Canyon Creek Camp Site from Hwy 395 looking east
In October 1937, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1231 arrived in Grant County, Oregon to assume responsibility for work in the Malheur National Forest. The camp was located sixteen miles south of John Day on Canyon Creek, immediately adjacent to Highway 395. By the conclusion of their work at the beginning of World War II, the CCC workers had built fences, lookout towers, cattle guards, corrals, two new campgrounds (Idlewild and Wickiup) and maintained fourteen other Forest Service camps as well as improved forest stands.
The one-hundred-and-fifty CCC workers built their camp, which consisted of educational and supply buildings, barracks, a mess hall, a bakery, offices, a commissary, infirmary, and a recreation hall. The property is now in private ownership.
The CCC Canyon Creek Camp’s 1940 yearbook, The Canyon Creek Crier, noted that the company achieved a superior rating for fire suppression that year, after spending 8,605 person-days fighting fires in the Malheur and adjoining forests since Company 1231’s arrival. The camp report also summarized the enrollees’ work during their first three years by listing the following: “Projects completed include construction of 8 miles of telephone line, 44 miles of fences, 14 miles of truck trails, three lookout towers, and 41 buildings. In addition, . . . (maintenance included) 600 miles of fence, 800 miles of truck trails and 24 buildings.”
The largest single building project completed by Canyon Creek CCC workers involved building and landscaping the US Forest Service compound in John Day. Known as “Government Hill” at the time of its construction, the facility is currently the Malheur National Forest Warehouse and Shop. A plaque honoring the work of CCC Canyon Creek Camp members is located at the John Day site rather than at the CCC camp location.
The Canyon Creek Crier: 1940 (CCC Canyon Creek Camp Yearbook), Grant County Historical Society Museum Exhibit, Canyon City OR (Viewed October 2021).
Gubel, Sandra (2011) "70 Years after the CCC, Father's Yearbook Comes Home," BlueMountain Eagle. September 27, 2011.
Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on November 1, 2021.
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