Stone stove at picnic area, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park - Orick CA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made the first improvements to the newly-acquired Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Company 1903 worked out of a CCC camp established at the north end of the ‘prairie’ at the present park entrance in 1933.
The first order of business was to develop Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park itself, after which teams from Company 1903 worked at other state parks along the north coast of California. The CCC camp closed in 1937.
According to Engbeck (2002, pp. 21-22), the CCC enrollees laid out a day-use picnic area and a new campground with tables, benches, cupboards, and stoves, as well as restrooms and laundry facilities. To go with those, they built a water supply system.
A modest-sized picnic area, with tables and stone stoves, still exists just south of the visitor’s center. A couple of the sites and stoves are in bad shape.
Further south is the large Elk Prairie campground, which is most likely the one originally laid out by the CCC. It has been so reworked over the years, however, that even the rangers think it is completely modern. There are no stone stoves (a sign of CCC work), but old-fashioned water hydrants and faucets are visible here and there. Further confirmation is needed on CCC work in the campground.
Engbeck, Joseph Jr. 2002. By the People, For the People: The Work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in California State Parks, 1933-1941. Sacramento: California State Parks.
Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on June 17, 2021.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.
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