Grant will help restore home at historic camp

By The Associated Press

CHESTERFIELD — Boosters of a historic central Indiana camp once famed for its spiritual mediums have won a grant to partially restore a home where it's believed the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous once lived.

The $11,500 grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' historic preservation division will allow for the work on the Lizzie Koch home at Camp Chesterfield.

The Friends of Camp Chesterfield, which received the grant, raised $11,500 in matching funds for the project, which will go toward removing the two-story cottage's asphalt siding and shoring up its foundation.

The restoration work on the home, which will be painted in historic colors, is expected to be completed next year, said Normandi Ellis with the Friends of Camp Chesterfield.

The Koch house was built in 1895 at Camp Chesterfield, and it is believed that at one time Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, lived there, Ellis told The Herald Bulletin.

“He reportedly lived at Camp Chesterfield and worked in Daleville and wrote a portion of his first book here,” she said.

The camp, located just north of Anderson, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It opened in 1891 along the White River and includes summer cabins, a grotto, labyrinth and a hillside trail of limestone busts representing major world religions.

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