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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sylvan Lake in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

New Life for Children

at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp

 
 
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 15, 2021
1. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker
Inscription.  
They needed and got a good dose of being wanted.
The Detroit Free Press began the Fresh Air Camp in 1906 to give underprivileged Detroit children the experience of two weeks of recreation in the countryside. Most were on their first trips away from home, their first rides in new modes of transportation — interurban trolleys, automobiles, buses — which brought them to a whole new world in only an hour. Until 1962 the camp gave children sunshine, fresh air, fun and good food. Generations of village residents shared in play and entertainment with the visiting children.

"The essentials of honesty, decency, cleanliness and order...were breathed in with the air at an age when impressions go deepest."
Memory of Fresh Air Camp participant in 1941 letter to Detroit Free Press

You Auto Know
In 1906, the Detroit Free Press encouraged kids to "wrap up a nickel in a piece of paper and send a poor child to camp."
 
Erected 2013 by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — upper left image image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Free Press
2. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — upper left image
A 1907 Ford Model K prepares to leave to the Fresh Air Camp from the Detroit Free Press building. Free Press Sunday Editor Arthur Mosley was a child-welfare advocate and started the Fresh Air Camp.
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Charity & Public WorkParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
 
Location. 42° 37.177′ N, 83° 20.054′ W. Marker is in Sylvan Lake, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker can be reached from Pontiac Drive 0.1 miles north of Ferndale, on the right when traveling north. Marker is at the entrance to the Sylvan Lake Community Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2456 Pontiac Drive, Keego Harbor MI 48320, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sylvan Lake Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); Oakland County Boat Club (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Great Escape (approx. Ό mile away); "X" Marks the Spot (approx. half a mile away); Ordered by Mail - Sent by Rail (approx. half a mile away); Learning and Growing (approx. half a mile away); "Body by Fisher" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Welcome to Beaudette Park (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sylvan Lake.
 
Also see . . .
1. Children Romp At “Fresh Air” Camp. Short (1:18) video on YouTube showing children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp.
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — middle image image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Free Press, May 15, 2021
3. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — middle image
New cabins replaced tents at the camp in 1919. The camp occupied land on this Point donated by the Merrill B. Mills family and was once the site of the Sylvan Lake Inn. Presently the site of the Sylvan Lake Community Center.
(Submitted on May 20, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

2. Sylvan Lake — A History. Information and photos of the Fresh Air Camp start on page 36. (Submitted on May 20, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — lower left images image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Free Press
4. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — lower left images
Left: Girls gather for a songfest in 1909, the first year girls attended the Fresh Air Camp. The organ was donated by Grinnell Brothers.
Right: Boys filling oil lamps, 1908. Campers helped with many chores.
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker Marker — upper right image image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Free Press
5. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker Marker — upper right image
Boys help unload fruits and vegetables at the camp in 1939. Special attention was given to wholesome foods for the often undernourished children.
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — right image image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Free Press, May 15, 2021
6. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker — right image
Awakening to a new day at camp, about 1915, looking forward to games, boating and singing.
New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 15, 2021
7. New Life for Children at the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 20, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 20, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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