Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rabideau CCC camp, Minnesota

The Rabideau CCC camp was one of thousands established across the United States, but one of few that still survive. All were built with the intention of serving as temporary quarters for the young men assigned to forestry or land reclamation projects, and most either were dismantled as WWII arrived, or were allowed to deteriorate.

In recent years the Forestry Service has been restoring Rabideaux, much of that work undertaken by volunteers participating in the PIT (Passport in Time) program. Details re the camp and its restoration have been recorded by Andrea LeVasseur, Chippewa National Forest archaeologist.

I visited Rabideau several weeks ago. The caretakers who normally provide guided tours have retired, but the camp can be explored via self-guided tours. There is little stonework in a camp that was designed as a pure working camp rather than as a tourist site. Near the entrance, the PIT volunteers undertaking the restoration found piles of the original fieldstone that had been used to make a greeting sign. That sign is still under restoration; I'll try to return next summer to get a photo of the final result.

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