Forest Service will host CCC reunion Aug. 7

The U.S. Forest Service will hold a potluck picnic to honor the veterans of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which built many local campgrounds, trails and roads in the local forest, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at Longbow Organization Camp.

The picnic is free and the public is invited. The event is hosted annually to honor the contributions of CCC Company 2097. This year, members of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) will be honored as well.

Company 2097, formerly Company 1314, was organized in 1933. The members moved to Camp Cascadia, located along the South Santiam River east of Sweet Home, in 1934. While working in the Willamette National Forest, Company 2097 built 35 miles of forest roads and 80 miles of trails; installed 17 miles of telephone lines; built 6 fire lookouts and 8 bridges; landscaped 4 acres of grounds near the Cascadia Ranger Station; constructed 2 large dwellings, an office building and a gas and oil station; and constructed House Rock, Fernview, and Trout Creek Campgrounds. The men also spent over 7,000 days fighting wildfires. Many of the Company’s members stayed in Oregon, and have since become important figures in our local communities.

“It is an honor to host this event for these special public servants who accomplished so much work, including the construction of many of the roads, trails, and campgrounds in the National Forest,” said Cindy Glick, District Ranger for the Sweet Home Ranger District. “YCC members are continuing their legacy through their work with local communities to help care for the amazing natural resources found in and near Sweet Home.”

The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with a potluck-style lunch at 12:30 p.m. Attendees whose last names begin with A-H are asked to bring a hot dish, I-P a salad, and Q-Z a dessert. Table service and beverages will be provided. Attendees are also encouraged to bring photos, news clippings, and other memorabilia from the CCC years to share during the event.

Longbow Organization Camp, which was built by the CCC in the 1930s, is located 23 miles east of Sweet Home off Highway 20 near milepost 46. Those in need of transportation to and from the campground should meet in front of the Sweet Home Ranger Station, located at 4431 Highway 20 in Sweet Home, at 9:30am. Please call ahead to reserve a seat.

Those interested in learning more about the CCC and YCC are also invited to join Forest Service staff and local historians for a two-night camping experience at Longbow Organization Camp beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Participants will be immersed in the history of the organizations and their contributions to public lands through campfire stories, guided interpretive hikes, and participation in the CCC Annual picnic.

Participants will need to bring their own camping equipment, as well as food and water; a camping fee is required.

To make reservations, contact Stefanie Gatchell at (541)367-3962 or [email protected] .

For more information and to make transportation reservations, please contact the Sweet Home Ranger District at (541)367-5168.