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SHF Bulletin Board -> Ask a Historian about Saratoga!

#1:  Author: marilyn diamond PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:43 am

I attended Camp Swig when it was Camp Saratoga in the 1950s. My friend and I would like to visit the grounds ONLY IF over the years the site has remained the same. Would you know if the main hall, cafeteria, pool, long sweeping lawn, tent cabins, flag pole etc are the same? Or, in retrofitting, does the camp look very different.

Thanks very much for your help.

Marilyn Diamond

#2:  Author: Guest PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:07 pm
Dear Marilyn Diamond,
Thank you for your question. At the present time, Camp Swig is closed for renovation. It is my understanding that many of the structures need extensive work and the site will be closed for several years while construction takes place.

For further information you might want to visit the Camp Swig website or call them at (415) 392-7080.

April Halberstadt
Saratoga Museum

#3:  Author: chucksch PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:56 pm
Hello Marilyn,
As April said, Camp Swig is currently closed for renovation, which began about two years ago. I drive by the camp on a regular basis and progress seems to be going at a lesurely pace. Although obscurred by roadside vegetation the camp can be viewed if driving slowly on Highway 9 and Redwood Gulch Road.

The camp has been used as a Jewish children's summer camp since it was purchased with a grant from the Swig family and renamed. Most, if not all of the buildings date back to the time when authors Charles and Kathleen Norris purchased and owned the property from 1920 to 1945.

For historical information of the building of the Norris' mountain retreat which they called "the ranch", I suggest reading Kathleen Norris' memoirs entitled "Family Gathering" Originally printed in 1959, the book is out of print but can be obtained from several Internet sources. It contains pictures, informtion about the family and their contemporaries, and describes their experiences in San Francisco, Saratoga, Palo Alto and vicinities.

Thank you for checking our website and for submitting your question!

Chuck Schoppe
President, Saratoga Historical Foundation

#4:  Author: TallTrees2001Location: Scotts Valley PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:50 pm
I was also curious about this camp (have a friend that also has good memories of there) and now I am confused about the replies here. The photos that showed up on a Amateur photo site, dated one month ago, elsewhere on the internet, did not show or mention any remodelling. It listed all the photos with very tall weeds, as "Abandoned Camp". The structures shown were very much in need of repair. Now I'm really curious.

#5:  Author: chucksch PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:57 pm
Hello Talltrees2001,
Work on the camp is apparently on-going. A new fence and main entrance have been installed along Highway 9, and it looks (from th highway) that much work has been done on the property. In addition, the old entrance with the tall rock pillars, which has been closed off for many years, has been re-opened. I suspect that this original entrance (probably dating back to the Norris' ownership) was unuseable for buses due to the tight turns, so the entrance on Redwood Gulch was a better alternative. What was the website address to which you referred showing weeds and indicating an "abandoned camp"? The property certainly does not appear to be abandoned.
Thanks for your interest!
Chuck Schoppe

#6:  Author: TallTrees2001Location: Scotts Valley PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:02 pm
Thank You Chuck,
I recently learned by email from the previous Owners, in New York, that the site was sold. The intent to be a private school.
Thank you for the update,

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