Indian Village Park Marks 50th Anniversary
Marty DeVinney was just a kid when his dad, Robert DeVinney, decided to turn what was a struggling landscape of wheat fields and vineyards into a campground near Vine Valley, N.Y.
Erosion on the steep slopes in Vine Valley, on the east side of Canandaigua Lake, from decades of farming using the early methods of horse-drawn plows and other techniques was taking its toll, Marty told MPNnow.com.
His father, a Boy Scout leader, envisioned a campground on the scenic acreage, with its untouched shoreline and wooded landscape.
Last month, more than 150 people — some of them still seasonal residents since the early years — gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indian Village Park.
After opening in 1961, the early years consisted of sites with small tents and popup trailers. Many people came for weekends or a week or two for a family vacation. Today, the seasonal campground leased exclusively to adults includes public showers, restrooms and laundry; a main lodge with full kitchen for parties, games and programs; a pavilion with a stage; a fish pond; and a waterfront beach with a dock for boat moorings.
“I enjoy the surroundings, the people,” said Ron Schroeder, a retired Rochester Gas & Electric worker. He originally lived in Webster, and after retirement, began wintering in Florida with his wife, Judy. With family in the area and a long tradition of spending summers at Indian Village Park, they continue to enjoy all the park has to offer each summer, said Schroeder, who directs the Vine Valley Chorale.
Larry Thibault, a retired executive with the Boy Scouts of America, another longtime seasonal resident, said the folks with ties to Indian Village come from all over the nation and from all walks of life. From scientists to artists and westerners to those who stay on the East Coast, the park is one place they all call home, Thibault said.