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Collage of images portraying Squam Lake in Holderness, NH

Physical Facilities

Each year cottages replaced tents until, as today, 61 cottages and two lodges spread along the lake shore at respectful distances from each other. Electricity replaced the lantern, plumbing replaced the backhouse, and hot water replaced the bath in the lake. More subtle changes are still taking place today to make things a bit easier and yet not change the basic character of the camps. Comfortable rustic seems a fitting description.

One custom that has held through the years is the cutting of ice from the lake. Two hundred tons are cut and stored in ice houses in each camp. Ice boxes in the cottages hold the ice for guests. This harvesting takes a crew of 7 a week to accomplish and is still an economical solution for the production of ice. The camp kitchens, which once used blocks of ice to preserve food are now served by modern refrigeration.

In the spring, steam still rises from the sugarhouse as the sap is boiled down to maple syrup. Two to three hundred gallons are made to sell to guests each year. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

A fire destroyed the Rockywold dining room in 1932 and in 1959 a brush fire swept into the center of the same camp and razed the laundry, 3 men's dorms, the icehouse and the pumphouse. In RDC style adjustments were made and Camps opened as usual. For one summer all the guests crowded into the Deephaven dining room.

Camp legend has it that once or twice when Mrs. Armstrong discovered she had double-booked a cottage, she simply had another one built. Two frequently cited cottages are Nuthatch and the aptly named Backlog.

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