Biography of Robert McMilin
Enrollee, Unknown Company, Camp F-394, Camp Sims aka Camp Shasta, Mt. Shasta, California
My Husband, Robert McMilin, served at Camp Sims near Dunsmuir, California, from July 8, 1938-August 17, 1939. On his Discharge papers, it is listed as Camp Shasta F-394, Mt. Shasta, California.
Today, Bob and I talked about his time spent in the CCC and, I shall send along to you, his memories of a time he said he very much enjoyed. His home-town was Alameda, Californis, across the Bay from San Francisco. He joined at 17 and was sent to a camp near Mt. Shasta City. There, he helped plant Pine trees, fought forest fires, built roads, and helped in the construction of a Dam. One fond Memory is of helping to box Dogwood trees, which were then shipped down to the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. At one time in his Service, he was asked to be the Tool Room Supervisor. There, he loaned tools, showed the fellows how to sharpen axes, picks and shovels. I have wondered how a kid from a small City, not at all familiar with work tools, learned how to sharpen anything.
A story I have heard so many times was about the time he and another fellow went to a Movie in Dunsmuir, 13 miles from Camp. Leaving the Theater, they found out that the last Greyhound going South, that night, had left. Their only recourse was to start walking, hopeful of getting a ride. NO ONE would pick them up. They walked the 13 miles, arriving in Camp just as the Sun was rising. A Forest Ranger met them at the Gate and wanted to hear their story. He told them they were to get on a truck, as they were heading out to a fire 30 miles away. Getting at the scene of the fire, they told the Ranger how tired they were and he was kindly enough to tell them to go lie down under a tree and try to get some sleep. That warm gesture has always stayed with Bob. I must say that the Mt. Shasta area of Northern California is beautiful and we, as a family, have vacationed there a number of times. Once, we drove down to where the camp had been, but there was nothing left to recognize. I, myself, was raised due West, in the Redwoods of Northern California. We walked along the Highway, to/from school and, how well I recall, as a 6th grader, waving to the CCC fellows as they went by in their vehicles. I didn't have a clue as to who they were. This was in 1933. I also walked the same highway, but in another direction, to a school South of the other, but, I do not recall the CCC guys. I graduated from the 8th. grade in 1935 and, surely the fellows were still going by, but, I do not recall seeing them.
I hope this bit of information helps somewhat in your research of times long gone by, some of which I wish we still had.
He has precious little memorabilia which we do not care to send, such as pictures and the Enrollee's Handboojand; that's about it. I read every word in the Journal. There is just seven months to the day difference in our ages, therefore I so well relate to the times of those days. We were married 62 years this past September.
----- Robert and Barbara McMilin
mcmilin AT mymailstation DOT com
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