Canonicus Camp and Conference Center came into being in 1948 under the name "Baptist Plantations" when the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI) purchased the 157 acre Sweet Farm. McCrillis Farmhouse is the oldest building on the property, dating from 1810, and it was restored and renamed in 1962. This area, called Colonial Village, included the carriage house which was converted to Tefft Chapel, Breezymere, Cedarholm, and the barn.
The site was developed to include extensive woodlands and meadows and a 20 acre lake, giving us the ideal surroundings for both traditional camp programming and getting away from it all to focus on God. A number of special gifts have established some of the most precious areas of camp, including the Outdoor chapel and Prayer Island. To find out more look at the plaques we have placed throughout the camp and conference center in memory of those to whom sites and buildings are dedicated.
The Health Lodge and Snell Lodge (formerly Ad(ministration) Lodge) were built in 1959 and camp was run from there for many years until the a new office (now called Motter Resource Center) was occupied in the 1980’s. The three buildings (Green & Rathbun Retreat houses and the office) were purchased for $1 each and moved here to foundations we built for them! In 2000 the Lawrence family, with several other generous donors, facilitated the construction of the building that now houses the combined offices of The American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island and Canonicus Camp & Conference Center.
As we became more aware of the ever growing need for people to have space to think and learn where they could appreciate the beauty of God's environment, Canonicus instituted a program of growth that continues to this day. These developments have included the establishment of three retreat houses and a modern conference center, designed to allow people to enjoy our facility in comfort without detracting from the beauty that surrounds them.