CCC Camp Gap Ranch

Archaeological site

CCC Camp Gap Ranch was named after one of several ranches in the enormous holdings of Bill Brown's ranching empire.

Bill Brown came to eastern Oregon in 1880 and gradually amassed holdings of almost 40,000 acres in four counties. In his prime he owned enormous herds of horses and numerous bands of sheep and was noted for the vast sums of money he gave to charities.

In 1936 Camp Gap Ranch was developed on land acquired from Bill Brown's holdings. At first a tent camp, it was soon transformed into a more permanent facility with wood-framed barracks, kitchen/mess hall, officers' quarters, shops and others support buildings.

The camp was staffed by up to 200 enrollees, supervisors and officers and operated for the next five years.

The men of Gap Ranch and other camps in southeastern Oregon built range improvements such as fences, roads, reservoirs and spring developments and lasting buildings like those at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and Northern Great Basin Experimental Station.

With the outbreak of World War II, the camp was closed and most of the buildings were dismantled and used elsewhere in the war effort.

All that remained were a few rock buildings, water tower, pump house/windmill tower, rubble rock walls, rock lined paths and a seemingly random assortment of concrete foundations.

Burn District BLM is preparing the site for visitors by completing much of the structure restoration and stabilization, visitors' parking lot and rock wall barriers.

In 2000, we plan to design and install two overlooks with interpretive panels and a short walking trail for those visitors who want to explore the site.