In 1855, Joseph and Martha Bradford moved to what is today Bradford Woods. In the late 1880s, the Bradford brothers – Perry, John, and Albert – discovered valuable sand on the property and began mining and selling it to foundries.
Over the years, the business blossomed and the land that is today Bradford Woods was acquired. In 1937, John, the last of the brothers alive, decided to deed the property to Indiana University to be used in perpetuity as a safe place for children.
The rest, as they say, is history. The first camps began in 1955, and since then we've grown into an international leader in experiential outdoor education and summer camp programming. View more history info on the timeline below, or watch a brief video to learn more about how we've changed over the years.