27 November 2011
How to build a camp stove or fireplace
An email from a reader alerted me to the existence of a book entitled "Camp Stove and Fireplaces," by A.D. Taylor (1937), which my local library was able to obtain for me. This publication by the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture served as a reference manual for participants in the CCC undertaking stonework.
It's a surprisingly comprehensive and sensible instructional book, illustrated by clear line drawings such as those above. It does not discuss stuctures such as buildings, bridges, and walls - just the fire-related structures along trails and at campsites. In an era when huge numbers of Americans were for the first time beginning to discover and explore the national and state parks, the book was written with a goal of producing campfire sites that would minimize the risk of forest fires, while blending the design of the structures into the natural landscape as attractively as possible.
I didn't realize the CCC provided this degree of formal training; I thought most of the skilled work was simply guided by "local experienced men." This book may help explain some of the uniformity of structures that can be seen in parks across the country.
Labels: Civilian Conservation Corps