It has been demonstrated that young men can be put to work in our forests, parks, and fields, on projects which can benefit both the nations youth and conservation – April 17, 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The video, below, features Don Kasparek and another CCC worker. The video did not indicate the other workers name. Together, they tell the story of joining the CCC, the work, and the food.
In 1935, Camp Nelson Dewey began operations. The camp consisted of officers quarters, barracks, mess hall, latrines, infirmary, recreational hall, and supply depot.
Enrollees found themselves with other young men who were looking for ways to support their families back home. Don Kasparek, one of those men, arrived at Nelson Dewey Camp from a camp in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Originally, he lived in Chicago, Il. Kasparek, having taken advantage of early training, found himself working as an assistant company clerk while at Camp Nelson Dewey.
From June of 1935 through October of 1937 Company 2672 worked on projects at the park as well as other close by locations. Paul Lawrence, the park superintendent at the time, as well as other personnel, performed supervisory and planning of CCC projects.
The men of the CCC worked hard and played just as hard. The CCC leveled the uneven baseball field that had been used by the Glenn Park baseball team and formed their own baseball team. Soon a park sponsored CCC baseball team was formed and played against other local teams from the area.
The men of Company 2672 constructed three stone drinking fountains between the ball field and Point Lookout. The fountain refreshed the players as well as other park visitors. The fountains were dismantled later because of faulty plumbing and crumbling stone work.
Company 2672 of the CCC was dismissed in October of 1937. Soon after, in the spring of 1938, many of the same men returned to the park under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration(WPA). They did the same work as the CCC. However, the men of the WPA were allowed to return home each night. Camp Nelson Dewey remained standing until 1942. It was not used to house workers between 1938-1942.
Part III of this series will be about the WPA and the work they did in the park.