It wasn’t long, however, before the Depression began to take its toll on Illahee’s financial stability. Camp continued its yearly operation from 1931 through 1934 but by the end of camp in 1934 the McLeod’s no longer were able to pay on their mortgage. With no other option left to them the Brevard Banking Company foreclosed on the McLeod’s loan and Illahee was slated for auction on November 19, 1934. That November morning, on the steps of the Transylvania County Courthouse, Illahee’s fate was going to be in the hands of the highest bidder. But there was no other serious bidder present that morning so the Transylvania County Board Commissioners had the winning bid of $5000.00 and in what appears to be an unusual display of generosity, the commissioners turned around and assigned the property back to the McLeod’s for a $1000.00 bond and five promissory notes for the rest of the balance. They were back in business and the McLeod’s could now continue to run the camp they loved so much. Though these were difficult times for Illahee they didn’t know then but the real struggle lay ahead of them.
On a fall day in 1938 on the main road just outside the city limits of Brevard, she turned left onto the gravel of Illahee Road and drove right into her future.
In the summer of 1938 Camp Illahee’s gates were closed and the laughter of the campers and the joy of community were replaced with nature’s silence.
That same summer at a camp just outside the city limits of Asheville, North Carolina, a young woman with character, vision and experience was trying her hand at directing a private girl’s camp for the first time. Kathryn “Robin” Francis Curtis leased the Chunn’s Cove Camp for Girls for the duration of just that one summer…
This had been her first attempt at directing a private girl’s camp and it had gone so well she decided this was what she wanted to do with her life. Over the years she had quietly been nurturing this dream of owning her own camp, but questions about the feasibility of her dream kept surfacing: how could she afford it? She was not wealthy, and if by some miracle she found a way, where would be the camp for her? On a fall day in 1938 on the main road just outside the city limits of Brevard, she turned left onto the gravel of Illahee Road and drove right into her future.