Longbow Camp Creekside Shelter
Originally named the Longbow Forest Camp, the Longbow Organization Camp is a group facility constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest (WNF). Starting during the winter season of 1937-1938, the CCC workers completed the campground during the winter season of 1938-1939. Their work was supervised by the US Forest Service.
CCC workers from nearby Camp Cascadia (Co. #2907) improved the ten-acre campground along the banks of the South Santiam. They built six sleeping shelters, a community kitchen with attached dining, an amphitheater that seats seventy-five people, and a water system for the campground. An element of the original design that has been dismantled was a footbridge crossing the South Santiam River connecting the campground with the road north of the river.
While US Forest Service’s rustic style choices influenced construction throughout the Pacific Northwest, the design for Longbow Camp reflects a degree of originality. As noted in a 1988 US Forest Service report: “. . . Wesley (“Buzz”) Gilmore (was) the primary architectural draftsman working on recreational development on the WNF during the CCC era. Gilmore was a CCC enrollee working for $36 per month when . . . recognizing the young man’s talents, (he was) promoted . . . to a supervisory position at $145 per month, whereby Gilmore began his career as an architect.” The report concludes that stylistic variation and originality is evident in the work at Longbow Camp.
Those stylistic variations are seen in particular in the camp shelters’ vertical log construction with shingled gable ends. The shelters are enclosed on three sides with the east-southeast facade facing the river left half-open. In each of the sleeping shelters, four sets of bunks are made of flat boards supported by small logs. A stone fireplace sits just outside each of the shelter.
An HistoriCorps sign at the campground honors restoration work that was recently completed at Longbow. An additional sign commemorates the work of the members of the Civilian Conservation Corps Co. #2907.
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Lindberg-Muir, Catherine (August 1988) "Longbow Organization Camp Evaluation Report." Submitted to USDA Forest Service, Sweet Home Ranger District, Willamette National Forest. Eugene OR.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service - Willamette National Forest website. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recrea/?recid=4315 Viewed: December 28, 2021.
Project originally submitted by Jim Reed on December 28, 2021.
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