History of 626th Civilian Conservation Corps Company

 

CCC Company 626, S-53, Danbury, Wisconsin

 

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

 

History:

          The first day after their arrival in Burnett  County along in June, 1933, an inexperienced company of Chicago men started on their first project just north of the camp to clean approximately 1,500 acres of slash and debris caused by fire. Today there are nearly half a million Jack and Norway pine that the boys planted on 400 acres of this territory, and there are 400 acres more of this same project which is ready to be planted.

          With the use of only a tractor, a grader, and fresno, the boys have  built 73 miles of truck trails according to Forest Service specifications. Included in this program of trail building has been the construction of three small log bridges.

          Probably the most consequential project completed by this camp was the construction of our 130 foot bridge over the St. Croix River. This bridge is located about half way between the County Trunk-T Bridge in Douglas County and the Riverside Bridge on Highway 35. The camp logged 100,000 board feet of Norway and White pine for the bridge and auxiliary projects. After the timbers were sawed, a substantial foundation was built at the mill site, and the bridge was framed and fitted completely before any of the timbers were moved to the bridge site. When the timbers were moved to the river, a creosoting plant was set up so that the creosote could be heated in a large vat and then the timbers were placed in this vat.

          The abutments on either side of the stream and the pier in the center of the river, which are filled with rock, are very substantially made of log frame work and support-timbers.

          In less than a month’s time, the bridge was moved out over the water, timbers put in place, and the bridge made ready for use.

          During the winter of the year, nearly all of the boys are working on what is known as cultural or forest stand improvement, roadside clean-up, and trailside clearing, because a good deal of burning is necessary in connection with this work, and this can be done with safety during the winter months. The cultural work or forest stand improvements includes the thinning, pruning, and release cutting in dense stands to better increase the growth rate of our forests. The roadside and trailside clean-up projects include the burning of all inflammable material along our trails and roads so that there will be less probability of a fire originating along the roads, and also so that the fire fighting organization may have a better opportunity of stopping fires along the highways.

          Riverside CCC Camp has spent a good deal of time improving our lakes and streams for fish.

          In most of our larger lakes, one of our crews has sunk brush refuse, log tangles, spawning boxes, and bluntnose minnow spawners.

          The improvement of our streams include the placing of log deflectors in various ways to cut long, deep holes and also to wash away the sand which has settled on the gravel layer. Different types of covers are also built to provide shade and to keep the temperature of the water at a minimum during the winter months of the year.

          The camp has maintained two side camps for the purpose of fire suppression – one at Spooner, Wisconsin, and one at Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

          We have built eight-five miles of metallic telephone lines to connect the ranger station at Spooner with the lookout towers. The CCC boys here logged 2,500 cedar poles for these lines and built the lines according to Conservation Department specifications. We have completed a sub-station garage located at Web Lake which is constructed of logs at a very low cost. A solid brick, six-stall garage has been built for the Conservation Department at Webster.

          The present members of the Army Agency of this company are: Capt. P.L. Thompson, CA-Res., Commanding Officers, and Lieut. C.W. Huffman, CW-Res., Mess and Exchange Officer. Of the Forestry Staff are: M.M. Bow, Chief Foreman, CLL10 – M.C. Johnson Construction, CU-6; Norman Dunn, Construction, CU-6; John A. Heibel, Constructoin, CU-6; Wm. O’Gara, C & M, CU-6; W.F. Erickson, Assistant to Tech; Alfred West, Squad Foreman of Laborers, CU-3; and Keith Stafford, Unclassified Mechanic.

 

----- Submitted by Curator

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LINKS

Company Roster, 1937, CCC Co. 626, Camp S-53, Danbury, Wisconsin, Sparta District, 6th Corps Area

 

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

BACK TO JAMES F. JUSTIN CCC DOCUMENT COLLECTION

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