Monday, December 8, 2008

It's been far too long since the last post here at Forest Army. A few kind folks have emailed to ask if the blog has been closed down. My emphatic reply is "no." The business of running the local Civilian Conservation Corps alumni chapter and a number of activities associated with the 75th anniversary of the CCC have kept me occupied and without much free time to write for the blog. It's been a busy year with, among other things, the wonderful CCC Symposium at Grand Canyon, a CCC Appreciation Day in Payson, Arizona, a CCC Worker Statue dedication at Colossal Cave and the impending purchase and dedication of a second CCC Worker Statue for another Arizona location in early 2009.

My hope is to be able to get back into researching and writing about the CCC again so that I can place new content here at Forest Army and at the CCC Resource Page. At the very least I hope to post new and unusual photos as I find them and perhaps some personal narratives that we recently ran in the local CCC Legacy newsletter. Bear with me and check back from time to time. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised.


rob carrigan said...

Because of your connections to the Pikes Peak area, I was hoping you could help me with info regarding the Monument CCC Camp. I hope to find out more about its conversion to a camp for Mennonite conscientious objectors during the war and anything else you might have regarding its role as it relates to the CCC. Thank you. ___ Rob Carrigan

Michael said...

Thank you for your inquiry. My grandfather was working out of the Monument Camp when we entered the war. He wasn't at the camp in Monument, but at a side camp on Pike's Peak (working to establish a water supply for Glen Cove). I don't have any of his letters from after the monument camp was converted for use as a camp for conscientious objectors - at least none of them mention C.O.s. He does mention in a letter from early 1942 that they have finally been allowed to have lightbulbs again (a reference to the post December 7th blackout regulations, I would guess). The Monument camp was one of the last CCC camps to close in Colorado if not the last. Many of the last of his Forest Service letters talk of liquidating equipment and foremen scrambling for the few remaining jobs in the system. Family lore tells that he left the Forest Service shortly after the CCC was disbanded because he didn't think the conscientious objectors worked as hard as the CCC boys did.

When I was doing some early research on the camps where my grandpa worked, I sent letters to the postmasters of all the towns near where the camps were and this bore some fruit. You might consider writing to the postmaster in Monument, Colorado and ask him or her if they know any local residents who might be familiar with the camp there. The local newspapers often have old articles on microfiche or in hanging files, too. If you live in Colorado, this might be easier for you to research. I have some information on the Mennonite camps in general and perhaps the odd item about Monument, I'll have to dig through my file cabinet and get back to you. I can scan them and send them by email.
Thank you again for visiting and I hope you'll keep in touch. I'll post another comment here if I can find something I think you'll be interested in.

Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona

Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona