photo courtesy of John and Betsy Hartman Owens
Harris Hill - Elmira NY
Photo of the Month, February 2001
Harris Hill - Elmira, NY
by Bill Cook

arris Hill and its memories bring back the stories of summer camp and picnics and miniature golf. Betsy Hartman Owens (Class of 60) and her husband, John, took this picture for us of a towplane pulling a glider.

Remember Nellie Bidleman's Summer Bible Camp? Remember those flannel board stories about Moses and David and Goliath? This was where it all took place.

No, not Moses and Goliath. This is where the flannel board stories took place every summer at Nellie's Summer Camp. And no, not out there on the runway, but down the road next to the chainlink fence and then to the right a ways. There were those little barracks-like buildings that slept 20 or 25 kids and a counselor. The big assembly building was where we ate our meals and had our camp meetings every evening. The buildings are still there - and, in fact, they rent out the hall for parties if you're looking for a place to have a wedding reception or a class reunion.

Remember the swimming pool? You go down this road along the fence, and there, just as you turn the corner, up on the slope to the right was the swimming pool. Are you there yet? Whoops! You must have passed it by.

Harris Hill was named after Army-Airforce Lt. Henry B. Harris, who was a research pilot for an MIT meteorological group. Shortly after the new Chemung County Airport was opened in the early 30s, Lt. Harris was killed in a glider towing accident at the new airport.

Related Sites:

National Soaring Museum
Harris Hill Soaring Center
July 2003 Picture of the Month
May 2005 Picture of the Month