The first location of Camp Duffield was in Allegany State Park. Originally known as the Allegany Conferences, the young people attending the conferences in the summer of 1938 suggested to the Presbytery that the name be changed to the John R.
Duffield Conferences in honor of Rev. John R. Duffield of Olean. Rev. Duffield, who died in 1937 had been the leader in establishing the conferences for young people.
The Duffield conferences continued at Allegany for the
next several years with the exception of 1943 when the
entire program was cancelled due to war conditions.
In 1946 a special committee was appointed to
investigate the possibility of using property in
Yorkshire Township which had been acquired by the
Board of Managers of Friendship House. The
committee recommended that the property should be
developed for use by Friendship House, Duffield
conferences, Presbyterian Girls' Camp and other
groups. Presbytery approved and set aside $1,000 in
the budget towards development.
Presbytery met at the Yorkshire site in October of 1949 and toured the property. It committed itself to finance the completion of the camp to the extent of $38,000 with the hope for an opening season in 1950. The relationship of Camp Duffield with Allegany State
Park was terminated. The official opening and dedication of Camp Duffield at Yorkshire took place on October 8, 1950, although the camp had already been in use all of that summer.
Rev. W. Burney Overton became the manager of Camp Duffield while construction of the camp in Yorkshire was in progress. He supervised the construction of five cement block cabins. The present office and director housing is in the building named for
him, Overton Lodge. Throughout the next years and decades the camp continued to grow and expand in an attempt to meet the
changing needs of Presbytery. In 1951, Janeway Hall (named for Sophie Janeway, wife of Rev. Frank Janeway, General Presbyter 1932-1950) and theWoodruff Infirmary (named for the East Aurora family who donated the cost of the building and the equipment
in it) were built. In 1952, a cement block kitchen was added to the old dining hall (now the craft building). Some years later, Janeway Hall became the new dining hall by changing three classrooms into the present kitchen.
In 1968-69, plans were drawn for a winterized retreat facility, and Keeler Lodge (named for Rev. Martyn Keeler, pastor of North Church, Williamsville for 20 years) and six wooden cabins were built. The summer of 1969 was the last time the old cement block
cabins were used. In 1977, the Outpost tenting area was opened and dedicated in the memory of the Rev. Albert C. Kunz, pastor of both Riverside Church and South Church in Buffalo. He and his family had been associated with Duffield for 22 years.
In 1992 the cabins were moved from around Keeler Lodge to their current location, an area that had previously been used for RV's.
First, bathrooms with showers were built and the six cabins were then moved up the hill and connected to the bathrooms. In 2000,
a capital campaign raised funds to renovate the cabins to make them fully accessible. The renovated cabins were first used for the
2002 camping season.
As the need for new programming became evident, an eight element team challenge course and a three element high ropes course were built behind Keeler Lodge in 1998. Other recent improvements to the site include the extension of the water line to
the Outpost in 2003 and the re-dredging of the pond in the spring of 2004.
In late 2007 the camp was sold to Camp Duffield Inc. who began running the camp in the summer of 2008.