CCC Legacy gathering highlights

  • Live, interactive video about the history of the CCC with presenter Jack Mathison of the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Presentation on history of the CCC in Minnesota with CCC historian and Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa Board member Barb Sommer
  • Panel discussion by Corps members from the CCC through today
  • All-Corps alumni gathering featuring musician Ann Reed, beer tastings and some of the best pizza in Saint Paul
  • Field trip to Saint Paul CCC sites: Department of Natural Resources State Fair building and Phalen Park monument (see details below)
  • CCC Legacy annual meeting
  • Visits with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa crew members
  • Day trip to Jay Cooke State Park, one of the premiere CCC-built state parks in Minnesota, led by Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa Executive Director Len Price

Field Trip Sites

Department of Natural Resources, State Fair building

The CCC-built DNR State Fair building was built by Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in 1934. It is 186’ by 66’ and 40’ tall at its highest point and was built using machined logs. It opened Sept. 1, 1934 and has been in continuous use since that time.

Source: DNR’s State Fair building celebrates 75th anniversary

Phalen Park Monument

The Phalen Park Monument was built in 1937 by enrollees in CCC Camp SP-17, Company 4727. It was called the Lake Vadnais Metropolitan Park camp, also known as the St. Paul Forest and Water Preserve camp. Enrollees serving at the camp built a marker made of native stone and rock gathered from CCC camps in all of the then 48 states in the United States, and from the departments of Labor, War, Agriculture and Interior. The cornerstone is from the floor of the White House. The marker was dedicated to young men across the country who had died while protecting the country’s natural resources. It was restored by Chapter 33 of the National Association of CCC Alumni in 2008.

Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park was established near Carlton, Minnesota in 1915 when the St. Louis Power Company donated 2,350 acres of land for the park. Large-scale development began when a CCC camp SP-2 occupied the park on June 22, 1933. Enrollees from this camp constructed the swinging bridge and the service yard, began developing the picnic grounds and worked on eliminating soil erosion. The camp also helped in landscaping the Skyline Parkway in Duluth so the road would blend with its natural setting.

The camp was one of three in Minnesota that were terminated unexpectedly in October 1935. The Lake Shore CCC camp north of Duluth (SP-18) provided the manpower to finish a number of projects, including the half-finished picnic shelter.

A second CCC Camp, SP-21 Company 2711, was established in Jay Cooke State Park in May 1939. This camp continued development at the park, rebuilding the swinging bridge and constructing the River Inn. The camp was terminated on March 25, 1942, just before the CCC came to an end.

As part of a statewide listing of CCC-built state park buildings and structures, the rustic-style buildings in the park were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Read more about Jay Cooke State Park.