U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Redvale CCC Camp|
Redvale CCC Camp History
The Redvale CCC camp was constructed in June and July of 1935 and completed July 31, 1935. On August 1 st , the first enrollees arrived from Oklahoma City. Workers continued to arrive until the camp reached its full company of 187 on August 15 th .
The camp was established for the purpose of range conservation in the valley and grazing district. The projects undertaken by the camp workers included several ‘truck trails’ to move cattle and sheep between ranges, and for purposes of shipping animals to distribution points. Other camp projects included development of springs for livestock in the valley, construction of check dams to help with erosion, and construction of small dams and a stock water reservoir.
A series of Army commanders led the camp from August 1935 until January 1936, when retired naval commander Lieut. H.E. LeBarron arrived from Long Beach, California. LeBarron or “Skipper” was responsible for the installation of the two navy anchors that were constructed in the company area on each side of the flagpole. The anchors were constructed with a stone border and the interiors planted in grass and flowers. LeBarron was also responsible for instituting a self-governing system in camp, where workers elected representatives to a Council-Mayor governing body that operated as a City Council to make decisions. The members were popularly elected and the Mayor presided over the Council. The Council made decisions on problems in camp and could mete out punishments that would be approved by the Commander.
The camp continued to operate until October 29, 1941 when the workers were transferred to the Paradox camp and the camp was closed. A caretaker remained on the site through 1941 when the buildings were dismantled and moved to other locations. Archival material indicates that approximately 22 buildings were on the site prior to the closure of the camp.
Interest in documenting the Redvale camp began in the early 1990s with BLM cultural resource staff. Concerns were raised by resource personnel because of increased oil and gas use in the general area and the use of the camp location as a staging area for hunters in the fall. Remains of building foundations, pathways, and rock features have been and are being dismantled and reused as fire rings by campers or removed altogether. No documentation of the camp has been undertaken and the remains of the camp are disappearing. It is believed that Redvale is the last remaining permanent camp within the jurisdiction of the San Juan Public Lands Center.
The present project was initiated by former BLM archaeologist Brooke Brown and revived by BLM archaeologist Vince MacMillan and the San Juan Mountains Association. The project was funded by the State Historical Fund for the documentation of the Camp and the development of interpretive signage on-site. The project is anticipated to be completed within the next year.
|Last updated: 10-23-2009|
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