West Cornwall

Archives

West Cornwall Camp and Conference Center, 1942-1992

1 document case or .5 linear feet

Historical Note:

The West Cornwall Conference Center lies on a bend of the Housatonic River across the New York border in Connecticut. The Rev. Edward H. Schlueter, vicar of St. Luke’s Chapel from 1909 to 1945, bought the property as a farm in 1915. The neighborhood of St. Luke’s at the time was crowded with poor tenement dwellers and Schlueter, influenced by the social ministry of Father James Otis Sargent Huntington, aspired to better the life of the members of his community. He opened his farm as a summer camp for boys to provide them with religious instruction and recreation away from the teeming city.

When Fr. Schlueter retired in 1945, he sold his farm to Trinity Church, to ensure that his summer camp would be continued as an Episcopal ministry. In 1954, Trinity expanded the use of the facility to a year-round operation, adding a conference, educational, and retreat center during the winter. In 1962 the Center was incorporated as the Trinity Episcopal Center Association (TECA) to provide religious worship, instruction, rest and recreation.

By 1967, the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Butler, decided to move the conference center to the Chapel of the Intercession. He continued the summer camp at West Cornwall but explored the possibility of selling the property due to the high cost of operation. No acceptable buyer was found and when the Chapel of the Intercession became independent from Trinity in 1976, the Rev. Dr. Parks returned the Conference Center to West Cornwall. While West Cornwall continued to be a drain on Trinity’s resources, by 1980 it was reported to be fully booked providing a retreat facility and a summer camp for the churches of New York and Connecticut.

Scope and Content Notes:

The records contain minutes, reports, clippings, publications, and photos dating from 1942 to 1992. See also Finance/Property Management and Property Management.