Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The CCC and a Snowy Day

Snow Trees and Summer Too

With too much snow to get around, I thought that I would take a look at another excerpt from my book, The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Building of Guernsey State Park. I also decided to throw in a few summer photos from the park, make us all dream of warm weather.

Planting of Trees by the CCC

In his notes, J. H. Coffman, Camp BR-9 Superintendent, accounts for the planting of more than 500 trees in the park.[i] (It is likely Coffman was referring to trees planted only on his side, the east side of the park)
This area was a bare hill before the CCC built the Museum and planted the trees in the photo

Other camp diaries mention planting trees and shrubs near the Museum. Early photos of the Museum show the steps going from the lower parking area to the Museum with no trees in sight. If any natural vegetation was present workers removed it to build the great rock steps leading to the Museum. Today it is hard to tell which trees were planted around the park and what trees are old growth products of Mother Nature.
Much of the park has nice stands of natural old growth trees
Trees are difficult to grow in Wyoming and the tree planters of the Civilian Conservation Corps left a legacy of new trees in the park and all across America. Although now lost from old age, one of the most interesting tree plantings in the park was the placing of several apple trees at the low point of Red Cliff Trail near the end of a long flight of rustic rock steps.
Wildflowers last May

They Called it Parkitecture

Like all the buildings in the park, trees were planted in harmony with nature, to blend in and not stand out. Only on the old CCC-built golf course can one readily see trees in a straight line, obviously planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Unlike some CCC projects, trees and shrubs at Guernsey were not brought in. They were dug up along the lake and river then moved around the park.
May is only a few weeks - about 12, away
Although there was no actual count of trees planted in the park, reports vary from 500 to as high as 5,000. If it was the latter number, it likely included shrubs planted around park structures.
Resting on  Camp BR-9s , incredible Red Cliff Trail

[i] J. H. Coffman, Record of Work and Accomplishments of CCC enrollees in Camp BR-9, Wyoming (Wyoming State Parks & Historic Sites Digital Collections – Guernsey Museum Digitization Project) Tabulations of Main Developments, 1