Galilee is the renovated, former summer home of the Case family. The history of the building melds beautifully with hotel-style accommodations, creating an ideal place for groups to meet. This is the building most guests equate with Casowasco because of its history, location (on the lake), and beauty.
The Rusty Best Memorial Library features an unmatched view of Owasco Lake and a cozy place to enjoy a book. Galilee also has a large living room that is typically used as the main meeting area for groups. The second floor has seen the most work and has become one of the most luxurious place to stay on site. Almost all of the bedrooms feature their own full baths and a beautiful view.
Galilee includes 12 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and 9 showers to accommodate up to 29 guests. Pillows and blankets are included with each room. The building features a piano, kitchenette, two gas fireplaces, and two covered porches. The larger porch has been updated for extended use in colder seasons with a transparent vinyl enclosure and propane patio heater. The campfire circle is located a short distance off the south porch, along the shore of Owasco Lake.
The history of Galilee is part of its unique charm. The building we now call Galilee was the former summer home of Theodore and Gertrude Case. Built in 1896 and uniquely designed to fit the contour of the shoreline, it quickly became the centerpiece of the Case estate. The railroad that runs along the property dropped off many famous guests during those years – including an alleged visit by Mr. Walt Disney.
After the purchase of the property in 1946, Galilee began to undergo what would be several changes, all with the intent of making the building into a retreat facility. In the late 70s, it was almost closed for lack of funds to make the upgrades – but through volunteer work and an aggressive fundraising campaign, Galilee survived. Recent history has been very good to the facility. A large gift given by Peg Shields in the name of her parents, the Vetters, has enabled a massive renovation – ensuring that this beautiful piece of history will be used for many years to come.
Bethany is located alongside the shoreline of Owasco Lake, offering guests a beautiful view from the main meeting lounge. Bethany has a unique layout, in that it is made up of three “pods” interconnected by hallways. These “pods” give guests great flexibility for their activities and programs. Bethany also is equipped with a small kitchenette, a wheelchair lift, a TV and DVD/VCR, and a piano. The campfire circle is just a few steps out from the main meeting lounge.
The two housing “pods”, called the west wing and east wing, house a total of 64 guests (32 each). Each wing has eight bedrooms, with two bunk beds in each room (four sleep surfaces per room). There are also a total of four full baths in each wing. All bedrooms include pillows and blankets.
Bethany was built in 1962, with the purpose of providing the site with a large, guest-friendly retreat facility. The architect modeled the building’s octagonal pods after Galilee’s historic south porch. Bethany was built on the land that was previously the Case family boathouse and the site’s craft shop. The large meeting area included a glass fireplace that stood in the center of the building. This was taken out some 20 years later to make the area more beneficial to large groups and programming.
Wesley lodge is a retreat facility perfect for smaller groups and gatherings. The lodge has two lounge spaces, one with a wood stove the other with a kitchenette. This building is ideal for youth groups, bible study groups, and groups engaged in learning (ie. pastoral classes, home school, etc.)
The lodge is a two-story facility with the guests rooms and bathrooms on both floors. Wesley has 10 bedrooms to accommodate up to 30 guests. The beds include 10 bunk beds and 10 twin beds. There are four and a half baths throughout the building.
The Emmaus Commons is newly renovated and expanded and is centrally located in the center of the grounds. The Hall of Champions, our main dining room, seats up to 120 guests and is typically where most meals are held for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our food service staff works in the state-of-the-art kitchen to provide hot, homemade, delicious meals all year round.
The Founders Room is directly off of the dining area and includes a beautiful mantel and stone gas fireplace that can be used for meetings or a small dining area for up to 60 people. The Foresman Forum is located on the main level of Emmaus Commons. With seating for approximately 30 guests, it is an ideal meeting and dining space for groups and has a wonderful view of the lake. The Foresman Forum features conference style tables and chairs, WiFi, a flat screen television with HDMI inputs or screen with LCD projector can be used for presentations. Also in the Emmaus Commons is Casowasco’s Riggall Gift Shop. The gift shop has items ranging from mugs to fleece jackets and is a popular destination after meals.
The lower level of the Emmaus Commons is home to two multipurpose spaces, the Swales Room and the Stoppert Room. The Stoppert Room is primarily a recreation space that features table tennis, air hockey, Foosball, a television, and a wide selection of board games. When not booked by prior reservation the Stopper Room is open to all groups on site. The Swales Room is versatile room that can be used for meetings, quilt groups, worship space, and more. Amenities available include table and chairs for a variety of setups, as well as, LCD projector and screen, white board/easel, and printer/copier. Beverage service is available for all meeting spaces with prior arrangement at an additional fee.
The Lakeview Chapel is a beautiful, seasonal worship space located on the main site. The chapel sits 200 comfortably and is ideal for weddings, Sunday services, and as a large-group meeting area. The altar/stage area is perfect for drama, music and multimedia presentations (with LCD Projector and large screen) – making the area flexible and accommodating to both traditional and contemporary services. The Chapel also has a Yamaha Clavinova piano for use by guests.
The Koert Foster Memorial Center is located directly underneath the Chapel and provides theater-style seating for 100 guests or 75 at tables, a gas-insert fireplace, a piano, and two restrooms. This well-lit space, with its versatile arrangement, has quickly become a favorite space for quilting guilds and craft groups. The Foster Center can be used in conjunction with the Chapel or booked separately.
Plans for a Chapel at Casowasco were drawn up early in it’s history. Eli Whitney and Don Boyd rallied campers to build an outdoor chapel for morning worship and evening vespers. In 1947, the Lakeview Campgrounds were sold and the proceeds designated for the building of the “Lakeview Chapel”. The architect designed the building after a rustic chapel in the mountains of Arizona which featured a large window behind the altar looking out at the view. The Chapel was dedicated on June 21st, 1953. The Foster Center is named in honor of Koert Foster, the long time, beloved manager of Casowasco who died tragically in a hunting accident in 1974.
Donated by Mr. Alec C. Proskine as Sabbath space for Clergy and their families, this beautiful log cabin was dedicated in 2010.
It has three bedrooms, two of which contain a queen bed. The third bedroom has a twin day bed with twin trundle bed. The cabin is fully furnished and stocked with all of the items a person or small group would need during their stay. A fully functional kitchen accommodates meal preparation.
The Alec Proskine Welcome Center has been named after the donor, the late Alec C. Proskine who helped fund the Welcome Center and the new Prayer Cabin. The Welcome Center is a state of the art office with a reception/waiting area, four administrative offices and a large program/summer staff area where summer leadership staff plan all the summer programs at Casowasco.
Capernaum has a dormitory setting with four rooms that sleep 16 guests apiece, for a total of 64 guests. The building is set in a wooded area to offer a natural, rustic feel. The Railroad Trail offers a scenic, low-impact hike to and from the Emmaus Commons, waterfront area and the Lakeview Chapel.
Each room has one bathroom with two sinks, 1-2 toilets, and 1-2 showers. The lodge meeting space has a fireplace and a small kitchenette. The room is perfect for meetings and evening programs, while the campfire circle provides a place to sing and make s’mores. Capernaum is available from May 1 to Nov. 1.
Capernaum was constructed after Mount Tabor, in 1965. The architects, Teisch and Morton designed the building to be open only in the summer but some renovations have allowed it to be open all year – with the exception of some of the colder months.
Mount Tabor is a complex of four cabins and a main lodge set on a tree-filled hill top. Offering a more rustic experience and natural setting, Mt. Tabor is a favorite for family camping, church camping, and youth retreats. Each of the four cabins have the same floor plan and can sleep up to 18 guests apiece. Dividers within the cabins allow for privacy between genders or families.
The main lodge is a short distance from the cabins and provides a large meeting space, a fire place, and 2 dormitory-style bathrooms. The campfire circle is a perfect place for singing and s’mores in the evening. A staircase entitled Jacob’s Ladder provides easy access to the Emmaus Commons, the waterfront area and the Lakeview Chapel. Mt. Tabor is available from May 15 through Sept. 30.
“While many of the churches of Central New York were enlarging their facilities to accommodate the postwar baby boom, Casowasco continued adding buildings. As Bethany neared completion (1962,) plans for a cabin unit on the knoll midway up the hill from the point were moving from dream to reality. Builder Richard Hoyt began construction summer ’63 and completed work that fall. This investment of $49,700 brought into being Mt. Tabor – a cluster of four separate cabins with a central lodge – Casowasco’s first facility specifically designed for small group camping.”
(an excerpt from “Casowasco – A Place of Vision” by Phyllis Coville)