David & Gail's Story
Shortly after the turn of the century, around 1916, Lillian Glover, resident of the Lindsey area and oldest girl of 11 brothers and sisters, spent the summer working at Camp Nelson. She cooked, cleaned and watched the children of a prominent family at their cool mountain summer home. From that brief summer, a memory was made that Lillian shared with me, her granddaughter, about working in the beautiful Camp Nelson area.
Nearly 100 years later, my husband, David, and I, decided to take a drive up into the mountains to an area we had not been familiar with. It was early fall, after the summer harvest on the farm in the hot San Joaquin Valley, when David suggested we take a drive to "scout out" a camp site for our Air Stream house trailer.
As we approached Springville, a sign posted, "16 Miles to Camp Nelson," caught David's eye. "Have you been to Camp Nelson?" he asked. "No, but my grandmother told stories of helping a family in Camp Nelson when she was about 16 years old."
We proceeded on the 16 mile drive through winding roads which lead higher and higher into the mountains. A deep gorge carved in the mountains appeared with the Tule River below. As we got closer to Camp Nelson, a rock cliff greeted us. It was all new territory to us and at every turn we did not know what to expect. We finally came to a row of 40 or 50 mailboxes and a sign that read, "Camp Nelson." We turned onto a little road that veered off the main highway and then, just a few short turns later, we arrived at Camp Nelson. It's no wonder my grandmother remembered to tell me of this place. We could not believe our eyes.
We first drove by a beautiful large well-kept lawn. Then a tiny mountain village with a grocery store, hardware store and café followed. There were cabins, some old and some new, but all very nostalgic. We stopped at a campground near the edge of the community. Just a quick survey brought us upon our first siting of giant redwood trees. What a regal surprise! Campers were fishing at the camp stream. It was great!
We turned the car around and drove back toward the little town. As we drove, we decided to stop at a darling small gift shop. It overlooked the town and a large building with a meadow-like lawn, lined with cedar trees. Inside the gift shop, we inquired about the building and were informed that it was an old historic lodge and that it was for sale. We soon got in contact with the lady who takes care of the lodge. She was kind enough to show us inside and I especially remember seeing the two great fireplaces that grace each end of the lodge. She also showed us the guest rooms located a few feet from the main lodge.
To say the least, we were impressed with the pristine setting, the lodge, and the guest rooms. The fresh mountain air, the picturesque cedar trees, and the stately Slate Mountain towering above it all completed the story book picture. What a discovery! Why had we never heard of this place?
Our original plans to "scout out" a location for the house trailer quickly faded as the lodge captured our attention. Through amazing timing and providence, David and I purchased the lodge.
We enjoy the lodge so much and wish it to be used for the glory of the Lord. We invite you to experience the peaceful atmosphere and wonderful discoveries that Camp Nelson has to offer. You will admire and enjoy God's creation—free from busyness and distractions. The comfortable guest rooms await you at Camp Nelson Lodge.