A New-Deal-Era Story: "Camp Applegate" and the C.C.C
Monday April 11, 2005
By Jeff LaLande
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
In April 1933, several busloads of young men from poor Oregon families arrived at the site of as-yet unfinished "Camp Applegate" --- far from any town, and out in the "wilds" of the upper Applegate Valley. They were among the state's first residents to enroll in President Roosevelt's new Civilian Conservation Corps, or C-C-C, a program that eventually put hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth to work
Camp Applegate was the first C-C-C. camp in the national forests of the Pacific Northwest. Located on the east bank of the Applegate River at Seattle Bar, near the Oregon/California border, the camp was commanded by U.S. Army officers. With Forest Service rangers directing their daily work, members of C-C-C Company 2-7-0-2 worked hard on a wide range of projects out in the rugged Siskiyou Mountains. They constructed new trails and roads, fought fires, built fire lookouts, developed campgrounds, and planted trees.
In 1937, a new bunch of enrollees from Alabama and other Deep South states moved into the Spartan barracks of Camp Applegate. Many of these Dixie natives liked being out West so much that they re-enlisted for additional hitches in what some called "Roosevelt's Tree Army." Today the site of Camp Applegate lies beneath the waters of the Applegate Lake reservoir.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Jeff LaLande [lah-LAND] for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest