Camp Plymouth is rich in history from the birth of our nation right up to present day.
The Crown Point military road was authorized for construction in 1759 to connect strategic military posts at Fort # 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire to Crown Point on Lake Champlain. The military road was instrumental in moving troops and supplies in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Later, the road became an important route for commercial traffic. Today, Scout Camp Road follows part of the road’s original route.
A farm was established on part of the property in the 1840s by Amos Pollard. One day in 1850, a young man was fishing in Buffalo Brook and discovered gold there. The man tried to keep his find a secret, but without success. By 1855, it was known as Gold Brook, and a commercial mining operation was set up. Up the stream at the now-abandoned village of Plymouth Five Corners, a mill and crusher were established, and many prospectors flocked to the area. One of the more successful operators, Rooks Mining Company, claimed to have earned more than $13,000 in a 6-month period in 1884. Such profits were seldom validated, and most investors lost their fortunes. Mr. Pollard himself never had much to do with searching for gold. He died in 1874 and is buried in the nearby cemetery.
When the Rooks Mining Company went bankrupt in 1889, Henry Fox, the superintendent, bought the mine. He continued to search for gold for thirty more years until his death in 1919. Today, remains of the mine operations can be seen along the brook, and although most of the mines themselves are outside of park boundary, for your safety stay away from all abandoned mines regardless of location. Most of the gold is known as “placer” gold, deposited by glacial action. Recreational gold panning for personal enjoyment is allowed in Buffalo Brook, however no other methods or commercial operations are allowed.
In 1925, a girls’ summer camp was established here and operated for two years. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America and turned into Camp Plymouth, for which the park is named. At its height, the scout camp included camping sites for 10 troops, a trading post, archery range, rifle range, water front, and ceremonial camp fire area. In 1984, the property was conserved with the assistance of the Ottauquechee Land Trust and conveyed to the State of Vermont. Park facilities were constructed over the next few years and Camp Plymouth State Park opened to the public in 1989.
There is a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-tos, tent/RV sites, pit toilets, and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook there are a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, and boat rentals. Four rental cottages are fully furnished rental units. There is a large enclosed picnic shelter including a kitchen for larger groups as well as two smaller open pavilion-style picnic shelters.
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