Camp Kiwanee, Hanson
Camp Kiwanee, Hanson
Sunday June 13th, 2010.
It felt as though a veil of tranquility descended upon us as we entered the tree-lined winding road leading to Needles Lodge. History tells us that this whole magnificent area was once inhabited by Native American groups. They planted, fished and hunted in the region of Camp Kiwanee.
Albert Cameron Burrage, a businessman, Boston attorney, and graduate of Harvard Law, along with his wife, Alice Hathaway Haskell, accumulated this parcel of 68 acres between 1899 and 1905. It was known as “The Needles”, and served as their summer retreat. Albert was a Freemason. He belonged to Norfolk Lodge, A.F.& A.M. from March 9th, 1903, until his death on June 28th, 1931. Owned by several parties, the first Needles was built in 1901. Mr. Burrage had the original Needles estate taken down in March of 1906, with plans of building a much finer estate. The new Needles was completed in May of 1906. A ton of tar, a half ton of paper, and thirty tons of tile were used on the roof alone. Six carpenters who worked on the project were boarded by Mrs. Edith Ramsdell. On May 27th, 1907, this $25,000 house was destroyed by fire. In the same year, a new Needles was erected and continues to be in use today. On January 7th, 1921, Arthur S. Plewes, of London, England, filed a $1,500,000 breach of contract suit against Mr. Burrage in the U.S. District court.
Thieves entered and ransacked every room of the Needles Estate on January 27th, 1921. They mysteriously made off with a considerable amount of money. Mr. Burrage sold the Needles to the Greater Boston Council of Campfire Girls for $25,000. The camp was then known as “The Kiwanis Club of Boston Camp for Campfire Girls”. In 1957, the name was changed from “Camp Kiwanis” to “Camp Kiwanee”. Hanson purchased Camp Kiwanee in July, 1979, for $185,000. Today, it is cherished as it once was by past generations.
We had often heard reports of a rocking chair rocking by itself upstairs in Needles Lodge, doors unlocking, fans turning on, and deadbolts being locked from inside the Gatehouse and were anxious to begin our investigation. After a tour of this fabulous former summer retreat, we set up our equipment, hoping to catch a piece of history. The team was divided into two groups. One group was accompanied by Psychic/Medium Dawn Carr. After setting up our equipment which consisted of infrared and digital cameras, motion and EMF detectors and EVP recorders, we were eager to begin.
In what is known as Alice’s room in Needles Lodge, a team member had a feeling of being touched on the back of his neck. Later in the evening, another member felt as if she were touched on the knee, followed by yet another member claiming to have been touched on the head. An EVP was also caught at the Gatehouse. Personal experiences were felt in various areas of both Needles Lodge and the Gatehouse.
Upon entering the upper level of the Gatehouse, Ms. Carr sensed a friendly female who she believed to be a cook or caretaker. She believed the woman had a two-syllable name which began with an “A”. She believed the woman was connected to whoever ran the camp during the late fifties and sixties. Dawn also felt the presence of a man named Jim who repeatedly walked his dog through the woods of the camp.
Immediately upon leaving the Gatehouse, she felt the strong presence of Native Americans who seemed to be hiding in the woods. The message she received as she walked along the pathway was that the Native Americans, long, long ago, were attracted to the area because of the abundance of water, which they felt had healing powers. They believed this earth was sacred, and they felt that humans had polluted the land and water. They said to her, “Do not take this land for granted. We do not walk on the Earth, we walk with it. If it is not protected, the land will be depleted and the human race will die off. The Earth will win, and a new race will once again begin. This land was once whole.” Dawn felt as though they were trying to get a message out through her. She felt surrounded by good energy, as if the camp was protected by the Native Americans. They also stated that if there ever was an attempt to change the nature of this land, negative things would happen.
Once inside Needles Lodge, she sensed girls dancing on the stage. She felt the strong energy of actors, performances, etc. She relayed to the rest of the team the information that at one time in the past a performer on the stage had proposed to a woman in the audience, at which time she accepted. Ms. Carr felt the presence of a soft spoken male sitting on the edge of the stage with his legs hanging down. He seemed to know the history of the entire place. He had a name with a strong L sound in it, like “Albert”.
Upstairs in the Needles Lodge, Dawn felt happiness and joy. She felt a baby was, at one time, born in this area. In what is known as the Halloween Room, which was a room full of costumes, she felt the props and costumes retained energy. Up here, she felt the presence of a man named Henry who was timid, and a man named David, who was scared. He had accidentally hurt someone in the past and was afraid of being judged.
Today, as in the past, Camp Kiwanee is cherished as a place of refuge and solitude to be enjoyed by many future generations. The M.A.P.S Team is very grateful to have had the opportunity to explore this historic landmark.