"In the mid 1940's the Pueblo Quarterly Meeting Young Friends, under the sponsorship of Millard and Helen Powell, started a camping program. It was usually a four day camp. To begin this camping program someone had to have a 'concern'. The concern seemed to be sparked in the hearts of the Pueblo Friends Church. Perhaps others had such a concern, but the Powells took the lead. Different campsites were used at first, then the YMCA's Camp Crocket, near San Isabel was rented through 1948. A desperate need was felt for a new place as kids were sleeping in every available spot, including the barn. The horses would stick their heads over into the mangers where the kids were. It was overcrowded and the youth groups were growing. The kids came from all over Colorado along with some from Kansas and Nebraska. More room was needed!
A committee was chosen to find another site for the following year. Many trips were made to different areas trying to find something to rent or buy. Early in the winter of 1948 it was decided to buy and develop our own camp. Much looking went on through the winter of 1948. It was during the winter of early 1948 that the property, we now own, was found. Dwight Smith got an elderly man, who had known about the property for many years, to take Millard Powell, Horace Mott and I (Olen Ellis) up to it. The land had been lumbered off earlier so that any trees standing were less than fifty years old. The land belonged to an estate and was owned by four or five elderly brothers and sisters who had no interest in it. They agreed to sell for $4,620.00. There was no road in from the highway, so a group of us walked in to look it over one cold winter day. From the very first we knew that God had directed us to the right place. We all agreed that we should buy it."1
Pledges were made and donations given to cover the cost of the land.
"I well remember the session of Quarterly Meeting, held at the Colorado Springs church on South Tejon, when the money was heartily given to purchase the 440 acres of timber land. It was beautifully located north of Pikes Peak. The church, full of Friends, was so enthused that the money was given by the hundreds of dollars until nearly the full amount was raised that afternoon. I watched with the joy and satisfaction of the group as the goal was reached. We felt our youth must have a camp, also that we have a conference ground."2
A road was cut in from highway 67 and a sawmill was brought in from Kansas City.
"The new portable sawmill was delivered and set up on the grounds. We worked one or two days and tried sleeping in a tent. We about froze. So we stopped working on anything else and built a little round-log cabin for cooking and eating. Two or three could easily sleep in it. That cabin was east of the present dining hall, where the bell used to be. It has since been torn down. We had a nice canvas to hang for a door, and with a stove in there, we could keep warm. Many of the logs sawed were cut with the old crosscut saw. It was some time before we got a chainsaw."3
Quaker Ridge Saw Mill 1949
Quaker Ridge Saw Mill 1949
Quaker Ridge Cook House 1949
Quaker Ridge Cook, Sadie Jones, 1949
References. 1,3 Quotes from Olen Ellis
2 Quote from Esther Turner Larkey