History of 604th Civilian Conservation Corps Company

 

CCC Company 604, F-34, Blackwell, Wisconsin

 

From Sparta Civilian Conservation Corps District, Sixth Corps Area, 1937 Annual

 

History

 

††††††††† 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 Camp Peterson, Guler, Washington, two weeks later, where they remained until the sixteenth of October, the same year. They left Camp Peterson at 11 A.M. October 15 and arrived at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, at 6 P.M., 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.

 

They left Vancouver Barracks at 4 P.M., 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 Camp Valyermo. 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 Camp Velyermo at 8 P.M., 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), 9 A.M., 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, Camp Valyermo. The company immediately entrained for California, arriving at Camp Valyermo, 2 P.M., 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 1 P.M., May 7, 1935. The camp was located on the Selway River 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 Fort Sheridan 11:55 A.M., October 22, 1934.

††††††††† The company remained at Fort Sheridan 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 Camp Blackwell, 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, 2 A.M., 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 rest.

††††††††† 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 Camp Trump Lake, disbanded, to command Camp Blackwell. At the present time, there are only a scant dozen of the men remaining from those who accompanied the organization from Fort Sheridan 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

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LINKS

Company Roster, 1937, CCC Co. 604, Camp F-34, Blackwell, Wisconsin, Sparta District, 6th Corps Area

The 1937 Sparta District Annual on the Wisconsin Historical Society Website - with scans of all pages!

Back to Sparta Civilian Conservation Corps District, Sixth Corps Area, 1937 Annual Collection

James F. Justin Civilian Conservation Corps Document Collection

James F. Justin Civilian Conservation Corps Unit Rosters and History Collection

BACK TO James F. Justin Civilian Conservation Corps Museum Biographies

BACK TO Justin Museum of Military History, Army Biographies

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