The History of Jameson Camp

For almost 100 years, Jameson Camp has provided thousands of young people with a safe place to grow, make friends, and explore.

Thanks to the investment of the community, the camp continues to be a place where children and teens have the support they need to develop leadership skills for success today and tomorrow.

Julia Jameson

Julia Graydon Jameson

 Born in Indianapolis in 1870, Julia Jameson served as secretary to the Camp Committee of the Marion County Tuberculosis Association from 1928 until her death in 1935.

She worked diligently to stimulate the interest of individuals and organizations within the community to secure contributions for the Building Fund. Her efforts, and those of others, resulted in an anonymous gift of $50,000 for the enlargement of the Camp.

On October 7, 1935, the Association announced the name of the camp in honor of Jameson during the laying of the cornerstone of the first fireproof building on the property. 

“For every brick and stone within this structure, Julia Jameson performed a service, shed a tear or had a hope for someone in need of its healing care. No words of tribute for Mrs. Jameson or monument to her work could be more fitting than an institution which serves others in her name as she served them in her life.”

Russel I. Richardson

1920s A Vision for Healthy Children

In 1925, a committee from the Board of Directors of the Marion County Tuberculosis Association was appointed to select a site for a permanent nutrition camp.

They were determined to maintain high standards and set a goal to provide adequate facilities for 100 children. [1]

In 1926 the Association purchased 82 acres of land in Bridgeport nine west of Indianapolis for a nutrition camp or preventorium.

The camp’s original name was the Julia Jameson Nutrition Camp for Frail Children. The camp accepted undernourished children or those recovering from non-communicable illnesses aged 8–14. Treatment at the camp focused on rest, a generous amount of food, sunshine, and fresh air. The Marion County Tuberculosis Association continued to run the Jameson Nutrition Camp into the 1960s. [2]

On July 5, 1928, the nutrition camp officially opened.

Stella Glasson Kaufman was the first camp director. Twenty-five girls attended during the month of July and twenty-five boys during the month of August.


[1] From the 1997 Tataya Mato Program Handbook (physical archive)

[2] Marion County Tuberculosis Association Records

1930s A Community Rallies

On October 6, 1935, 500 guests gathered for the laying of the cornerstone.

The sale of Christmas Seals were a key source of funding for the camp. The annual Seal Sale was headed by Eli Lilly, general chairman. In December of, 1935 Dr. Amos asked the community to help raise $32,000 for the camp’s operations.

The dedication of a new $50,000 health preventorium at the Julia Jameson nutrition camp Bridgeport, took place June 21, 1936.

The building was made possible through special gifts from individuals and organizations to the Marion County Tuberculosis Association. The camp, which is operated by the tuberculosis association, opened with seventy-five children enrolled. (Published July 4, 1936 – The Journal of The American Medical Association)

Nine years of growth!

On October 1, 1936 an Indianapolis Times article reported the success of the camp, with children gaining as much as 13 pounds over the summer of 1936 – “the most successful summer of any of the nine held at the nutrition camp.”

1940s - 1960s

October 30, 1946 – Shortridge Daily Echo – S.H.S . Teachers To Aid Benefit Skating Party

Mesdames Elizabeth Helm, Louise Steiger, and Rachel Schumacher are among those who are making plans for Alpha Latrelan’s eighteenth annual skating party for the benefit of the Julia Jameson Nutrition Camp at Bridgeport, Indiana. The affair will be held a t the Coliseum from eight until ten-thirty o’clock Friday night, November 8. Since the beginning of the camp in 1028, the organization has sponsored a project and made a total contribution of $7,677.62 to the camp’s building and maintenance fund. Mrs. Howard Foltz is in charge of ticket sales.

1969 Separation from MCTA

Due to impending reorganization of the entire tuberculosis movement across the nation, the Julia Jameson Camp legally separated from the MCTA in 1969. The first board meeting for the newly organized Julia Jameson Health Camp for Children, Inc. was held March 6, 1969.

1970s - 1990s

In March of 1985, in keeping with the new image and expanded purpose of the camp, it was renamed Jameson Camp, Inc.

1996 – Tataya Mato established

The 10-day residential camping program for Indiana children and their families who are impacted by HIV/AIDs was established with the primary goal to give children one of the most memorable and fun-filled experiences of their live.