Camp Margaret Bates. Macedonia, Ohio
The Demise of Camp Margaret Bates
The demise of Camp Margaret Bates in Macedonia is especially poignant and instructive.
In 1995, there was a fire at a chemical factory near the camp. Two million gallons of water were used to put out the fire. The water washed through the factory, picking up toxic chemicals, and flowed downstream into Margaret Bates.
The camp was immediately closed and stayed closed while safety experts, lawyers, and the GSLEC board of directors debated what to do. Lawyers advised the board that if the camp re-opened, there would always be the risk of liability should a girl ever become ill after camping there, even if the illness had nothing to do with the effects of contamination, and even if no one else at the camp became sick. The council could be sued for everything.
So in good faith, and with great sorrow, the board voted to relinquish camp Margaret Bates to protect the future of the council.
It was sold to a land development company for 1.6 million dollars.
It is now the site of Forest Lake Community on Valley View Rd. There is no trace of toxicity in the land or the groundwater. There are no reports that Forest Lake residents have a higher incidence of illness than the rest of the population.
Moral of the Story:
Ask questions. Question whether someone pushing toward a particular outcome might have a hidden agenda. Don't be pressured into unwise choices. Learn from history.
A Bit of History:
Read what happened when the Pennsylvania Railroad needed to build a track through Margaret Bates
The Site of Margaret Bates Today