Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trenton Assembly Park

Nestled along the Cinncinatus Creek and off State Route 28 is this old Methodist summer camp. I googled it but wasn't able to find much except it's listing as an Oneida County park and a few real estate listings. Taking advantage of a couple days at my Mom's and with the water on the West Canada running really high, (the warm weather has apparently caused a run on electricity) I drove down in today to see what was left of the park.

Surprisingly it is very vibrant, clean and just as charming as it was 50 years ago. Okay, I only remember it 40 years ago. We grew up with a curious cross of Catholic Unitarian sensibility, the Unitarians having founded Barneveld and it being a dominant community force when my father was growing up here. I have heard the Methodist camp was mentioned as sort of a holy rolling sort of tent commune in a couple turn of the century books, but have to trust shaky sources on that.

I have also seen another south of Rochester, close to Hammondsport, but it is not nearly as elaborate. Though some of the houses look a little worse for wear, bear in mind that it is April, there still should be snow on the ground and the road is a seasonal road. One friend does live there year round but I believe he has another entrance.

I won't venture a date when these were built, some are probably quite old. The Octagon is beautiful, much smaller than the octagon house my Uncle grew up in in the village. A couple of others are just plain cute and you want to live there. There is a cobblestone pool that is filled by the creek, various courts for sports and the ubiquitous playground equipment from the early 60s. It is a step back into time and a charmed place.


  1. I grew up just down the road from the Trenton Assembly Park on Route 28. Bernard Haskell, Guy Ring, along with my brothers and sister and I used to visit there every summer back in the 1960's. It looks amazingly the same as it did back then. I seem to remember it being simply a summer camp for those families who had camp houses there. I left there in 1971 and have not really made a meaningful visit since. My older brother and I intend to visit there toward the end of this summer.

  2. I just made my first visit to Trenton Assembly Park this past Friday.
    A friend of mine took me there to visit her folk's cottage which is along the perimeter of the quaint town center (or park area) with the Cinncinatus Creek running behind them. She said it was founded & built in 1868 by NYC Methodists who wanted a quiet summer place to come & worship. As I drove in I found it to be a wonderfully charming, seceret old community of "adult sized" doll houses, if you will. Many are in run down condition while others are slowly & lovingly being renovated into family summer cottages by its owners. The part I remember most is how peaceful it was. To own one of these tiny cottages would allow one to do all the things you wouldn't asthetically do to your own home. How fun is that! Anyway, it was exciting to walk around & explore the grounds of this 1868 establishment. Looking forward to going back for another day trip stay!

  3. Debbie and I are hoping to join the community real soon.