Donald D. Kennedy Starts Realizing His Dream

In 1925, two years after graduating from Princeton, he was able to cobble together a little money to buy about 500 acres and 3 ½ miles of shoreline from several farm families and one defrocked Episcopalian minister who had exceeded his bounds as a missionary in Japan. In those days the land had remarkably little monetary value, but the farmers’ families had worked the land for generations and were reluctant to sell it. The defrocked minister who owned the top of the hill and lived a lonely life of remorse was now ready to return to civilization (The Racquet Club in Philadelphia). The minister led him to the West Neck of Nobleboro.

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Here was the perfect place where boys would become men in a manly way – no frills, few women, hardy and simple food, and straightforward emulation of the ethics of Teddy Roosevelt and Thoreau. These neo-Victorians like my father took child rearing seriously: cold cereal for supper, sleeping on cot beds without mattresses, etc. The object of athletics, trips, and daily life at Kieve was to build character in the campers so they could be leaders as adults. That has been our goal for almost 90 years at the same place under the direction of Donald D. Kennedy’s family.