February 12, 2009

Summer Camp Condemned . . .

In a relating article dated September 23rd, 1979 . . .

Board members voted in a unanimous decision to close down and condemn Camp Crystal Lake in Wessex County on Thursday. The one time flourishing summer camp was the site of many tragedies over the past 25 years, beginning with the drowning of a local youth in 1957. The following year, two resident counselors were found murdered on the grounds. Fires and traces of poison in the well water prevented the camp from opening on two separate occasions many years later. But the final decision to condemn the site happened earlier this summer when a brutal mass slaying shocked the entire community. Stephen Christy, son of the former owners, was one of seven individuals found murdered by a local woman in June of this year. Christy had been refurbishing the grounds in hopes to attract area youth and inner city children.

Local law enforcement have been keeping an eye on the grounds since the murders. Several arrests were made in August for trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia. The camp has become a site for parties and curious thrill seekers due to the incidents that plagued the area. Officials agreed to the condemnation in a meeting held at the Crystal Lake Community Center. No decision was reached about the future of the camp, but local business owner Donato Vendredi says "it should be demolished." Ownership of the camp belonged solely to Stephen Christy. A member of the Christy family was contacted and notified of the meeting but was not present. Since the murders in 1958, locals often referred to the area as Camp Blood.

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