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Searching for Pieces of Our History

Graeme Noseworthy — March 24, 2021


Each piece of Takodah has a story to tell.

No matter how big or how small it might be, every item has important meaning to those who hold it and learn from it to understand how camp has grown over the past 105 years.

Recently, an alumnus acquired an original Camp Takodah mug from a seller on Ebay. When the item was received, examined, and shared with us, we discovered that it was from a lot of “vitrified china” settings that were produced far earlier than we had previously known of. Over the years, many such items have been auctioned, acquired, handed down, and given away. For a while, historical assets from Camp were used as gifts of recognition and dispersed to Takodians around the world.

Do you have an item that relates to Takodah’s history? If so, please let us know! We’d like to start getting a better sense of what is out there that we can learn from. Perhaps it is on display at your home or perhaps it is still tucked away in a box and waiting to be discovered. Think of this as a global treasure hunt!

We’re looking for pre-1990 assets such as old photos, Elwell CTs, cabin signs, china pieces or sets, silverware, postcards, film reels, VHS tapes, vintage clothing, awards, pieces sourced from past facility demolition or construction, paperwork, documents, marketing pieces, Memory Books, Whispers, and more.

There are a few different ways you can help using the form at the bottom of this post:

  1. Let us know what you have, how you originally took possession of it, and what condition it is in. We’d love to hear the stories, learn about your item(s), and see detailed photos of what you have.
  2. And let us know if you are willing to donate your item back to camp. This can be done temporarily (for display in the Alumni Welcome Center and/or for our historian to examine) or it can be included as part of our permanent collection.
  3. Or let us know if you would like to ensure that your item is provided back to camp in the event of your passing. We can help with the legacy donation language that needs to be stipulated in a will.
  4. Or let us know if you want to keep it. That’s okay too! We’re not expecting all items to come back to Camp. We’re primarily interested in seeing what we can learn based on what you have.

Anything you provide from the options listed above will be catalogued and entered into the Takodah YMCA Lake Street Archives. We will also let you know if it helps us to learn anything new. If so, with your permission, we might share your story and photos on our site and social media!

So, Takodians, it’s time to dig through those boxes of camp stuff, check your basements and attics, and peer into those memories you hold so dear to help us fill in the gaps in our historical timelines. We’re counting on you! Thank you!

Historical Items

Use this form to notify the Takodah YMCA about a historical asset located in a personal collection.

  • Please share as much detail as you can. What is the item? How did you get it? When did you get it? What were you told about it when you acquired it?
  • Please choose one option.
  • Please choose one option.
  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 50 MB.
      Please upload any images of your item(s).