27 September 2013

CCC stonework at Yellowstone Park

Earlier this summer I noted that life is too short for me to personally document all of the CCC projects, and I suggested that readers interested in the subject matter might photograph (or even write up for their own blog) CCC stonework in their community or that which they encounter on their travels.

Today, the first post resulting from that suggestion.  Reader Jan Bussey visited Yellowstone Park, and remembering my request she focused her camera on some of the stonework she encountered.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, а New Deal relief agency fоr young men, played а major role between 1933 аnd 1942 іn developing Yellowstone facilities. CCC projects included reforestation, campground development оf many оf the park's trails аnd campgrounds, trail construction, fire hazard reduction, аnd fire-fighting work. The CCC built the majority оf the early visitor centers, campgrounds аnd the current system оf park roads.
The top embedded photo is of a stone building at Madison Junction within the park.  One problem that Jan noted is that the park is older than the CCC, so that not every structure can be assumed to be the work of the CCC participants. This building clearly has a new roof (right), but the construction style - with the wall entirely made of native stone rather than faced with stone - clearly suggests an earlier date for its creation.  I did find online confirmation that CCC work was done at Madison Junction.

The Old Faithful Lodge (above) has extensive and impressive stonework, but because it was constructed in the 1920s and because the stonework is so integral to the building (fireplace, load-bearing walls), it must predate the CCC program.

Road overlooks are also prime sites for impressive stonework.  Jan photographed this one at Gibbon Falls, where there certainly has been recent restoration and repair -

And this one at Lake Jenny - done in mortarless fashion.  There was no single fashion or style of stonework common to all the CCC projects.  The administration hired local professional stonemasons to instruct the boys who came out of the inner cities and farmsteads, and each stonemason presumably had skills acquired over a lifetime on how to work with local material. 

I'll end with this photo taken at Madison Junction.  I particularly like the way the stone wall of the building was integrated into the massive stone protruding from the ground.

If other readers have photos of CCC stonework in Yellowstone, I can append them here later.  Jan Bussey's other photographs are displayed in galleries at her Cascade Exposures website.

I believe two readers (Flask and Christy) are currently compiling  photos of CCC stonework at Watkins Glen.  Stay tuned.


  1. I'm so happy to see your suggestion working so fine, and to see these beautiful photos. My personal thanks to Jan Bussey as well!

  2. Thanks, Stan. There was lovely stuff all over the park, I wish we had had time to see (and photograph) more of it!

  3. I have photos of a CCC stone wall that was just demolished by the State of PA under the guise of widening the road... would share photos if I knew where to send them.

    1. If you wish, you can email pix (or a url) to me at the address listed under "About Me" in the right sidebar.


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