Picking a Site for CML

As part of our anniversary celebration this year, we’ll offer some facts about the history of Camp Mount Luther.  Here are some snippets about how the site was chosen. 

  •  In 1962, Central Pennsylvania Synod representatives were looking for a site for a new camp.  They were looking at several sites that would serve the northern part of the synod.
  • Rev. John Bernheisel, then pastor of First Lutheran Church, Mifflinburg, was one of the people looking for a new site.  He was directed by Dr. Ira Sassaman, head of Christian Education and Camping for the synod, to search for an appropriate tract of land about 300 to 400 acres, preferably with water on for a swimming pool or lake.
  • Berneheisel visited several land owners, and the last one he visited suggested that the Buffalo Valley Fruit Farm, just east of his property would be a good property to investigate.   Most thought that property would not be for sale, but when the attorney for the family who owned it was asked, he replied, “I don’t see why not.”
  • The attorneys went to work to secure the land for Mount Luther.  On November 21, 1962, Margaret Town, who owned the apple orchard, offered to sell the Buffalo Valley Fruit Farm but wanted to retain mineral rights and twenty acres of the property.  Those conditions were not accepted by the synod because they would greatly handicap the ability to develop the property for camping purposes. Negotiations on the sale continued and by January 1963, the synod publicly announced their plans to build Mount Luther at the site we all know and love!
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