Life at Bohemian Grove

Photos and text copyright 1997 Kerry Richardson

A mariachi band from the Bohemian Grove performs a benefit.

There are lots of musicians at the Bohemian Grove each summer. Some are professionals, some amateurs. Each year a number of the campers leave the Grove and go to the local elementary school in Monte Rio, the small town where the Grove is located. They put on a variety show open to the public, and the money from the ticket sales benefits local schools. Above is a photo from the 1987 benefit performance showing a mariachi band of Bohemian clubbers called "Los Amigos." Among the performers in past years at the benefit were tenor Dennis Day and comedian-storyteller Art Linkletter.

A shuttle bus enters the Bohemian Grove.

The Bohemian Grove is located in a forested area with some old-growth redwood trees. The campers leave their cars in lots, but the club runs shuttle busses inside the Grove. Sometimes the shuttle takes campers outside the Grove, perhaps to the local golf course or a restaurant, and then returns, as is pictured here. Note the owl on the side of the bus. That logo also appears on cocktail napkins from the Grove. The owl is sort of the mascot or totem animal of the Bohemian Club, and each year during the opening pageant of the Grove encampment called "The Cremation of Care," the campers burn an effigy of a character called "care" at a pond in front of a large cement statue of an owl.

Four man canoe race at the Bohemian Grove.

Each year on the last weekend of the two-and-one-half week long summer encampment, the club holds a water carnival at its swimming hole on the Russian River. Here we see the four man canoe race held in 1987. The woods on the hillside at the left are part of the Bohemian Grove property.

The swimming hole at the Bohemian Grove.

Here is another view of the swimming hole at the Bohemian Grove showing the lifeguard in his boat, the mock shark fin, spectators on the overlook, and the dock at right.