Now the site of the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Camp Upton (near Yaphank, New York), was originally “created in 1917 to house and train soldiers for the United States.” Camp Upton and its surroundings was the site of New Deal activity throughout the Great Depression.
Four CCC camps based at Camp Upton during the summer of 1934 were involved with, among other things, “the clearing of scrub oak, the planting of trees suited to the type of soil … the building of fire lines and fire breaks and construction of emergency water holes for fire fighting.” (2)
The CCC also constructed roads, developed a shooting range “for use by … National Guard units and civilians” in addition to a “game preservation project,” and the “development of special picnic areas.” (3)
As part of a prewar mobilization effort, at least 300 WPA men conducted work at the site beginning in 1940. They constructed sewers, new buildings, and roads. (4, 5, 1)
(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Upton (2) "State Seeks to Acquire Camp Upton Preserve"; Suffolk County News [Sayville, NY], Mar. 23, 1934 (page 12) (3) "4 CCC Units At Upton"; Suffolk County News [Sayville, NY], May 18, 1934 (page 8) (4) "WPA Men and Reliefers To Work at Camp Upton"; Suffolk County News [Sayville, NY], Nov. 22, 1940 (page 1) (5) "Camp Upton Busy"; Suffolk County News [Sayville, NY], Dec. 20, 1934 (page 14)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 20, 2014.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE