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The History of CAmp Tosebo

Founded by Noble Hill, Camp Tosebo was established in 1912 as a private summer camp for the Todd Seminary for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. The camp attracted boys from all over the country, and even though the Todd School was closed in 1953, the summer camp carried on with its eight-week summer program for another twenty-four years. 

The current owners continue to preserve the rich historical tradition of this camp by maintaining its original buildings and conserving the natural beauty of its surroundings. 

Pictured: The original Todd Seminary for Boys in Woodstock IL circa 1848. The name was changed to Todd School around 1930.

Todd School Woodstock IL.jpeg

 Tosebo Timeline

  • 1892 – Noble Hill purchased the TOdd SEminary for BOys located in Woodstock, Illinois. The name is changed to Todd School for Boys, but the Camp name comes from the original name. Hill already had property in Wisconsin for a camp, but the desire for “big water sailing” prompted Hill to look to Michigan.

  • 1894 – Clubhouse built as a one story community center/dance hall to promote the development of the Red Park summer cottages.

  • 1896 – Beehive cottage built as a private residence. The Beehive was purchased by Tosebo in 1943.

  • 1902 - Crow’s Nest cottage built. Used by General Johnson and later for youngest campers. The building was gone by 1960.

  • 1905 – Vista built. And was the residence for Noble Hill and family. The Vista was torn down about 1970.

  • 1910 – Welcome House built as a private residence and purchased by Tosebo in 1912. Originally had a carriage house/garage that was hauled down to Red Park (1930’s) and is now occupied by Larry Fox.

  • 1912 – Noble Hill purchases Clubhouse and property to the west and Boathouse with Portage Lake frontage. Noble Hill (“The King”) brings boys up from the Todd School for the summer.

  • 1914 – A.E. Johnson (“The General”) begins 41 year career at Todd School and Camp Tosebo as teacher, principal, and program director.

  • 1925 – Cabin 1-2-3 built facing the tennis court.

  • 1929 – Anthony “Coach” Roskie hired at Todd School and begins 42 year career at Tosebo in 1930.

  • 1931 – Cabin 4-5-6 built facing the flagpole.

  • 1934 – Indian Council Ring created with assistance from Chief Whirling Thunder (Winnebago Tribe). Stage built. Stage destroyed about 1998.

  • 1939 – Boathouse dragged from water (on cribs) to current location.

  • 1945 – Noble Hill turns operation of Tosebo over to his daughter, Carol Fawcett. Craft Shop built.

  • 1953 – Todd School closes, but Camp Tosebo goes on.

  • 1955 – Carol Fawcett turns operation of Tosebo over to her son, Ross Taylor.

  • 1963 - Camp Tosebo sold to Hal and Jane Tonkins after 51 years of family ownership.1973 – Camp Tosebo sold to Pat and John Allmand.

  • 1977 – Camp Tosebo closes as a summer boy’s camp.

  • 1983 – Camp Tosebo purchased by Dr. David Wild for a family retreat.

  • 1995-6 – Restoration of the Clubhouse, Welcome House and Trunk House done by David Wild Jr. and Lulu Gargiulo. Clubhouse operates as a bed & breakfast with Dan & Marie Baker as hosts.

  • 2004 – Camp Tosebo purchased by Tosebo Clubhouse LLC – Steve and Kris Darpel, Joe and Kim Perrin, Mark and Martha Schrock, and Dave and Fran Wallace. Restoration of the Boathouse completed.

  • 2005 – First ever Camp Tosebo Reunion held with “boys” who attended Tosebo from six different decades.

  • 2008 – Tosebo truck restoration begins

  • 2009 – Second Tosebo Reunion held. Truck makes grand entrance to delight of everyone. Again the Council Fire gathering is special for all.

  • 2010 – Restoration of the Tom Thumb Miniature Golf Course


The TOM THUMB Golf Course

​ In 1928 near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Garnet Carter decided to miniaturize the game of golf. His plan for a full-size course was taking too long to build. He needed something to entertain his guests at the Fairyland Inn. He came up with the idea of miniature golf. The game became an immediate hit! Even serious golfers came out to play the game. Soon, thousands of TOM THUMB kits were sold all over the country.​

Camp Tosebo's 9-hole course was originally installed about 1930 in the same location it is today. The signature hole for every TOM THUMB course is the hollow log on number nine. Today's course has the original log for you to putt through.

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