Sam Baker Park

Camp No 5, Patterson, Missourri

Based upon the Article "Happy Birthday, Sam Baker Park" by Nelle Moffit Allen, from the Reynolds County Courier, and the Wayne County Journal-Banner, Thursday, Aug. 13, 1998

   July 16 marked 70 years since Baker State Park was dedicated. It was named for our Governor at the time, Sam A. Baker. Many well known people were present at the dedication, including my grandfather Isaac Brooks who family lore has it was a speaker at the ceremonies. There, Governor Baker said, "This wonderful park will do more to advertise this community than anything. I love the town of Patterson."

    The park was begun by CCC men who worked so hard to start the 4,860 acres to what it was at first. They made the beautiful rock walls and the little registration house, the dining lodge and a house for the park superintendent, which was the first construction after President Roosevelt started the New Deal and the park became the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp #5. In the seven years the CCC's had built all that, plus barracks, installed telephones and water lines, laid trails, planted trees, fought fires, and cared for all the wild animals.

    The rock used by the CCC men to build the walls and registration house were made of blue dellenite rock, a rock indigenous only to the hills of the area known locally as blue granite.

    Sam Baker Park is the sixth busiest park in Missouri, with at least 390,000 visitors each year. They call it a vacationer's paradise with bluffs, shut ins, swimming areas, fishing holes, playgrounds, nature trails and camp grounds.

    And we owe it all to Sam Baker who had the foresight to make the park and the CCC men whose labor made the park what it is today.

----- Nelle Moffit Allen