ONTEORA SCOUT RESERVATION NASSAU COUNTY COUNCIL, B.S.A.
A SHORT HISTORY OF ONTEORA
Onteora Scout Reservation is one of two long term camping facilities operated by the Nassau County Council, B.S.A. The first year of operation in 1956 saw 80 Explorers enjoy its rugged trails and beautiful lake. Since then it has grown to serve 4,000 scouts a summer. Two camps at Onteora are currently developed. These units of the Reservation along with several special programs provide a variety of program opportunities to the Nassau Scouts.
The property on which the Reservation is located has a long and rich history which begins with the Lene-Lenape indians. They used the Sun Trail to go from the Hudson River to the Delaware. Later that same trail was enlarged by John Hunter and in 1815 became known throughout the area as the Hunter Road. This road was used by many traders and farmers since it was the first road in the area. In the 1880's the property became one of the favorite fishing spots of the area and a man named Todd Hammond built a large manor house on the property overlooking the lake and developed the lake and streams for trout fishing.
By the turn of the century the property was a logging area for the Resherif Lumber Company. What is now the Al Nassau area of the Reservation was then a small town consisting of five houses, a logging camp and a mill. To this day, the foundations of the houses and mill can be seen. During the "Roaring 20ís" the area was the property of the New York Trout and Skeet Club. Many people came to the area from the city to fish and vacation. During WW II, however, due to the rationing of gasoline, the club was forced out of business.
When put up for sale in 1942, the club was bought by Mr. Charles R. Vose for $20,000. He used it as a private retreat until 1956 when the Nassau County Council bought the property with the help of a donation from Mr. Alfred H. Capery. Many thousands of scouts have enjoyed the property since its purchase as members of either short or long term contingents.
Some materials have surfaced that indicate the exact name of the club that once owned the camp was the "Trout and Skeet Club of New York". Also, it appears the Council actually bought the property in 1955, not 1956 as listed above.
That's the end of this history lesson, so, when you're ready, please head back to the main history page