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podunklander
11-27-2005, 01:02 AM
I've attached an aerial photo of CCC Camp Conner (c. 1939-1941), from the archives of the Northeast States Civilian Conservation Corps Museum in Stafford Springs, CT.

As far as I know, there were aerial photos of every CCC Camp in the country. Still these are rarely seen- so I wanted to be able to share this.

This is the standard layout for mostly all CCC Camps, but there were variations, etc., in many camps. Sometimes though...because most the camps were so similar, it can be quite difficult to tell one from another.

There are many unique CCC Camp buildings/structures in some parts of the country -like out West there is at least one headquarter's that was pueblo-style. This is a reflection of a small movement by some parks/forests professionals and others who felt that the standard camps should be, if having to be invasive to the forest environment, at the very least be asthetically conducive to the surroundings.

CCC Camp Conner was constructed in 1935...but we know this photo was taken after 1939 because that's when the C's built the ranger's house (the house in the far upper right if you are able to see it). The photo was defiently shot no later than 1941 - the camp closed that year and was partially razed soon after.

All that currently remains from this camp is the headquarter's building, that houses the museum and the forest headquarter's office. It has been modified/altered over the years. Originally the exterior was tar papered. There had been double doors (entrance/exit) in the front-now just one. A couple of garage doors were installed when the building was used as a maintenance/machine shop in the 1950's. There's been other drastic alterations too.

This photo provided a lot of information...even the softball field out front. Although some of the CCC alumni seem to remember it...it wasn't there throughout the entire occupation of the camp, and there are no above-ground remains of it today. That ground is now competely forested.

There is no written documention of the softball field (and other features of the camp) so this photo is the only documentation that exists for this and other features and structures.

The Camp Conner Headquarter's building is the only one from the 21 CCC Camps that were in Ct - that's still intact (albeit, barely). Five years ago I did make an effort to have it designated as a historic resource/structure in CT and for a National Register nomination.

It was reviewed my SHPO, but I had been working on this while employed as a seasonal at the forest and unfortuantely nobody was able to follow through on this after I left.

I've picked up this effort once again -on a volunteer basis and no matter what, I have to see this through. A similar headquarter's building in Massachusetts - located in the Upton State Forest is also in need of perservation. A friend's group there is working on this and recently was able to have he building included on Mass. Preserve's 2005 top ten Endangered Historic Resources program list (officially announced last Monday night in Boston).

Among my efforts with the SHPO, I am also trying to encourage CT State Parks to apply for a 'Saving America's Treasures' grant. I've written to one of our legislators who in turn, appealed to one of our congressman (Rob Simmons) for assistance, and I've not learned of a reply.

That's basically where I'm at with this. Until I'm able to enlist the assistance of anybody else who may be interested/able to..I'm on my own.

From what I gather from some posts here - I'm not the only one who is working independently to research, document, and protect historic sites/structures.

Anyone who has any suggestions for me - I'd greatly welcome you to contact me and vice-versa if you have some efforts you need assistance with (what little I may be able to offer from afar). Moral support is always appreciated ;) .

Thanks! Pam