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Collage of images portraying Squam Lake in Holderness, NH


Miss Bacon brought with her several of the black students from Hampton to help in the kitchen and dining room. In this way they earned their tuition. As the camp grew, more help was needed, and there were plenty of students and professors eager to come north to help Miss Bacon. At one point it was said there were as many degrees in the kitchen as there were amongst the guests. This situation held true for both camps until the early '60's.

On Saturday and Sunday nights the Hampton people sang spirituals on the Longhouse steps. Saturday there were frivolous songs, but Sunday they were strictly spiritual. Porcia, the cook, was their leader, and her voice could be heard soaring above the others. Campers used to drift out front in their canoes to listen to the music. The group gave concerts for the general public in the surrounding towns and were much appreciated. Many of the key staff members for Miss Bacon and Mrs. Armstrong returned for 25 to 40 years.

In 1900 Miss Bacon wanted to return to Japan to teach for two years. She asked Mrs. Mary Alice Armstrong to run the camp in her absence. Miss Bacon saw in this young widow with two children many of her qualities and dreams. How right she was, for in 1901 Mrs. Armstrong bought the adjacent land to start her own camp, Rockywold. The two camps existed side by side but under separate management for sixteen years.

Many of the Hampton employees went on to become doctors, dentists, academics, musicians, and businessmen. "Were it not for RDC, a number of us would not have finished our education," wrote one Hampton student.

Waverly Easterly, who was on the Deephaven outdoor crew in 1948 and 1949, retired in 1989 as publisher of the oldest black newspaper in America, The Philadelphia Tribune.

~ from Roots and Recollections: A Century of Rockywold Deephaven Camps