John Whittum: For historical record
June 17, 2013
On June 9, the Steamboat Pilot & Today featured an otherwise well-researched history of the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, but it contained the outrageous notion that its founders (Portia and Charlotte) "dampened" the 50th anniversary (1963) as they "moved toward selling the property to Stephens College, of Columbia." As a matter of historical record, the entire 90-acre property with all of its buildings and equipment was a gift to the college. Only in the early 1990s, when Stephens was in such dire financial straights it felt forced to sell off many of its assets, did the Friends of Perry-Mansfield raise enough money to purchase the camp (though the Friends also had to sell off 15 acres to make the payment). Stephens College made a handsome profit on what had been an expression of the illustrious founders' generosity and spirit.