Edith Ortner Watercolors of Camp Otter

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April 30, 2017 by Doug Webster

Over the years, Edith Ortner, wife of Camp Otter owner Howard Ortner, often devoted time to painting water colors of camp scenes.  Robert Hoffarth, the Orther’s youngest grandson, kept and preserved several of them that hung in the Ortner home for many years.  He sends photos of them along for posting here:

Camp Otter 004 (1)

View across Lake Otter from Crewson farm

If you look closely just to the left of the barn roof on the far shore, Edith shows the road through the trees, although I do not ever recall being able to see the road there from that vantage point.

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View of Lake Otter from the Main Lodge

This view seems to show the Crewson farm on the far side behind a somewhat enlarged Blueberry Island.  The flagpole rises behind the log on the left.

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Timberwolf Lodge

I believe this is the cabin used by the Rogers and then Rachel and Berner during summer camp seasons.

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The Craft Lodge and Teepee

Some of us remember when the lodge was moved through the woods to its site closer to the main camp area.

Camp Otter 005 (1)

Old canoe dock

This looks towards Sandy Beach from a vantage point somewhere in the vicinity of the swim dock, but in the 50s and 60s…the canoe dock was on the other side of the swim dock.

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The Ice House, water pump and the first of the Boys’ Cabins

A central view of camp remembered by so many.  Part of the Ice House on the left where Bill Crewson annually brought in ice from the lake and packed it in sawdust to create the camp’s summer refrigerator.  With the thick walls, a double door into the ice room and the sawdust, the ice stayed amazingly intact throughout, preserving meats and produce trucked in from Bracebridge and Huntsville.

HBO Lodge redo 001

And of course her image of the Main Lodge with the logs lined along the top of the bank leading to the lake where so many evening campfires were held over the years.  The roofed porch surrounds two sides of the Lodge…the flagpole behind it, and a view across the lake towards Blueberry Island and Crewson’s.

And Bob included this photo of a treasured memento…a Camper Award paddle received nearly 50 years ago.  I’ll be he’s not the only one who kept his over the years.

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Camper Paddle 1969

(NOTE:)  Bob also sent along copies of awards given to Howie Ortner by his peers, marking his very successful career as the head basketball coach at Cornell (1920-1936.)  We’ve added those to the existing post on early directors of Camp Otter.

(We encourage submissions like these of artifacts, photos, etc. from alumni for inclusion here on the website.  If you have things you think might be good candidates, send them to Doug Webster at dweb823 (at) aol (dot) com)

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