Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp at Morrison, Colorado



When one walks from the upper parking lot of Red Rocks Amphitheater towards the park, you will see this statue entitled "CCC Worker" dedicated in honor for the 3 million workers who served in the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 to 1942 and to honor those members of Co 1848, SP 13-C, at Morrison, Colorado, who were the builders of this Red Rocks Amphitheatre from 1936 to 1941.



The dedication plaque under the statue seen above.

Click here if you'd like to see one of the many concerts we attended in Red Rocks Amphitheater




Please click on twice to enlarge to read. This graphic is part of an exhibit inside a CCC Camp at Morrison, Colorado

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a New Deal program under President Franklin Roosevelt's administration, aimed at reducing unemployment among young men by giving them steady work improving the nation’s landscape, public lands, and infrastructure. When it was implemented in 1933, the CCC was the largest-ever public works program. At the president’s urging, the CCC enrolled 25,000 young men by April 6, 1933. The initial camp, appropriately called Roosevelt, was established on April 17 at George Washington National Forest near Luray, Virginia. Less than three months later, about 300,000 men from across the country were settled in some 1,500 camps. CCC enrollment was initially limited to single male US citizens between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Enrollees were assigned to camps for an initial six-month period with the option to reenlist for up to two years. The height of CCC enrollment was reached in the summer of 1935 with over half a million men scattered across 2,600 camps. Each of these camps typically housed about 200 men. Corps members received housing, three meals a day and $30 a month — $25 of which went directly to their families.  The CCC program of the 1930s put 3 million men nationwide to work over the course of its 9.5-year life.

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Photo part of the CCC Camp from the Morrison CCC Camp exhibit.

Colorado’s first twenty-nine CCC camps were established in the summer of 1933. Two years later, at the height of the program, that number was forty-seven. In all, 172 camps spread across the mountains and plains. Men performed all types of badly needed conservation work.


A vintage photo of the natural setting of Red Rocks Amphitheater. part of the exhibit at the CCC Camp in Morrison, Colorado

One of the CCC’s most important projects was turning an incredible rock formation just outside of Denver into an actual amphitheater. Red Rocks Park, known for its towering 300-foot sandstone formation and 200-mile panoramic view of Denver and the plains, has become a destination for Colorado residents and tourists from around the world. The amphitheater, world-renowned for its natural acoustics and majestic landscape, often appears at the top of various lists of premier concert venues.  The Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp Co 1848, SP -13-C, was the camp responsible for building the amphitheater.


Please click on to enlarge

The Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp is part of the Red Rocks Park and Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp historic district. The camp and adjoining Morrison Park comprise 18 acres of the overall 640 acres Red Rocks Park. The camp houses one of the largest collections of intact CCC buildings in the United States.


Please click on to enlarge

While the camp is not open to the public on a regular basis, we arranged a Ranger-led tour of the CCC Camp with members of a community group we belong to during the summer. It was fascinating to see where the men lived and worked while they built Red Rocks Amphitheater and hear some of their stories, narrated by the Ranger. 



Please click on twice to enlarge. This graphic is part of the exhibit at the CCC Camp in Morrison, Colorado.



Vintage photo of the construction of Red Rocks Amphitheater from the exhibit at the CCC Camp at Morrison, Colorado.



Please click on twice  to enlarge. This graphic is part of the exhibit

About half of the CCC camps were assigned to two bureaus in the Department of Agriculture: the Forest Service and Soil Conservation Service. With Colorado’s vast forests, the CCC provided an unprecedented opportunity to accomplish many badly needed improvements. Among other tasks, enrollees built roads, trails, and campgrounds; planted millions of seedlings; thinned overcrowded timber stands; removed dead wood; and performed vital fire suppression services. On Colorado’s eastern plains, camps administered by the Soil Conservation Service completed soil and water erosion control projects resulting from overgrazing and prolonged drought.

Recently, HistoriCorps, a volunteer organization that helps preserve historic places, is restoring eleven more of the Morrison CCC Camp buildings in exchange for moving their Denver headquarters to the site. It is an opportunity for HistoriCorps to consolidate their operations and work with the city of Denver to rehabilitate the buildings at the CCC camp as well as throughout the Denver Mountain Parks system.



If you would like to join a group tour of the  CCC Camp in Morrison, Colorado,  you can arrange it by contacting Denver Mountain Parks at the email: mountainparks AT gmail DOT com or call 720.865.0900 and leave a message.



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32 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello pat, wonderful post and information. I am thankful for the CCC Workers, they certainly deserved to be honored for all their hard work. I am also happy for the volunteers that help to preserve these historic places. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and have a great new week ahead.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It would be amazing to go there and see what you've seen. It's a part of our country's history that many of us don't know much about! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your week! (hope you are still healing and feeling better each and every day!)

Ruth Hiebert said...

That is an interesting place.I know that many concerts are held there. It would be a great place to attend one.

Ann Fraser said...

I found this post very interesting and it increases my admiration for FDR. I had no idea the programme was so big.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The program was so wonderful - gave employment to young men and the country got so many lasting benefits like the amphitheater. I'd love to take a tour and go to a concert too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The CCC accomplished wonderful things. (Imagine/remember living in a time when the President and Congress actually wanted to help people get ahead and in the course of that make it a better country for everyone! ). Great that you got a tour ... and lovely to learn about the work of Historicorps.

William Kendall said...

The CCC did a lot of great work. And it helped young men help their families at one of the worst times in history, and broadened their horizons. Wonderful shots!

Angie said...

Pat - I so admire Roosevelt for the CCC program - it was a win-win-win - for families, for the economy and for all the communities that continue to benefit from those infrastructure projects. I know we don't have quite the same unemployment problem today, but we certainly could benefit from the government throwing its support behind improving our crumbling infrastructure! Thanks for an inspirational historical post for Mosaic Monday!

Michelle said...

A wonderful program that accomplished so much. Thank you for sharing this post!

NC Sue said...

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing the information, and for linking your post to https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/02/time-for-tune-up.html

Jim said...

Great monument.

riitta k said...

Beautiful statue of this CCC worker - it is good to learn of one’s history!

gillena cox said...

Happy Mosaic Monday Pat

Much­čĺčlove

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Great post! The work that these young men did throughout the country is amazing. Some of them built a trail in a mountain at Pinnacles National Park in our county. I thank President Roosevelt and Congress for having the heart to make the CCC happen.

Linda W. said...

The CCC built so many wonderful buildings and infrastructure for our country. Here in Oregon, Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood is one local example.

Janice Adcock said...

Those young men were probably very grateful to receive the food and housing. And some spending cash to boot. Speaking of boots, my favorite uncle was drafted for WWII. Being from a farming family that had lost a small fortune during the crash, he was amazed to get a new pair of shoes and food. Thanks for sharing this very interesting post.

ellen b. said...

Great informative post, Pat! You are a good historian! :)

Teresa Kindred said...

I was a history teacher and loved teaching about The Great Depression and Roosevelt. Thanks for the great post!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Great Post Patricia and one that I think everyone in America should read! We either forget or some may never know how much Roosevelt and the CCC program did for us. Just imagine there not being any National Parks for us to enjoy.
Hope you are doing well today and healing quickly too!
Jemma

Sylvia Lance said...

What a great post on a beautiful park! Thanks for linking up with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 34

diane b said...

That was a great idea to put all those men to work . The amphitheatre must be great to visit for a concert. My last post is also about 100,000 people put to work on the Snowy Scheme but they had to use immigrant labour because we didn't have enough workers.

Regine Karpel said...

Beautiful.

Rambling Woods said...

I did research on this as I was doing my family history. It was an amazing program..Michelle

betty-NZ said...

I love that things like this are not just lost in history. Thanks for sharing the info and great images. Thanks for linking up to My Corner of the World!

Heidi R. said...

The post is very interesting and informative!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Thank goodness for FDR and the programs he started for conservation, parks and other projects that put people to work created useful things and places for people to visit. I hope to see that amphitheater some day.

Lady Fi said...

Fascinating shots and info.

Linda said...

I love what the CCC did. The original camp (Camp Roosevelt) is only a short drive from where I live. We have a statue like that one in nearby Edinburg and another one up at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos and history.

KB said...

Great info and pics

Wandering Wren said...

Wow - I reckon the Red Rocks Amphitheatre looks like one of the most impressive performance places in the world, I would love to go to a concert there. It was fascinating to read about the history of the CCC, now that is what I call a clever Presidential initiative!
Happy Chinese New Year from Bangkok!
Wren x

Jeanie said...

This is really interesting, pat. I'm so glad they are doing the restoration work. I knew a teeny bit about CCC but now I know much more. Nicely done!

Hope your foot is doing well and you are getting around a bit!