12 October 2011

The stonework of the Civilian Conservation Corps

I've just returned from a trip to Devil's Lake State Park in the Baraboo Hills north of Madison, Wisconsin.

Most of you are not aware that in 2009 I decided to create a second blog to specifically cover a topic that has always fascinated me - the stonework crafted by the men and boys of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Here is the header I created for that blog:
This blog will feature photos and stories about the stonework (bridges, retaining walls, walkways, shelters, buildings) created by the Civilian Conservation Corps. For the past 40-50 years I've encountered these beautiful works of art everywhere from the Appalachians to the West Coast, and it seems appropriate to collect photos of them in one place.

The blog will not cover the CCC in general. I've read several books about the CCC and will incorporate some basic background, but I intend to keep the focus on the stonework. I'll be photographing sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Midwest, and will search the 'net for photos from around the country.
After researching and writing only a half-dozen posts for that blog during the first year, I stopped writing for it altogether, stymied by a combination of finances, health, and family events, which prevented me from travelling to visit the sites.

Rather than delete that blog entirely, I'm going to move a few of the posts from there to TYWKIWDBI, and just create a new Category in the right sidebar to accommodate them.

The reason for our trip to Devil's Lake today was in part autumn leafpeeping, but also to photograph some spectacular stonework there.  It will take me a few days to get the photos organized, and I'm on a waiting list to get a book from the library on the history of the park (celebrating its centennial this year) and the CCC work there. 

In the meantime, I'll start with a 2010 post on some stonework at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.


  1. If you're going to collect them by labels, might want to check your spelling of "Conservation" there- left out an O.
    I look forward to the pictures!

  2. If our country is going to "waste" money, I'd much rather know it went to keeping men busy while enriching our lives with better parks and resources. Thank you, CCC.
    I have always wondered how that kind of legislation passed as it was against the constitution.
    For some reason, covering wall street's poor gambling practices doesn't give me the same warm fuzzy feeling. Perhaps it is because this time, our children will never see the private parks and vacations homes we have paid for.
    Also, at some point I was in a discussion regarding whether or not the CCC's alterior motive was to prepare the US's standing army on the sly ~ Time to go to war? How convenient, we have thousands of men who already are fit, used to military life, and a whole supply infrastructure manufactured and ready to move...
    Were we always just pawns of the powerful?

  3. Thank you, MaraK, for catching that typo early.

  4. @Anonymous: You pose an interesting question.

  5. I am not the conspiracy theorist that Anonymous above is, but I too wonder whether aid to unemployed might be better spent putting people to work. Teach people a trade, get them used to being busy, and get something tangible for the taxpayer in return. It makes no sense that people complain about crumbling infrastructure at the same time the government spends almost 200 BILLION dollars supporting the poor (out of almost half a trillion in general 'welfare'). I see no reason somebody can't do some work in exchange for aid. Even some of those unemployed wall street bankers could probably work a shovel.

  6. Don't forget the CCC stonework at Pere Marquette State Park in Illinois.

  7. Shay, that's a 12-hour round-trip drive from my house; it'll have to wait. (I should have visited it those years I lived in St. Louis).

  8. Funny how anonymous confuses (record setting) millions of out of work people with those that are simply "poor".

    These civil works are a great example of what a responsible government does to things back on track.

  9. We've run across quite a few of these while traveling, including Red Rocks in Colorado, and the Dinosaur Sculptures in Rapid City. The subject is fascinating.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...