The History of Dow Drukker Scout Reservation

Camps Turrell and Kluge

Drukker Scout Reservation is located in a historically rich area that dealt prominently not only in the local area, but also such places as Montreal Canada and New York City. The history of the property figured importantly in the Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Ontario and Western Railroad Company. Reservation's history can be traced back all the way to when the Irat Indians inhabited it hundreds of years ago.

After the American Revolution and early 1800's the Canal proved to be a boom for the Oakland Valley-Forestburg area in that it provided the quarries, tanneries, coal mines, and lumber an easy access to the great metropolitan areas much more cheaply in the pre-train era. The Canal Company bought literally all the water rights of brooks ponds, and streams along its route to supply it with water. It is here that Reservation figured prominently. Beaver Dam Pond at the time was only a 5-acre beaver pond. D&H bought the flow rights and dammed up the pond until it reached its present size. Then as water was needed for locks, boards were taken out of the dam and within 4 hours the canal was receiving water from Beaver Dam Pond.

From 1900-1912 the Iroquois Bottle Works took spring water from the Baker Shanty Spring House, (which is the spring house several hundred feet from Camp Kluge), the spring water was bottled and then sold in New York City.

In 1920, Galligan bought what was called the Beaver Dam Tract. The Galligans who had been quarrying continued to do so on the property. The quarry at Reservation employed 400 people; the tanneries and the gristmills employed many of the local residents. There was also a tourist boom that saw as many as 300 guests come to Oakland Valley during the summer. The quarrying industry was totally located on the Reservation property. The slate was cut in huge squares several inches thick and several feet wide. It was then hand cut and pulled out on carts by ox teams. The quarrying went on though the Reservation with the site of the Peterson lodge being a central station for bringing in the slate to have it weighed. Reservations stone was used for windowsills, sidewalks and curbstones. The slate went as far away as Montreal Canada and New York City. In fact, New York City hall has a sidewalk that was taken from Reservation. By 1930 large scale quarrying at Reservation had ended. An entire industry was extinguished as fast as it had started. In 1940 Michael Lee Galligan sold his final load of slate from Reservation. In 1941 Avery Skinner sold the final load of slate. The last functioning derrick can still is seen about 100 yards from the maintenance yard. Though it has been deteriorated, the gears, posts, guy wires and hardware are still there. If one looks though the vegetation, one can see the mounds of waste slate along with the wall of slate that were not economically feasible to cut

After Michael Lee Galligans death in the early 1940's, a Boy Scout Council from Jersey City looked at the property for a possible use as a camp. In 1964, The O&W had just freight train a week going though the Oakland Station and so the Monticello to Port Jervis spur was taken up. All that remains now is the bed with spikes and ties strewn over it. There is a tremendous display of architecture in a stone bridge over the steam that was built in the 1860's.. At the other end of our piece of railroad bed is a watering tower used by the steam engines of 1800's.

In 1968, Alhtaha Council negotiated with Margaret Galligan, for the Beaver Dam Tract. By 1969, the purchase was negotiated and finalized. Drukker Scout Reservation was born and in 1972 after two years of planning, and a merging of the Alhtaha Council and Aheka Council and forming the Passaic Valley Council and the first summer season opened. During the 90's several new buildings were added to the Reservation they are the Health Lodge, Handicraft Pavilion, Dinning Hall, and Archery Pavilion. Other work was done to add a basketball court and a major overhaul of the dam was done.

Beginning in 1999, the Northern New Jersey Council took stewardship the camp after the merging of the Bergen, Essex, Hudson Liberty, and Passaic Valley Councils.

A Special thanks to Peter Osborne III, Historian and Director of the Minnisink Valley Historical Society for all his help and research to make the history of Drukker Scout Reservation possible.

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