A master plan for historic Camp Chesterfield

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Smith, Michael V.
Parker, Francis H. (Francis Haywood), 1938-
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Thesis (M.U.R.P.)
Department of Urban Planning
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The purpose of this research paper was to create a master plan for Historic Camp Chesterfield. The plan provides recommendations for improving the physical and social aspects of the camp through recommended projects and techniques. The recommendations were created through data obtained at a master-planning workshop.If implemented, the recommendations could assist in improving aspects of the camp that may be preventing sustained success. They should assist in improving the social issues, existing development, function, infrastructure of the camp and identify new methods of revenue generation. The final portion of the document recommends specific planning activities to sustain the momentum of the changes after they have been implemented. The strength of this master plan is its overall structure and the processes put in place to develop it, the details or individual projects proposed for the camp are the product of analysis of all of the elements that make up Camp Chesterfield. The plan's underlying structure and processes should enable Camp Chesterfield to position itself for success in the future.Camp Chesterfield is located in Chesterfield, Indiana, 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis, in Madison County. This 35-acre camp, founded in 1886 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the home of the Indiana Association of Spiritualists where scientific, philosophical, and religious beliefs about continuous life after death (or Spiritualism) are embraced. Since its formation in 1891, the camp has evolved into a small-developed community, at its peak between the 1920's and 1960's it was a bustling, growing and vibrant community. Camp Chesterfield operates a seminary where students can take classes to earn certificates that will give them the skills to publicly conduct the activities of a medium or healer. Students have the opportunity to take classes to become an ordained minister or an associate minister. Camp Chesterfield also holds seminars, banquets, and church services. Since the 1960s, Camp Chesterfield's popularity has slowly declined and many of its facilities reflect the passage of time without proper maintenance. Camp Chesterfield today appears to exist mainly as a shell of the glory days of the 1960s.