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Dr. Lee F. Kramer joined Dr. Clinton W. Trott in a partnership medical practice in Mt. Vernon in 1959. Kramer and Trott, outdoor enthusiasts, were looking for a piece of property so that their families could use it for a weekend hideaway. Local real estate agents suggested that a property in the Brinkhaven area near Danville, although perhaps too large for two families, was a special quality because it had a mile-and-a-quarter frontage on the Mohican River.


One Friday afternoon, Dr. Trott agreed to stay in the office to see the partnership patients while Dr. Kramer went with the realtors to look at his property. Lee called back with great enthusiasm, and over the phone, Clinton and Lee agreed that a $100 option fee should be paid to hold the property pending further investigation. That weekend, they hiked over some of the edges of the property with a ridge-top pasture field, a river front cabin, and an adjoining barn that was most unique.


A family conference confirmed early impressions that this property, although too big for the use of just the two Trott and Kramer families, was so attractive, so close to Mt. Vernon, and so unique in its unspoiled setting that it should be acquired for the use of Adventist families and possible church use.


A number of close Adventist friends of Trott and Kramer were approached to see if they would be interested in joint ownership of the property. Besides Virginia and Clinton Trott and Hazel and Lee Kramer, their other families included Dell and Percy Miles, Elaine and Claire Smith, June, and Don McCready. and Thelma and Joseph Poole. At one of the original meetings of the six families in the Trott home on a Saturday night, Clinton Trott said, "We've got to have a name for this project. How about 'Mo' for the Mohican River and "haven" for the nearby town of BrinkHAVEN?" And the group agreed. Although the name was not popular with many who wanted an authentic Indian name, the name survived even after a naming contest, persisting to this day.


These six families put up $750 each to make the down payment on the property, and it was purchased in the name of "Mohaven Wildlife Foundation, Inc." with full tax exemption status by the State of Ohio. By-laws were drawn up by a lawyer with clear regulations of land use and environmental protection of fauna and flora. The families renovated the log cabin on the waterfront, did a limited amount of clearing of access roads, and held various recreational events for members and friends.


Trott and Kramer were aware of the years-long search by the Ohio Conference for their own youth camp property. At that time, Tar Hallow State Camp was being rented for two short weeks each year and was considered by many to be totally inadequate. Elder Warren Whittenberg, Ohio Youth Director, had been a college friend of Trott's from the mid-1930s and had shared the conference concern for a good piece of property. Several pieces of property had been investigated, with possibilities for the construction of artificial lakes, but none on a watercourse or lake, and none were wholly satisfactory. Don Hunter, Conference President, Jack Shull, Mt. Vernon Academy Principal, and other conference officials were shown the property as a possible youth campsite.


Disadvantages: no swimming facilities, and being a bit remote from major highways.


Advantages (as compared with other available lands): proximity to Mt. Vernon, hundreds of acres of unspoiled land with good trees, excellent soil conditions, nearby property that might be available for purchase to enlarge the initial plot, an atmosphere and spirit of recreational land use, frontage on the Mohican River with advantages for canoeing and other water sports, abundant areas for hiking and camping, acceptable well-drilling potential, a cleared ridge top meadow for a lodge and camp facilities.


Cost: $15,000 


Conference officials, agricultural extension agent George McConnell, and state conservation officials hiked over the many acres, and the consensus grew stronger that this just may be the place for the new Ohio Conference youth camp.


The Ohio Conference purchased the property in 1961, and the history continues to this day.

Early pictures of campers at Camp Mohave
Early pictures of campers at Camp Mohaven, taken June, 1963
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