Narragansett CouncilAbout UsHistoryHistory of the Annawon Council

 

History as compiled by Greg Boyd

The first seventy five years history of Annawon Council, incorporated in 1931, is a wide and varied tapestry woven together by the hands of literally thousands of dedicated Scouters and friends of Scouting. This document is intended to continue and to be updated as needed as a living tribute to those people and organizations who have developed and molded a fantastic Scouting program of generations of both young boys and now young women in the Venture program, with Camp Norse as the center piece for outdoor activities. It is the hope of this author that the program will flourish in the future, thanks to the dedication of all those future Scouters who donate "only one hour per week", the future professional Scouters, future Executive Board members, and all of the community organization who donate their time and money and space towards such a great program, to wit, this written history attempts to recognize all those in the past who have given so much to Annawon Council, BSA.

 

As a post script, it would also be my recommendation that any lost plaques that recognized those people or organizations who have donated in the past to Annawon Council be remade and displayed for all to see.

 

Note: the spelling changes for “Annawon “  are correct for the dates as noted.

(Taken from the Anawon Council Charter night brochure dated Sept 18, 1930)

(The 15th Annual Report is quoted below)

 

"The Boy Scouts of America, was incorporated February 8, 1910. A federal charter was granted by Congress on June 15,1916. During the years between 1910 and 1930, a few (Annawon) Scout Troops met in various communities and carried out the program according to the interpretations given by leaders. Previous to Council organization, Scouts from these sections camped at Camp Hill (the Pawtucket and Central Falls Council Camp) in Coventry, Rhode Island, which was operated under the direction of William Lee Abbott.

(Before Annawon Council had received a charter, it was known as the Greater Taunton Council and it operated as a Second Class Council, for it had no paid Executive. The  National Office of the Boy Scouts of American at 200 5th Ave, New York, New York was sent the application for “Anawan” Council’s Charter that had been signed June 18,1930 by Dr. Joseph L. Murphy, President of the Council, William Lee Abbott was the Scout Executive. On the application was the proposed budget of $5000.00. The original council office was on the second floor of 12 Weir St, Taunton, Ma.  The Application listed the following towns  “in question “ N. Dighton, Myrick, Adamsdale, and Hebronnet.). In 1941 Dighton joined from the Fall River Council. At that time only boys 12 years of age or older could joint Scouting.

 

Dr. Maurice Robbins of Mansfield became an Eagle Scout in 1915. The Greater Taunton Council had been established at that time but he did become a member of  the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA). He was the first Archeologist for Massachusetts and was an Indian specialist. He headed many excavations in the Taunton and Middleboro area.

 

  • In 1930 Mr. A. G. Shove of N. Main Street Raynham received his 5 year veteran pin. Scouts attending summer camp either went to Camp Hill, the Pawtucket and Central Falls Council camp or Camp Child of the Old Colony Council. Wilbur Filmore was SM of Troop 1, Middleboro.

 

  • 1931 Council incorporated, prior to that we had no paid exec, Wilbur Filmore of  Middleboro was the un official head of council, he then was the council commissioner for 30 years .)  From 1928-30 each town had to organize their own house to house drive, and each household was asked to donate one dollar for the support of the Council. It was the responsibility of the Council to make up the donation cards. Basically each town had their own district. District events included food and clothing drives, in Middleboro alone the Boy Scouts collected and distributed to the poor and unemployed four tons of food and clothing. donated Christmas baskets, helped distribute toys at Christmas, participated in Armistice parade, during Red Cross week the scout distributed Red Cross posters.

 

  • In 1930 Annawon council was organized, but it was not until January 9,1931, that it was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, and legally established as of April 20, 1933.

At the time of organization, the Council included the communities of Attleboro, Mansfield, Norton, Taunton, Raynham, and Berkley. William Lee Abbott was appointed Scout Executive and secretary. Dr. Joseph L. Murphy of Taunton was the first Council president, Annawon was one of the last Councils in Massachusetts to be organized. In 1916 the first Scouting charters in Massachusetts were granted to the Fall River and the Fairhaven-New Bedford Councils. Annawon Council was incorporated in 1931. The state of Massachusetts required that both Fall River  and Fairhaven-New Bedford council recharter under the articles of incorporation, at that time Fall River Council became known as the Massasoit Council and Fairhaven-New Bedford Council became known as the Cachalot Council.

 

Annawon Council’s  first national charter was presented by Robert Hale, chairman of the Regional Committee, at an evening meeting held at the  Hotel Taunton, Taunton, Mass, on September 18, 1930 with Dr. James E. West, Chief Scout Executive of the National Boy Scouts of America, as the guest speaker, and the National representative. The enrollment at that time was 12 Scout Units and 300 Scouts. Although the charter was received at this time, it was February 17, 1931 before the various districts of the Council met for Council organization in Attleboro. During the same year, in September 1931, the application of the Middleboro District, including the towns of Carver ( from the Cap cod Council) Middleboro and Lakeville, (from the New Bedford Council) for the Council affiliation was approved. At the first annual meeting on January 20, 1932, Lester W. Nerney of Attleboro was elected the second president of the Council.

 

Information obtained from the 1931 Annual report:

The number of troops has increased from 15 to 31 troops

The number of registered  Scouts went from 383 to 748

The Middleboro- Carver District joined Annawon Council

Chief Lee Abbott

Each district had their own Camporee.

District events included food and clothing drives, in Middleboro alone the Boy Scouts collected and distributed to the poor and unemployed four tons of food and clothing. donated Christmas baskets, helped distribute toys at Christmas, participated in Armistice parade, during Red Cross week the Scouts distributed Red Cross posters.

 

  • 1931 there was talk about purchasing a camp site off Little Island Pond in Plymouth.
  • During 1932 first serious consideration was given a Council-owned camp site for Annawon Scouts. Although considerable thought was given to a site on Lake Mashpee on Cape Cod, the Council reneged on a thirty day option to buy the property.  During the summer of 1932 the invitation of Old Colony Council to camp with them at Camp Childs on Morey's Pond was accepted. on October 1, 1932, as a result of the permission of Mr. Clement Jeffers of Attleboro, a camp site for weekend camping was dedicated as Camp Jeffers. In January of that year, Dr. Joseph L. Murphy was again elected president.
  • During the summer of 1933, the scouts camped on Greenwood Lake, West Mansfield, at Camp Annawon. This was the first year that a camp existed, the site was known as Camp Finberg, it was a WMCA camp.
  • In January 1934, at the annual meeting, Arthur D. Benson, former Scoutmaster of Middleboro, was elected president. During 1934 and 1935, the Council experienced important changes. It was the first time the council was fully organized into participating districts. The council then included Attleboro, Middleboro, Mansfield, Norton, North Attleboro, and Taunton Districts.
  • After considerable study in 1934, the Council purchased 25 Acres on Darby Pond in Plymouth for use as a camp site. The site was known as "Camp King" and was purchased from Phillip Cole for $2,500.00. From July 15 to August 19, scouts camped on the shore of Darby Pond at Camp Annawon. The original entrance road was off of Plymouth street just off of Carver St (Route 44). It crossed over the cranberry dam below the present BB Range.
  • Harold Atkins from Middleboro attended camp in the early 1930’s and recalled overnight excursions from camp. He remembers using a Model A Beach wagon, loaded with blankets, and sleeping on N. Plymouth beach overnight. Everett Pierce was the waterfront Director, Roger Soule was the Bugler, and Cyfe Thomas was the Cook. The first year of operation, 8 man tents were used and camp had 50 Scouts.
  • Bob Cushing, Boy Scout at age 12 in 1930 remembered that the Middleboro Fire Dept had a Boy Scout Call, when that sounded all Boy Scouts had to leave school and line up on Main street. At one of those calls Bob was hit by a car while running downtown to respond.
  • In the mid 1930‘s the first dining hall was built overlooking the original waterfront; it had drop down canvas walls and had no electricity.  Chief Collins would take $1000.00 from the Council’s budget to be able to buy food as needed . The old camp had only 700’ of water frontage on Darby Pond. The Waterfront area was originally located down below the dinning hall. The Chief’s house was also built in the 1930’s at the top of the hill, know known as “Chief’s Hill”.  Both Chief Collins and Govain lived there (that cabin burned down in the 1980‘s).  The only other original buildings were the line cabins, built in 1939. The very first cabin was used as the camp office, check in area and “Canteen”. That cabin still exists close to the “Y” in the dirt road next to the present day BB Range. The eastern most cabin was move by Jack Lucas to be used as a waterfront staff cabin at the  present waterfront. That cabin is now used for waterfront storage.
  • 1934 Sea Scout Division of Annawon Council ranked third in New England for number of registered Sea Scouts in ratio to land scouts.. The first registered Sea Scout unit was “Ship Sea Hawk” of Attleboro. Additional units included the Ship Calvary from Taunton, Forest Gilson as Skipper and the Ship William Lee of Middleboro, Arthur Mott as Skipper. The 16’ William Lee was donated by the U.S. Navy and brought to Middleboro with the assistance of the New England Cranberry Sales Company. Sea Scouting was for Scouts with at least a first class rank and 15- 20 years of age. The Regional Commodore in 1934 arranged for 24 hour cruises with the Coast Guard aboard the Primrose. It is a sailing boat that accommodates a crew of six Sea scouts, an officer who acts as Mate, and the Skipper. The cost was $2.25 per Sea scout.
  • On June 24, 1935 William A. Collins of Norwich, Connecticut and a graduate of MIT was appointed Scout Executive. He immediately went into camp to direct the Council Camp, which was officially named Camp Norse for the first time. That year the boy week count rose to 165.
  •  1935 Tulpe Lodge started
  • In 1936 forty five Scouts and officers attended the very first National Jamboree for the Boy Scouts of America for a ten day period. Scoutmaster was Francis C. Sartoris, Assistant Scoutmasters were Floyd E. Allen and William Nerney.
  • 1n 1936 Tulpe Order of the Arrow Lodge started. The turtle shell symbol came from the turtles from Camp Norse. Apparently it was custom at the time to hollow out a turtle shell and use it as a neckerchief slide.
  • 1939 Five Line cabins were built. Leo Yelle's wife Ruth was chef for seven years at Camp Eagle Boy Scout camp, western Mass. Leo Yelle SM troop 12 Norton 1939-1949, met at Norton Library.
  • 1940 New entrance road was built off Partings Way Rd, it was later widened by the Army Corp of Engineers.
  • Early in 1942 the Dighton Rock district, which was part of the Fall River Council, requested a transfer to the jurisdiction of the Annawon Council and was accepted in March of that year.

 

Information obtained from the 1942 Annual Report indicated the following:

62 Boys attended Camp Norse for a total of 116 boy weeks
1940 the land north of the original property of 25 acres was purchased for $300.00, it included an abandoned house in a large field. This field became the ball field. A new entrance road into camp was built off of Partings way road. It was later enlarged by the National Guard Army Corps of Engineers.
1941 Annawon council had organized one Emergency Service unit which operated out of Taunton. It had one ambulance and one truck to be outfitted for emergency use including “Air Raid Defense”
1941 Middleboro Scouts assisted in a lost boy search
Defense posters were distributed, the Boy Scouts of America were responsible nation wide for their distribution.
Norton and Attleboro scouts assisted in a lost man search
Taunton scouts, after training, assisted the Taunton Police in traffic control
25010 pounds of aluminum was collected, and continuous paper collection was maintained year round
The “Districts” were the following: Attleboro, Middleboro- Carver- Lakeville, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norton, Taunton- Raynham- Berkley with a total of 42 troops and 9 Cub Packs.

 

  • In 1943, due to the WWII rationing, scouts had to bring their own sugar to camp, approx 1/2lb. During that same year, additional property of forty acres was purchased to enlarge camp . Several sources have provided some interesting information about a small house that was located in the present ball field. Apparently a woman of “ill repute” lived there. Howard Fowler and Don LaStage were reported to have convinced her to move for a very reasonable price  of $25.00 and the house was taken down in 1949.
  • The Council office was moved to larger quarters in March 1943 to 2 Trescott Street Taunton. (Unfortunately  the original Council office at 12 Weir St, Taunton and the second Council office at 2 Trescott Street have both since burned down).
  • 1944 Dighton  was added, had been part of Fall River Council
  • In 1944 a hurricane blew down several large pine trees at the present dining hall location. Hundreds of man hours were donated to clear the camp of blown down trees. One large area of blown down trees is where the present dinning hall and the ball field are located.  The trees were cut up for boards but the wood was stolen. Both the Annawon Council and Camp Norse were growing.
  • The mid to late 1940’s brought many changes to Camp Norse with the building of the Magee Cabin in 1945, the Chief’s Cabin in 1946 and also electricity was brought into camp and the new waterfront was enlarged.  Prior to electricity in camp the dining hall had it’s own generator for refrigeration.
  • On July 30, 1947, the Kiwanis cabin was dedicated by William Fitzpatrick, president of Taunton Kiwanis club and was used for winter camping. Shortly thereafter there were approximately 6 Adirondacks built in a semicircle in front of the Kiwanis cabin.
  • 1949 Mr. Latimer of Mt. Hope Finishing company of Dighton, a textile firm, orchestrated extensive repairs and improvements at camp Norse. Electric power was brought into camp and into the old dining hall  (which allowed for refrigeration ) and  Magee Health lodge were electrified. The ball field was lighted and an electric well pump, donated by  Cochran Supply Co of Brockton, was installed at the water well next to the parade ground. The well was dedicated to Newell Victory, a Mansfield Scouter. Russell Meyers, a plumber, donated pipe and helped Leo Yelle set all plumbing lines, including to the old dinning hall. Bulldozers widened  the main roads in camp. The area behind the line cabins was cleared of extensive tree falls and stumps. The old house foundation was demolished next to the ball field.
  • In 1950 Ellis Brewster from the Plymouth Cordage Company donated 100 acres to Annawon council to increase the size of Camp Norse. That same year, the shallow well was replaced with a deeper well and then was enclosed in a block house through a grant from the George Magee Memorial Fund. In an effort to improve the area, Al Boucher, ASM Troop 12 Norton, donated the cement foundations for the flag poles at the parade ground. It was also noted that in the 1950’s it was common for the troops to hike from Camp Norse to downtown Plymouth and get their picture taken at Plymouth Rock.
  • Leo Yelle, Commissioner for 1950
  • Leo Yelle, Executive Board 1951. Leo took an Explorer post to Area 10 Minnesota out post camp and paddled 75 miles into Canada, he also took Troop 12 on a canoe trip down the Connecticut river.
  • Russell Meyers, a plumber , donated pipe and helped Leo set all plumbing lines including the old dinning hall.
  • 1955-57  Jay Moran can remember that his father used to drive into Boston College every week during summer camp to pick up our Chaplin for religious services to be held at the Amphitheater. That Chaplin was Father Larry Brock, he was a Major General of the National Guard. Each week he would bring his “Mass kit” and perform services and then relish sitting down with the Scouts for breakfast.
  • 1958 Thore campsite was built behind the Health lodge location.
  • In 1960 the camp received a bronze bell, dated 1891.  Howard Fowler, Editor of The Mansfield News and former Council President, was instrumental in procuring the bell from the Mansfield Fire Department. It came from an old firehouse on West Church St In Mansfield. There is a picture of that old fire house in the present firehouse recreation room.  The bell was stolen from camp in the mid 60’s. The stolen bell was traced  to a junk dealer by the name of Enos in Taunton. The junk dealer’s cousin was on the USS Massachusetts Battleship committee with Chief Govain. He was nervous that he may get caught up in the theft, so he told police about the junk dealer. The junk dealer had sold it to a salvage company in New Jersey. Police located the stolen bell  just prior to it being melted down. The bell was finally brought back to camp. Used to signal chow, the bell was originally located down at  the line cabins, close to the present Leo Yell nature building, so that Chief could walk up to it and ring the bell. When the new dining hall was built the bell was relocated to it’s present location.
  • 1960  Howard Fowler agreed to head a $198,000 campaign make improvements at Camp Norse. Those improvements were constructed by Fred Benson of Seekonk based upon plans from National BSA Engineering Dept. included an administration building  which included living quarters for the camp director, the Lions Club plaque represents the donated  monies for the Administration building and the large stone fireplace was dedicated to Harry W. Holbrook, his widow donated the funds, an all faith chapel, an new dining hall,  two winter cabins, a Ranger’s house,  a garage / workshop, four troop camp sites and a new waterfront, expansion of the water system and a parking lot for 300 cars, and the Amphitheater. Memorials included one winter cabin , Perry’s Cabin, and fireplace , water storage tank, Main entrance gate to the camp by Swank Jewelers of Attleboro, a bell tower, chapel, rifle range ( V. H. Blackton and Company of  Attleboro).  The Shower house,  winter cabin and health lodge were built with McGee funds.

 

The George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund is a Massachusetts-based trust whose proceeds are used to support the purchase and improvement of the camps operated by Boy Scout Councils in Massachusetts.

History

George W. P. Magee was a theatrical agent and manager who most notably managed Boston's Grand Opera House from the 1890s through 1916. Being very involved in the community, he saw Scouting as a program making significant positive impact on the lives of young men. He turned this belief into a permanent commitment to Scouting, by establishing a trust upon his death. His will reads, in part:

"They shall pay the amounts, during their respective lives, to the individuals mentioned above, and they shall distribute the balance of the net income of the said Trust Fund to such of the councils of the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA as are located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and as, in the opinion of said Trustees, are performing the most efficient service, the said net income to be used, so far as possible, for the purchase and maintenance of summer camps or training camps in New England for the use of Boy Scouts. These payments shall be made by said Trustees after consultation with the officials of the Boy Scouts of America.

It is my desire that the said Councils to whom this Fund is distributed, shall, during the week of August sixth, which date is my birthday have such competitive games, drills and/or exhibitions as may, in the opinion of said Councils, be for the greatest benefit of the said boys and will also tend to permanently impress upon them the nature of the Fund, and, for such purpose, they may award such cups, badges or other recognition of merit as to them may seem proper.

In disbursing the said income, the Trustees have the right to erect in any Boy Scout camp or training field conducted under the auspices of Councils of the Boy Scouts located in Massachusetts, a lodge or general meeting place with a proper inscription showing that the said structure is erected and dedicated by this Fund."

George Magee died in 1939, with France Cornell and Frederick W. Cook becoming the original Trustees of the fund. It took nearly 5 years, until 1944, for the fund to reach the minimum level for income to be distributed ($500,000). In 1944, the fund distributed $11,000. Upon the death of Mr. Cornell in 1961, the Old Colony Trust Company became the sole corporate trustee of the fund.

 

 

Today

As of 1994, the fund had a market value of approximately $5.3 million, with an annual distribution of $172,900. Over its lifetime, the fund has contributed over $3.75 million to hundreds of projects, impacting over a million youth, at various Boy Scout camps. Funds are held by the Private Bank at Bank of America, the current successor of the Old Colony Trust Company, and they are advised by a committee composed of local Scouting professionals and volunteers. Many Massachusetts camps conduct a "Magee Night" competition or other similar event to celebrate Mr. Magee's contribution, and it is quite easy to find buildings named after Mr. Magee or with plaques bearing his name.

Councils requesting money typically make proposals to the advisory committee, stating the purpose of the project, the amount being requested, and any moneys being provided through other sources. Only Councils located in Massachusetts are eligible, although as the will reads the camps that benefit may be located elsewhere in New England.

 

References

Last Will and Testament of George W. P. Magee, June 25, 1938
George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund (1994). 50 Years of Scouting Support: The George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund, 1994.

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Magee_Memorial_Trust_Fund

 

 

The original Stone gateway was known as the Sam Stone Memorial Entrance. The funds were donated by Mrs. Samuel Stone Sr. and Samuel Stone Jr. of Attleboro. The entry way stone columns were donated by Sam Stone of Swank Jewelry in Attleboro. Originally built in 1960 out at Parting way road, a truck hit the columns and it was decided to relocate them.  The columns were rebuilt in in their present location in 1966. The stone columns are of a different size, and as  of now, no reason has come forth to explain why they were built that way. This author would like to think that it represents the quote written on the wooden tie between the columns- “ Enter a Boy  IOUTASH  Leave a Man”

 

In September of 1961, Fred Govain came to Annawon Council where he stayed for 30 years. He retired in the Fall of 1991. During the 1950’s Fred Govain was a Scouting volunteer in Norwich, Conn.  George Goodridge, the local Scout Executive, encouraged him to become a Professional  Scouter. Fred became a Professional Scouter in Norwich, Conn. for 3 years, Bridgeport, Conn.  for three years, and then Chief Executive in  Gardner, MA, prior to coming to Annawon Council.   (Total career of 42 years.)

 

Although many believe the term “Chief” was given to Fred Govain as a term of affection for his strong leadership, the term actually came from District One, BSA, and referred to the Executive running Summer Camp. Fred resisted the trend to merge Annawon Council with other bordering councils.  Annawon had a strong Executive Board and the Board agreed with him. In 1976 Fred built a home in James town R.I., and he commuted to Taunton for 9 years before moving to Somerset.  Fred made a point of greeting every Scout entering camp.  He had a fantastic ability to remember names.  International Scouts used to come to camp. A Philippines Scout Exec. was sent to Norse to learn about scouting at camp and council operations. This same Exec. named his son “Chief” after Fred.

 

  • 1961 Fredrick ( Fred ) Govain came to Annawon Council.  Fred was a volunteer in Scouting in Norwich, Connecticut, but became a Professional Scouter at the encouragement of George Goodridge, the local Scout Executive. After three years in Norwich, Fred then went to Bridgeport Conn. for three and then became Chief Executive in Gardner Massachusetts prior to coming to Annawon Sept. 1961, he stayed with us for 30 years. He retired Fall on 1991 for a total 42 year career as a Professional Scouter. The term “Chief” came from District One, BSA. Early on, since most Scout summer camps were run by the local Executive, District One came up with the idea to call that Executive “Chief”.

Several attempts were made by District One to merge Annawon Council with other Councils over the years but Fred resisted the trend to merge since we had such a strong Executive Board and the Board agreed with him. Fred was very proud of how he built the Executive board and that effort paid off many time over.

  • 1976 Fred built a home in James town R.I., he commuted for 9 years then finally moved to Somerset, where he lives now. Fred made it  a point to greet every Scout entering camp, he had a fantastic capability to remember names. International Scouts used to come to camp Norse. One year a Philippines Scout Executive came to Norse to learn about scouting at camp and council operation. Several years later, Fred received a letter from that same Executive, he wrote that he had become so impressed at his experience at Camp Norse that he named his son “Chief” after Fred.

One of the main reasons that Fred decided to accept the job at Annawon Council was that the council had a very successful fund drive for over $200,000  that started in 1960. A new Camp Norse was to be built but the council still faced an operating and summer camp deficit. The original council Scout Service Center, since the Council's founding in 1931, was in a second floor two room flat on a side street in downtown Taunton. (see Fred's green document). A new office location was established on Winthrop St, Taunton from a heavily run down structure that was built in 1920, which had been previously used as a community recreation center.

Mr. Ralph Davol, owner of the abandoned structure, was a Harvard graduate. Fred enlisted the assistance of Roger Hallowell, President of Reed and Barton Silversmiths of Taunton, a Council Board member and also a Harvard graduate to approach Mr. Davol to obtain the structure. Through several meetings it was requested that Mr. Davol donate the structure to the Council, but he had questions as to the legitimacy of the Boy Scout negotiations. It was only after documents were provided to prove that Roger Hallowell was a Harvard graduate and that Fred Govain was in fact a Scouting professional, ( he had to wear a full Scout uniform to all further negotiations), that Mr. Davol agreed to a two year legal use of the building in 1966, but on the condition that the Council would be responsible to install the heating, water, and electricity service. Mr. Davol also requested that the building be named the Emery House in honor of one Reverend Samuel Hopkins Emery, D.D. Dr Emery was a notable clergyman in the late 1880' and had admirably served in Taunton in Mr. Davol's church.

With countless hours of donated time from Scouters such as Richard and Helen Silvia of Taunton and Bristol Plymouth high school students the first floor was ready as the new Scout Service center. The basement remained as a dirt floor though.

Mr. Davol passed away prior to the expiration of the two year term agreement. His will requested that the structure be donated to the Winslow Congregational Church in Taunton. Fortunately Annawon Council had obtained a first refusal on the building and was able to purchase the structure for one dollar in 1968. Mr. Davol also had been the owner of a small  store, which is today the location of the Taunton YMCA. Above the entrance to that corner store there was a round sculpture, which was inscribed with the likeness of the famous Indian Chief, Annawon. This sculpture is roughly four feet in diameter and was made of granite and marble, some seven inches thick. It was made by Ralph Davol who inscribed "Annawon-- Last of the Great Sachems Around Cohannet--IOUTASH--Stand Firm-- 1676.

That building was in the process of demolition when Fred again enlisted the assistance of Roger Hallowell. Mr. Hallowell negotiated the release of that sculpture to Annawon Council. Shortly after the stone's arrival at the service center, Dick Silvia, the Sachem district Commissioner called a meeting of his seven member staff. When the group arrived at the service center for a regular business meeting Dick informed them that they had a special task to do, namely to install the 500 pound stone in the wall over the fireplace. He had all the equipment and materials to do the job and finally Annawon had a home at last.

This stone, so apropos, proclaimed Annawon Council to everyone. The battle command of the great Sachem Annawon in 1676 "IOUTASH -- Stand Firm" seemed to be a rallying cry for Annawon Council. It resounded in the Council's determination to seek its own home, and in its future stands against mergers and consolidations, and its promise to fulfill its mission of character and citizenship building within the finest piece of Scouting geography in America-- namely, Annawon Council.

Eventually the downstairs was renovated . Bristol/Plymouth High School helped to finish the basement of the old Council office. That floor was originally a dirt floor with tree trunks showing. Dick Silva was a mason and obtained the funds to finish the floor.  The Bristol/Plymouth High School also built the long wooden table still used today, and some electrical help was also provided by the high school staff. That basement was dedicated to Dick Silva.

  • In 1990, with a generous donation from the Robertson family of Taunton, further renovations were made including a handicap entrance ramp. However after 36 years of service the council's needs and staff grew to the point that the Emery House was deemed too small and a new Service Center was found in Norton, with the help of Charles Valentine on the search committee.
  • In the 63-64 the cabin now known as Leif Cabin, was originally Perry Cabin, and was built in honor of Eagle Scout Milton Perry who was killed in an automobile accident.  Today, his gravestone, third row in, under a large tree off Route 123 near the Norton Middle School, is emblazoned with an eagle.
  • In 1963 Camp Norse cost $19.00 per camper. The Camp sites were Eric, Thor, and Dakota Land. There were also two 10 Scout “War “ canoes.  The Camp also owned ten sail boats that were purchased with funds donated by Harry Carey, President of Bristol County Savings Bank.
  • Gordon Nichols designed the original council emblem, John Gisetto Sr., Middleboro, designed original Camp Norse emblem, and in 1964 Ralph Duval made the original Annawon Council Stone. John Gisetto made the camp map now at the Parking lot next to the Administration building and dedicated it to his son Enrico.
  • Originally, Camp Norse in 1935 was a 25 acre track. It grew to 168 Acres with three adjoining tracts.
  • In 1962 Annawon Council purchased 32 acres and 1500 feet of waterfront known as the Graffam property on the East side of Darby Pond, and several hundred feet on route 44 were also purchased., this area has been used for past Camporees. Arthur Benson, a one time Council President, ran N.E. Cranberry Sales, may have gotten a loan to buy the original 25 acres of the cranberry bogs sometime between 1964-7 from Bourne and Wood Company. Howard Morse of Morse Bros. in N. Easton , one of the largest cranberry growers in the country,  made arrangements for Peter Beaton of Beaton Cranberry grower’s association to manage the cranberry bogs for the Council. For years the profits from the sale of those cranberries help the Council’s budget. For various reasons the bogs were eventually sold to Mr. DeGrenier in 1995. Mr. DeGrenier has since died and his daughter is now running the bogs.
  • In 1969 an additional 150 acres were purchased including one half mile of shore line on the Southeast side of the pond. In 1971 or l975 ((Fredrick) Lobl Island was purchased in the middle of the pond.  Fredrick Lobl, Lobl Island  Trust in Middleboro, donated $10,000 to buy Island  Factory in Middleboro. Elton Cramer helped to buy Lobl Island. Bill Powers was asked by Harold Atkins to hold the donated monies to purchase Hobl Island for three days at his car dealership, Powers Pontiac and GMC truck dealership on Route 138 in Raynham. Part of the new land included the parking lot up to the high tension  power lines beyond Olaf Cabin. The town line between Kingston and Plymouth runs approximately below the electric power lines on the existing road out to Olaf cabin. That town line is a straight line. Some of the original town maps of Kingston show a crooked “walking path” in the same general area. Some of that “walking path” still exists in it’s original state just South of the road out to the Olaf Cabin. There is some question if this was one of the original Indian paths between Plymouth and the existing town stone marker between the towns of Plymouth, Kingston and Carver located out beyond the Magee cabin.
  • In 1966 Annawon Council held a contest to rename the “North” and “South” Districts. “Angle Tree” was suggested by Gary Fish of Troop 10 N. Attleboro, and “Sachem” by Barry Pinto Pack 6 of Taunton. Prior to 1964 the two districts were known as “North  (Angle tree)   and South (Sachem)” Districts.
  • Sachem came from a Scout reading Indian history.
  • The Angle Tree Stone exists in N. Attleboro, off 19 High St, on the North Attleboro/Plainville border.  The stone marker was erected in 1790 (during George Washington's second term as president) to replace a dying White Oak tree that was used as a boundary marker since 1640. It was designated as the border between Plymouth Bay Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is the second-oldest such stone monument in the nation, and also marks boundary between Norfolk and Bristol counties. (The Sun Chonicle.com on line Archives). The stone has been given the status of a National Monument A precise description can be found at: Monument.http://www.profsurv.com/newpsm/archive.php?issue=83&article=1171
  • 1968 Al Garshick had the Annawon Bronze belt buckle made of bronze for the National Jamboree. The buckle was cast by Rose Mast Silver Company in Dighton.  Max Silva of Daniel Webster Council made the template. Mat Burry had some Gold plated buckles made that sold for $25.00. The master is now missing
  • 1969 National Jamboree, Al Garshick was the Council Scout Master.  ( The first National Jamboree was in 1937, the first World Jamboree was in 1920 ).  Al then was the Food Commissioner for staff in 73,77,81,85. In 1977 He recommended that a Kosher food menu be provided, that idea was adopted by the National BSA just in time for the in 1981 National Jamboree.
  • 1970’s two flush latrines were built at Camp Norse. Joe Malone of Malone Lumber donated lumber for those latrines and he had to wait one full year to get paid by the Council.
  • 1970 First OA Conclave held at Camp Norse.
  • 1970, May 28, the first Benefactor’s dinner held at Joe Fernandes house. Joe wrote,” Our heartiest welcome and sincere thanks to you, our very valued friends of Annawon council, Boy Scouts of America, on this occasion of this special dinner. Your response to our pleas for help was gratifying beyond words, and has given us renewed enthusiasm in our efforts to bring Scouting to boys who may well become our future leaders. Your generosity and interest are also living proof that you share the conviction that Scouting is an indispensable character building program for the male youth. “Boy-power” cannot fail to be “Manpower” with the assistance of such dedicated friends!  …” Gerald E. Riley, Chairman, Harold Atkins, Joseph Fernandes, Howard Fowler, Roger Hallowell, Donald LaStage, Jr.,  H. Clinton Owen Jr.
  • “Viking” at Camp Norse- Al Garshick had received a 15 x 20 print of a Viking from the Viking Connector company in Calif. Mr. Ciasise, did line drawings of the Viking and incorporated it with the drawings of the gateway to Camp Norse. There was no Viking ship in the original drawings. This author could not find any other “Viking” references for Camp Norse and welcomes input.
  • Al Garshick designed the Annawon Council License plate in 1980’s, and Mat Burry got the plates made. These plates can still be purchased at Council office, check on line for other Council plates, they are becoming a collector’s item.
  • The 1976 Scout -O- Rama was held at Rehoboth Fairgrounds in Dighton. There were 20 Cub Scout Booths, 28 Boy Scout booths, and 13 display areas
  • Over the years the National Guard has helped Annawon Council out on several major projects at Camp Norse. In 1977 the National Guard dug the first deep well Between Olaf and Leif on the Kingston side of the power line. They widened the road up to Olaf and installed our fire hydrants, and two new flush latrines could then be built. They have added Electric power lines over the years.  They built the log cabin in 1983. In the 1990’s The National Guard installed the new BB Range and buried water lines out to the line cabins.
  • 1980 Scout-O- Rama was held at Bridgewater/Raynham H.S.  Al Garshick’s friend  had a donkey that he brought to the Scout-O-Rama, with the understanding that Al would agree to ride the donkey - mission accomplished on site.  That donkey was officially named Pedro, as in the Boys Life Magazine.
  • 1980’s Jack Lucas helped build the new waterfront tower which was built in the design of a Canadian light house at the request of Fred Govain, the Waterfront Staff building was one of the original line cabins and was moved by Jack. He also assisted in the construction of the Log cabin and the Handicraft lodge.
  • Prior to 1982 Camp Norse did not have a full-time ranger.  Paul DuFrane, a friend of Camp Norse, was not a Ranger, but he did much of what is asked of a Ranger.  The Health inspector of Plymouth wanted the pit latrines moved, and so one day Paul DuFrane and Chief Govain pulled the latrines over the line to Kingston. When the Health inspector returned the next summer he said to Fred, “so you think you’re a smart guy“. Fred said no, I just did what you said, I moved the latrines.
  • In 1982 Bill Davis became the first full time Ranger. Until Bill Davis was hired, the copper power lines were constantly stolen. Bill remained as Ranger through 1987, he left and then returned as Ranger from 1991-95. He fondly remembers Bruce Buttermore, the Principal of a Taunton school, as a great Program Director. Bill’s history goes way back to when he was a Scout at Camp Norse in 1939-40 with Troop 43 Raynham.
  • In 1984 Camp Norse celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A time capsule was buried at the Parade grounds by John Perry. Unfortunately, a short time later it was discovered to be missing. John Perry has a video tape of that celebration , it brings back old memories.
  • In 1987 the Town of Plymouth put in a  town well between the parking lot and the water front. That well was designed to be for “emergency use only  for the town of Plymouth“. Unfortunately that was not the case and the town of Plymouth drew down the water level so much that Darby Pond could no longer use the waterfront area for swimming. By necessity the pool was installed in 1998 and has been a big success ever since. The waterfront is now used for boating only.
  • From 1980-2000 various church groups have used the camp, as well as baseball teams from Kingston who used the ball field for practice and games. The Camp was also used by school groups for “Nature and Me” programs.
  • Today Annawon council has 6 Venture units, originally called Explorer Posts.  Exploring began in the 1960’s, and  in 1970 Greg Boyd (Troop 79, Raynham), as a Scouter in a New York Council was an Explorer Unit Assistant Advisor.  In 1971 he became the Advisor to one of the first co-ed  Explorer units in the USA, heralding in a new era in scouting.
  • 1991 Dave Parry, Scout Executive, stayed 6 years
  • 1993 Camp Norse officially became Camp Norse Cub World and was no longer used for the summer camp for the Scout Troops but rather was used  by Cub Scouts through the South East Camping Association (SEMCA). This was a North East Region BSA sanctioned program that included the Cape Cod Council, Annawon council, and the Moby Dick Council. This effort was designed to use the resources available in these three councils. Troop camping for all three Councils was to be at Camp Cachalot which was owned by the Moby Dick Council. The Cub Scout summer camp would be at Camp Norse, and the Boy Scout High Adventure summer camp, with Camp Director Bob Reid, would be at Camp Greenough on Cape Cod.
  • 1991-5 Fort McGee and the Shower house, Obstacle course, and  tennis court/basket ball court were built.
  • 1993 Annual Angle tree District Breakfast started.
  • 1994 “Day’s of Caring”, United Way program. Line cabins were repaired by Texas instruments.
  • 1995+/- several acres were sold on Parting Way Road East of the camp entrance.
  • 1997 Steve Grey Scout Executive until 2005. The dinning hall was renovated mostly by Rick Holt of Middleboro.
  • 1998 The ball field heated latrine was built by Rick Holt of Middleboro.
  • 1999 The Campmaster program was initiated by Greg Boyd. The program was established to help the Camp Ranger, the Magee Cabin was used for the Camp Master staff. Six Adirondack cabins were built on the South side of the Plymouth/Kingston town line between Leif and Olaf.
  • 2001  Greg Boyd with the assistance of Bob Howard and Bob Reid built the new Nature cabin which was dedicated to Leo Yelle.
  • 2002 Annual Sachem District Luncheon started.
  • 2003 Second OA Conclave held at Camp Norse, one of the main projects was to rehabilitate the Howard Fowler Amphitheater. Texas Instruments stained and painted the dining hall exterior.
  • 2005 The old electric power line past Olaf and Lief was replaced with a new Power line off Partings way Road by a donation of electric poles donated through the efforts of Ed Krezier of Easton Edison
  • 2005 Johnson and Johnson under "Days of Caring" replaced the roof over the BB Range. The dining hall had a new roof installed.

 

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Resources

 

Future of Annawon Council- endowment fund

Local Scout Museums- Lawrence Lee Scouting Museum  www.scoutingmuseum.org

http://scoutcamp.org/oldestcamps.asp

www.scouting.org

www.scouting.org/media/anniversary/index.html

www.scouter.com/compass/scouting_history/

www.seascout.org

www.tmrmuseum.org/museum.pdf

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Organizations that have helped Annawon Council  

 

George W. Magee Foundation

Augut Foundation since it’s inception in 1970’s has donated  $307,083.00

United Way. UW was organized from the union of Community Fund and the Red Feather fund that existed prior to WWII

Bristol County Savings Bank since 1996 has donated $180,871.00

Lobl Foundation contributes $7000.00 per year

Fisher foundation contributes $3000.00 per year for Camperships

Tuff Norse Foundation annual interest on fund provide monies for camp improvements

“Friends of Scouting”

Annawon Council Benefactors

Annawon Council Endowment

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following people who graciously took the time to provide information for this project:

 

Fred Govain, Harold Atkinson, Bob Cushing, Bill Powers, Al Garshick, Leo Yelle, Abdul Sama, Geane McLean, Garner LeStage, Bill Davs, John Perry, Bill Frigon, Judy Johnson, Donna Boyajian, Dennis Kelley, Jay Moran, John Gisetto, Howard Morse, Charles Valentine, Edward Paul

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Additional resources still to be tapped:

Clifford Woodward, prior teacher n Dighton and  Norse Cook in 1950’s

Mike McDade of Middleboro, mason on the stone towers 

Attorney Doug Welding, a 1956 Siler Beaver Award recipient and collector of Scouting memorabilia

Paul Dufrense of Taunton, also a Silver Beaver recipient and prior Ranger at Camp

Louis Leblanc, owner of New England Tile

Al Kandarian, Attorney, Scout Master, and 1952 Eagle Scout

Harry Carey, he may be the individual who donated the old cranberry bog  n Wareham to Annawon Council

Fred of Seekonk, who built the dining hall, Chapel, and Administration buildings

Gerald Riley, prior president of N. Attleboro bank, helped with Cranberry Bogs

Walter Burk, of Mansfield, program director and historian buff. He wrote the 50th Anniversary and made the video tape in the possession of John Perry

Tom Wescott, Wescott Construction N. Attleboro

John Lepper of Attleboro 1960 staff member

William Vernon of Mansfield 1960 staff member

 

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