Redwood next to Visitors Center, Richardson Grove State Park - Garberville CA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made several improvements to Richardson Grove State Park during the period 1933-40. Richardson Grove was one of the original Old Growth redwood groves purchased by the Save the Redwoods League in the early 20th century and passed over to the California state parks. It was officially established around a single grove in 1922 and has been expanded to 1,800 acres since.
Little had been done in the way of improvements before the New Deal, in part because California did not establish a full state parks system until 1928. Working from camps farther north in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the CCC enrollees built a new concession building, a general store, and a recreation hall in Richardson Grove. They also added a new lobby and kitchen to the rustic lodge building, as well as several residences for park staff (Engbeck, p 36).
The beautiful old lodge building is still in place — now serving as the Visitors’ Center. The store and concession buildings appear to have been replaced, but there are several old utility buildings and cabins/residences that have the mark of CCC work.
The CCC work teams must also have laid out one or all of the three park campgrounds and its various trails, but Engbeck makes no mention of those. Further verification is badly needed.
Engbeck, Joseph H., 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 August 9, 2021.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.
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