There was so much to be done before Camp Forestia could truly be called a nudist camp. (Please note that we are using the word “camp”. It wouldn’t be until about the late 1960’s when nudists nationwide would start using the terminology “nudist park”. Either was preferable to the offensive “colony”.) Where was a good place to start? Three areas of needed work were readily obvious. (1) A road suitable for automobile traffic must be built, (2) the old farmhouse must be cleaned and renovated so it can serve as a club house, and (3) a pond must be dug and prepared for use as a swimming facility.
“Who owns a chainsaw? Please bring it up to the camp. And how about bulldozers, backhoes and other earth moving equipment?” Members came up for work parties and they brought their tools – hand tools, power tools, you name it. Tools and machinery were bought, borrowed, and rented. Each phase of the work, as it was completed, made the next phase a little easier. They sawed, they shoveled, they hammered and painted. But they also took time to play. They were nudists and the sun was shining. They were in their element.
Finally, Camp Forestia began to resemble a nudist camp. But creating a recreational facility wasn’t without problems. The clean and newly reconstructed club house still lacked an important feature – electricity. Now, electricity means wire. Wire means copper. But copper was an element vital to the War Effort.
To anyone born after the late 1930’s, the previous sentence may not have much significance. But the “old timers” clearly remember the shortage of materials and commodities which were needed in the manufacture of weapons of war and associated equipment. Rubber, copper, aluminum, other metals, chemicals, the list grows longer, were unavailable or rationed or frightfully expensive. So how did the FS members get their hands on enough wire to bring the good old 110v to the club house? The answer is simple – they didn’t. Well, at least not good, heavy wire fat with insulation.
Somehow, somewhere, we don’t know how or where, they acquired some telephone wire – somewhat larger in diameter than a human hair and sheathed with a thin layer of insulation. “It’s great for low voltage, but will it work on 110? Sure it’ll work if you put in big enough fuses. Oh, the wire will get warm. Very warm? HOT! Hopefully, it won’t start a fire. Is it safe? No, but let’s hope for the best! Will it satisfy the wiring code? No, but maybe nobody will notice” (More about this later).
With a navigable road scraped into the side of Tiger Mountain, cars and other vehicles could come all the way up the hill to the recreation area. “Now we can dig a swimming hole!” Perhaps the term “swimming hole” is somewhat demeaning. It conjures up visions of a slimy, bug infested mud hole. What the members created was much better. The pond was roughly oval in shape, about 50’ x 100’, and varying in depth from a few inches to about 9 feet. There wasn’t a deep “end”, but rather a deep “side”, that is, the depth varied as one proceeded crosswise, but stayed about the same lengthwise. Many loads of sand were dumped into the pond and distributed neatly before filling it with water. To keep down the bug population, fish were released into the water and were replenished every year. A flow of mountain spring water kept the pool clean and sparkling and the facility resembled a small artificial lake. In fact, it was given a name, “Lake Forestia.” This name, however, didn’t stick for very long. The pool wasn’t very warm, but on hot days it provided an opportunity for a refreshing dip.
Finally, the FS members had a recreational facility they could call their own. Here was a rustic but delightful retreat where they could enjoy the wholesome life style which they had chosen for themselves and their families. Of course, there were other jobs, far too numerous to mention in detail, which needed doing. They would be done in time. For years, when one member would meet another member at work or at the grocery store on Monday morning and ask, “Where did you spend the weekend?”, the answer would be, “Up on the Hill.”