Camp near Falls City

Unknown Company, Unkown Camp, Falls City, Oregon

   A local news article saying the Civilian Conservation Corps was a mainstay for employment of 3 million men throughout the United States and territories from 1933 to 1942. They provided work on public projects during the Great Depression.

   There was such a bunch of young fellows here in western Oregon. Their camp was west of Dallas, Oregon, between Falls City and the lumber community of Valsetz. The rustic camp was called the Cold Springs Camp, very good water from a nearby spring. The big project was building a road from the summit of the Valsetz Road (Coast range) out to the ridge to the Fanno Mountain forestry lookout. Most of the fellows were from the New York area, probably having never drove but they were operating bulldozers, graders and trucks. Things were so tough that pistons were disconnected from pickup motors to conserve fuel. This was 1942 and 1943. I was a 16 year old kid and worked for the Polk County Fire Patrol Association. We operated the Fanno Mntn forestry lookout. On one occasion, I took a load of lumber to the Fanno Mntn lookout, over the road being constructed by the CCC boys. It was a long trip from Dallas and even more difficult as we had a Dodge CCC truck. The truck had a governor on it to conserve fuel and climbing the coast range mountains was real slow. Even more interesting was that I had my girlfriend with me on the trip and I had to go through the construction zone where all the CCC crew was working. Those fellows saw very few females and I had reason for concern. The boys had fighting ability and on weekends they visited Falls City, down the road a piece, and confrontations with the local rednecks were not uncommon.

   Without a doubt, most of the boys at the camp went to the military services. They were well trained and I'll bet served their country well. In October 1943, I started my military service and was with the 8th AF in England, B-17 combat crew.

----- Eldon E. Bevens

         eebevens AT




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