History of 604th
Civilian Conservation Corps Company
CCC Company 604, F-34, Blackwell, Wisconsin
Civilian Conservation Corps District, Sixth Corps Area, 1937 Annual
††††††††† Just one month after organization, orders were issued
sending Company 604, with approximately 100 men and two officers to the Ninth
Corps Area, where the company was slated to remain. The company arrived at CampPeterson, Guler, Washington, two weeks later, where they remained until the
sixteenth of October, the same year. They left CampPeterson at
October 15 and arrived at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, at , the same day. There, the first C.O. to stay with the
company for any length of time joined. He was Lieutenant Bethel, U.S. Marines,
noted for being the best pistol shot of the whole Marine Corps. The company
remained at Vancouver Barracks for four days, picking up a fresh contingent of
men, and getting orders for their destination.
left Vancouver Barracks at ,
October 20, 1933,
headed for the mecca of all CCC Camps, California. They arrived at what was to be their permanent camp
site for the next six months, 8 A.M., October 22, Camp Rock Creek, F-127 (Cal.), Palmdale, Calif. It was there that the company had its first real
taste of work projects. A short while after they had arrived, the campís name
was changed from Rock Creek to CampValyermo. The camp was only three hoursí drive out of Los Angeles, and in a territory where the country villas of the
movie stars and magnates were located. Recreation trips went from this camp to Los Angeles once a week, and to the smaller towns
midweek. But all this was too good to last, for the camp soon received its
orders for another movement the following spring. They left CampVelyermo at ,
April 13, 1934.
Just the day before the movement, Lieutenant eBthel was relieved from command and Lieutenant
Bowers, U.S. Navy took command.
††††††††† The next stop was at a temporary camp
site located near Headquarters, Idaho, Project 215. They remained
there for eight days, and finally were notified of the location of their summer
quarters. They arrived at Lower Beaver Camp, F-147 (Idaho), ,
April 24, 1934.
The following month, May 16,
1934, another change of command was effected, with a
reserve officer, First Lieut. Russell C. Hinote, Cav.-Res., taking over. There the company remained for the
summer, fighting fires and working on othe4r technical projects. It was with a
great deal of rejoicing, when, the following October, the men heard that they
were to again occupy that CCCís dream camp, CampValyermo. The company immediately entrained for California, arriving at CampValyermo, ,
October 2, 1934.
There they spent the ensuing winter.
††††††††† The following May, in 1935, the
company again was ordered to vacate its wintger
quarters and move to Idaho. This time their destination was Lowell,
Idaho, Camp Selway Fall, F-129 (Idaho). They arrived there at , May 7,
1935. The camp was located on the SelwayRiver near the falls from which it was named.
††††††††† It seemed as though Company 604 was
not to rest yet. The men were notified of anothe4r impending move, only not
back to California. This time, the company was partially disbanded, and
only a cadre of one clerk, the senior foreman, supply man, first aid man, mess
steward, three cooks and a baker were left. Orders stated that they and two
officers would accompany the records back to the companyís birthplace in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. Instead of Lieutenant Hinote,
Lieut. Peter P. Meshkoff, Inf.-Res.,
was chosen to accompany him. The balance of the company was either transferred
or discharged. The cadre arrived at FortSheridan, October 22, 1934.
††††††††† The company remained at FortSheridan for sixteen days, in which time another group of men
from Illinois and Michigan were enrolled. November 6, 1935,
orders arrived stating that on the next day, Company 604 would proceed to Laona, Wisconsin, where they were to occupy CampBlackwell, F-34 (Wis.), post office, Blackwell, Wisconsin. November 7, 1935, at 4 P.M>, the company entrained, two officers,
Lieutenant Meshkoff and Lieut. Robert C. Lueck, Inf.-Res., and
ninety-seven men strong, for Laona, Wisconsin. They
arrived in Laona, ,
November 8, 1935.
The men and baggage was immediately ferried via truck to the camp site, just
five miles from the town. Finally, it looked as if Company 604 had come to a
††††††††† Company 604 has remained in this camp
site for nineteen months, in which time it has been made the headquarters of
the First Inspection Area. January
21, 1936, Lieutenant Meshkoff was
relieved of command and Lieutenant Hefferman, D-F,
USNR, took command. May 28,
1936, Lieutenant Hefferman was
relieved from active duty in the CCC, and Lieut. William Turek, DE-V (G), USNR, was transferred from CampTrumpLake, disbanded, to command CampBlackwell. At the present time, there are only a scant dozen of
the men remaining from those who accompanied the organization from FortSheridan to its present station. Soon they all will be gone,
and all that remains of the vets will be a memory, and a camp which they have
built through their efforts.
Submitted by Curator
Please Share your Stories! E-mail the Curator to share or discuss or
with any questions!