Nudist camp near Wimer operated until about the mid-1970s
In 1959, when I was a 12-year-old kid, I rode along with my grandfather one day to see what he did in his job as an electric-meter checker. One of our stops was at a nudist camp near Rogue River. It was the off season and vacant at the time, but nonetheless I got a lot of ribbing about going to a nudist camp. I cannot locate the site of this camp. Does anyone know where it was?
— S.A., Rogue River
In our quest for the naked truth, we at SYA headquarters — where clothes are not optional — uncovered everything to get at the bare facts for you, S.A.
However, before proceeding, we would like to turn the table and ask you a question: Did your grandfather check the meter at the nudist camp several times a week?
OK, OK, in all seriousness, we did track down — barefoot, of course — where you went a little more than a half-century ago.
It is most likely the 50-acre site that the Siskiyou Fraternity Nudist Club had about five miles from Wimer. We can't put a finer point on it because our archives never quite nailed down the precise location.
In any case, it had about 110 members as late as 1976 and was affiliated with the American Sunbathing Association. It was started in 1934 by Ashland resident Jim Bentley, a railroad engineer.
We also found a short article on the group's annual Halloween gathering in 1966. The club, together with a sister organization known as White Oak Lodge, was planning a costume party. Nudist costumes? Are we talking body paint?
But there is more, albeit we insist none of you readers out there laugh.
The article duly noted that, in addition to potluck salads and desserts, there would be a "wiener roast."
Please wipe that smile off your face.
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