjoining farms. Family and friends often visit the beautiful property.
- 1928- North House and Coach House built by Clarence and Clara Neal
- 1924 - Upper Lake created.
- 1923 - Garfield Hall built
- 1921 - Lake is patented
- 1920 - Kirby House & dam built
- 1919 - Jim Kirby purchases the Oviatt farm
- 1918 - Neal Fruit Farm established
- 1863 - Milton R. and Ruth Oviatt Freeman buy the western part of Nathaniel Oviatt's farm.
- 1856 - March 14: The Great Sleigh Ride
- 1850 - Mason Oviatt dies in California while prospecting for gold
- 1836 - Mason and Fanny Oviatt build their home on what is now Oviatt Road near Route 303.
- 1818 - December 24: The Great Hinckley Hunt, followed by The Great Christmas Barbeque
- 1811 - Heman Oviatt purchases northwest quadrant of Richfield from Captain Benjamin Tallmadge
- 1795 - land opened to white settlers through the Connecticut Land Company
- Prehistory - evidence of prehistoric human presence on site discovered by Dr. Phil Wanyerka of Cleveland State University. 2017
Whenever possible, timeline entries are linked directly to supporting documentation.
Early history of Camp Julia Crowell. Notable for mention of Kirby's botanist. Undated.
Camp Julia Crowell nature notes. Undated.
Cleveland Press archives in the Cleveland State University Special Collections Library: news clippings and photos.
The Quayle/Stomberg History Project
Jacqui Muth's Comprehensive CH History and 2009 illustrated blog http://savecrowellhilaka.blogspot.com/2009/07
Ohio Historical Society and University of Akron: historical tax records
Western Reserve Historical Society: agricultural products index, archives
Summit & Medina County recorder’s offices: deeds
Akron Main Library: historic patents collection
Cleveland Plain Dealer archives, online
The Richfield Times: historical articles
Sunny Baddour and GSNEO History Committee archives: mainly “The Millwheel” newsletters. Also camp reports, photos and memorabilia.
A Promise Kept, Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council, 2002.
The First 75 Years- A Council History 1912-1987 by Georgianna Bonds.
Conversations with descendants of the Oviatt, Freeman, Kirby, and Neal families; GS volunteers, parents, girls, and alumni
Special thanks to the Richfield Historical Society for maintaining records of community events, organizing interviews, compiling clippings binders, and preserving historic journals. In addition, providing a warm friendly place for struggling researchers; making introductions; and providing support, writing room and meeting space. None of this would have come together without you.