Gypsy Camp and Canoe is hosting a series of free family days this weekend to celebrate the camp's history with alumni from the original Gypsy Camp for Girls.
The Gypsy Camp for Girls, located along the Illinois River and Arkansas Highway 59, was in operation from 1921 through 1978 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The camp's legacy continued when Gypsy Camp and Canoe opened in July of 2018. The business, owned by three local couples, provides family-friendly recreation and float trips on the Illinois River.
Alumni from the original Gypsy Camp for girls have been coming back for reunions for years, and six or seven alumni are coming this weekend from as far away as Sacramento, Calif., according to Jerrid Galinas, one of the owners.
The family days will include tours of four of the original historic buildings and the bluff trail, guided by Gypsy Camp alumni, along with scavenger hunts, games and other activities, Galinas said. Tours will take place at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. A campfire is planned for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Four of the camp's 11 buildings have been cleaned out and one building is starting the transition into a Gypsy Camp museum which will include artifacts from the original camp, he said. In addition, the bluff trail has also been cleared and is ready for tours, he said.
Galinas hopes to build awareness that the Gypsy Camp is more than just a place to go on float trips, it also features a lot of local history.
"The place does exist and we have some living history to tell about it," he said.General News on 09/11/2019
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