History of Camp Jefferson
In 1921, a forty-acre campground was established by the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).
The land for Camp Jefferson was leased from Clyde McCurdy. By the summer of 1921, a community hall was constructed on the site. In 1928, a local business person, E.J. Hested, offered to purchase the land for the YMCA on the condition that the organization would provide additional equipment.
After the purchase, the Hesteds constructed a cabin named "Mary Lee" on the edge of the grounds for their personal use. During that same year, four cabins were erected on the site by area organizations. In mid 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a manmade lake for the campers.
A newspaper article in The Fairbury News and the Fairbury Gazette dated May 23, 1935 noted that the dam for the lake was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp at Fairbury. At the end of World War 11, between 1945 and 1946, cabins at the camp were both constructed and rebuilt. Some of the material for this project was donated by the Endicott brick factory. During this same time period, the Hested estate also donated money for the electrical wiring of the camp.
By 1990, Camp Jefferson offered its patrons twelve sleeping and storage cabins, and a dining hall.*
*Audrey Dawes, "A History of Camp Jefferson 'Nebraska's Best-Kept Secret,"' 1 January 1990,
Located at the Fairbury Public Library, Fairbury, NE; "Plans for Boys and Girls' Camps are Completed,"
The Fairbury News and the Fairbury Gazette 23 May 1935.
How Can You Show Your Support
Contributions to Camp Jefferson are deductible for income, estate and gift tax purposes.
- Outright Gifts
Gifts of cash or securities
- Memorial Gifts
Honoring relatives or friends
- Deferred Gifts
Bequests, trusts or life insurance policies
- Special Gifts
Money to support a specific area
- Real Estate
Land donated to Camp Jefferson
Possible uses in donations can include but are not limited to:
- Mess Hall
- Bathroom/Shower House
- Individual Cabins
- Bailey Hall
- Swimming Pool
- Camp Jefferson/General
How Your Support Will Benefit You And Your Family...
- You will be providing a service for the benefit of Camp Jefferson, Fairbury and its surrounding communities
- Continuing in making Camp Jefferson a viable place to visit and appreciate
- Supporting generations of families who have utilized this fine family facility for reunions and keeping in contact
- Supporting our local and area youth in the many different group, clubs and entities that make use of Camp Jefferson through learning and week-long camps
- You will be helping to modernize our existing facility in making it a much safer, environmentally friendly retreat
- Provides you a 501(c)3 tax deduction
Click Here to Contribute