Kabetogama Lake CCC CampThree CCC boys under the camp sign. Sam Lieberman is the CCC worker in the center. Source: Lieberman family photos.
Kabetogama Lake CCC Camp number S-81, Company 724 was active in the Kabetogama State Forest from 1933-37. A marker at the site today describes CCC activity in the forest:
“In 1934 a CCC camp of 400 men was established a mile south of Lake Kabetogama. This most northerly camp in the US had all its facilities under one roof and the lowest sickness rate.The CCC boys worked on forest and building projects in Kabetogama State Forest. In 1936 they fought and 18,100 acre forest fire saving the Kettle Falls Hotel from destruction.
A few structures remain to memorialize this depression era program. Surrounding the Kabetgoama Lake Visitor Center, the Kabetogama Ranger Station Historic District includes a ranger station, oil house, warehouse, boathouse, stone retaining wall and boat basin constructed by the CCC. Working together with local skilled crafsmen, the inexperienced CCC enrollees constructed these rustic native wood buildings and the stone refectory at Woodenfrog Campground for the MN Division of Foresty. The historic district also includes a 1921 conservation patrol cabin…” (waymarking.com)
Another source describes other sorts of CCC activity at the park in detail: “The men at Camp Kabetogama Lake during its first year of operation (June 17, 1933, to June 30, 1934), among other projects, reduced the fire-hazard potential on 998 acres, cleared 20 acres along roads, stung 37 miles of telephone lines, cleared 13 acres for tourist camps, brought 33 fires under control, cut 1,200 telephone poles, sawed 132,000 board feet of lumber, thinned 253 acres of dead timber, and cruised 3,811 acres, looking for good lumber…” (Tweton)
1) https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6YJR_Lake_Kabetogama_Minnesota 2) Tweton, D. Jerome. 1988. The New Deal at the Grass Roots: Programs for the People in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Minnesota Historical Society Press. 3) https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/ccc-general-history.htm
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