The Lenni Lenape Indian tribe lived on what is
now known as Onteora. They traveled between the Hudson and Delaware rivers on the Sun
Trail, which later became known as Hunter Road.
1708 - Queen Anne grants 2,000,000 acres of
land to a group of property owners, including a John Hunter and the Livingston family.
The Livingstons built a manor house on the
shores of the Willowemoc, which is now the site of the town of Livingston Manor.
1811 - John Hunter increases his holdings
1815 - Hunter hires Able Sprague to clear a
road along the path of the Indian Sun Trail. The Hunter Road, as it became known, was a
major factor in opening the area to commercial development. The road became the main route
through what is now Onteora, and can still be readily traveled today on foot.
1880's - Stoddard
("Todd") Hammond builds a manor home
overlooking the lake, and develops the stream for trout fishing.
1889 - Julius "June" Smith builds a dam and
enlarges Alder Lake.
1895 - Hammond builds a fish
hatchery on the Orchard Lake property, spending more than $18,000 on the project. It
was built by Julius "June" Smith, who had previously built the
dam at Alder Lake.
Samuel Coykendall buys Alder Lake. His new manor home there
is completed in June, 1900.
1899 - Orchard Lake is in
the news when a
poacher is shot and seriously wounded by a watchman. The poacher is later
awarded $15,000 in damages in 1900.
A lengthy series of appeals
followed, but the outcome is unknown..
1900 - The Orchard Lake property was logged by the
Resherif Lumber Company. They built a small town with five houses, a logging camp and mill in what
is now known as the Al Nassau (Marshall Lesser) section of camp.
1907 - The deed to the
property was transferred on Sept.
17, 1907, from Carrie K. Hammond to the Orchard Lake Trout
Preserve, Stoddard Hammond, President.
1911 - Coykendall offers
to supply trout eggs
from the Alder Lake hatchery to restock the depleted lakes and streams of
1911 - The deed was
transferred again, this time on March 24, 1911, from Carrie K. Hammond
to the newly formed Orchard Lake Club.
1913 - Mongaup Pond,
formerly also owned by Stoddard Hammond, is
sold. The article mentions that
when the Orchard Lake property had been sold earlier it reduced Hammond's
overall mortgage by $12,000, providing an indication of the 1911 sale
1915 - A local
news story shows the
Orchard Lake Club has approximately 60 members and owns 5,000 acres.
1933 - Another transfer of
the deed, on Feb. 21, 1933, from The Orchard Lake Club to Orchard Lake
Development (1,957 Acres)
1942 - The property is sold for $20,000 to
Charles R. Vose, who used it as a private retreat.
1943 - The deed is
transferred on Nov. 3, 1943 from Orchard Lake Development to Trout and
Skeet Club, Inc., commonly known as the Trout & Skeet Club of New
York &/or The Orchard Lake Club.
1955 - The deed is
transferred on June 6, 1955 from the Trout & Skeet Club to Tropical.
On October 11, 1955 the deed is transferred from Tropical to Nassau
County Council, BSA, Inc. Nassau County Council buys the
property now known as Onteora Scout Reservation with a donation from Alfred H.
Eighty Explorers are at Onteora at the Explorer base Camp for the first season of summer camp.
1956 - 1st Operation Igloo.
1957 - Ranger’s Home built. Bill Donaghy moves from Carle Place to
become the Camp Ranger. Main entrance road from new Ranger's home down to the
lake replaced old one-way road leading past the dam and waterfronts.
1958 - The Long House is built despite a major
snowstorm. The Manor House
serves as Office, Health Lodge and Trading Post.
1960 - The Council House dining
hall opens. First Junior
Leader Training Camp program at Onteora. Nassau County Council purchases
Alder Lake property. Earliest known
date for the three chapels.
1961 - The Archery range opens.
Last season for the Explorer base Camp.
1963 - The Long Island Trading
Post opens. The Carriage House is torn down.
1965 - The Manor House, former
administration center, is torn down. The new Administration Building and Blauvelt Health
1966 - Earliest known date
for the JLTC Shelter.
1967 - The stables move to
the Archery Field, later known as the Rifle Range Field. Al Nassau
Program Shelter opens. The A Frame houses are built.
1968 - Buckskin Camp is
opened, including the camp's third waterfront. The loop
between Ute campsite and the Teddy Roosevelt Shelter area is opened. New campsites are
built there and along Sprague Brook. The camp is enjoying the busiest period in its
1969 - Ken Heim retires from
Nassau County Council and finishes his leadership of Onteora. Last
confirmed year for National Camp School at Onteora.
1972 - A full program of
summer camping is held at Alder Lake Scout Reservation.
acknowledgement that the planned Buckskin Camp was unlikely to be built
as planned, several changes were made in how campsites were assigned to
Program Shelters. The original Bobcat Program Shelter was renamed the F. Howard Covey Program
Shelter and assigned to Tribes Camp. The former JLTC shelter became the
new Bobcat shelter and was assigned to Chiefs Camp. This was to maintain
the tradition of shelters named after individuals in Tribes Camp and
animal names used in Chiefs Camp.
1973 - The last season for
the F. Howard Covey Program Shelter.
1974 - The last summer for
four camping periods. Due to declining attendance, some of the staff is
sent home after the third period. The former F. Howard Covey Program
Shelter is used as the Conservation Shelter. It was later used as the
Hiking Shelter before being demolished. Last season of Alder Lake as a
1975 - Last season for the Council House Dining Hall, which was used in following years as the
Craft Lodge and a storage facility.
new Rifle Range opens with a concrete slab in place. The horses are moved
to the former JLTC/Bobcat Program Shelter.
A shelter and trap range are added to the Rifle Range.
The old stables are torn down.
- Bill Donaghy retires as camp ranger and is succeeded by Herb Conrad.
- The Commissary/Bakery building becomes the Maintenance building.
1980 - Alder Lake Scout Reservation is sold to
New York State. Last summer for the Bobcat Program Shelter and the Country Store.
Glenn Gabbard becomes the third camp ranger. The Catholic and Protestant
Chapels are moved to a new location behind the maintenance area.
1982 - First season for the
Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire
1983 - Last season for the
Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire
Ring. Last season for the Bobcat Program Shelter.
- First season for the Arthur K. Woodcheke Shelter on Orchard Lake
(used for waterfront activities). First season for the Kenneth Heim
Memorial Campfire Ring, built by the Order of the Arrow.
1987 - Last season for the Otter
1991 - Onteora closes for summer
camping at the end of the season.
1997 - Onteora reopens!!!!!
1998 - The James E. West Shelter
is rebuilt on the site of the original shelter.
2000 - The Dan Beard Shelter
is torn down.
2001 - The barn is torn
2002 - The Dan Beard
Shelter is rebuilt on the site of the original shelter.
2014 - A popular ATV program is added