Kamp Kill Kare was a resort built on the banks of the Provo river in Woodland by James Vashon Kirkpatrick. He was born in Florida in 1878 and came to Utah with his family in around 1907 and worked in Salt Lake City as a stage carpenter. By 1919 they were living in Woodland.
Kamp Kill Kare was built and named in imitation of a luxurious estate built in the Adirondacks by New York State Lieutenant Governor, Timothy Woodruff and later owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt.
The resort was up and running by 1914, at which time cabins were available to rent at $1 per day.
After James died in 1930 it was run for several years by Joe Porter.
Joseph Dwight Porter was born in 1896 in Montana and came to Park City after his release from the US Navy in 1919. He married Sarah Rebecca Pace of Woodland the same year, and by 1926 they were living in Woodland. He was Kamas’s first fire chief.
In 1944 James’s widow, Carrie Kirkpatrick, sold the resort to George and Leoda Dunham.
George Raphael Dunham was born in 1896 in Kanab. He married Sarah Ann Leoda Fowles in after his release from the army 1919. He had been a cook in the army, and after working as a miner for a while he and Leoda worked as cooks with the Union Pacific Railroad. They then worked at George Washington Park in Parley’s Canyon before taking over the Kill Kare. Leoda was known for her excellent food, and the resort offered live music, dancing, sports competitions, and a tavern.
Sadly, George seems to have had a drinking problem and some possible mental health issues. He was arrested in 1959 after an attack on his family and died in 1961, leading Leoda to put out the following advert:
Later in the 1960s ownership of the property came into dispute and it became a squat for hippies. The property was bought in 1991 by Ricci Martin. Ricci was the son of rat pack singer Dean Martin.
He came to Woodland at the suggestion of his wife, Utah native Annie Rasmussen. The property was much neglected and several dilapidated buildings had to be torn down. He kept five acres for himself and set up a recording studio there named River Ranch Studios.
Killkare Loop, off State Road 35, marks the resort’s location.
Thank you Kamas Valley History Group! Your article about Camp Kill-Kare has been a trip down memory lane. My family spent many, many great times there in the ’60s. My parents would put us kids to bed in the cabin and off they would go dancing and just having a great time. I remember waking up to hear the Provo River. I am looking forward to going through my pictures. I know I have pics of Leoda with family members. Also, pics of myself with my Grandpa and my sister and cousins. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.