Watch for it Wednesdays: Camp Arboretum!


The rumors are true, it’s a brand new Flickr Commons collection with its first set: CCC at Camp Arboretum

Intended to become a “locus of the Schools educational and social activities,” Peavy Arboretum was dedicated by the university in 1926 in honor of Dean George W. Peavy, long-time dean of the School (now College) of Forestry. Peavy pushed for “an outdoor laboratory in which experiments with various tree species and silvicultural practices could be conducted and a ‘botanical garden’ of trees.” It operated as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp from 1933 – 1942 and then reverted to College of Forestry management in 1964.

When the CCC established Camp Arboretum on the site in 1933, crews built roads, planted trees, constructed firebreaks, strung telephone lines, and established trails (including the Section 36 Trail, which is still used by visitors). They also expanded the nursery and constructed Cronemiller Lake to provide water for irrigation. Because their role in western Oregon was fire prevention work and reforestation, the CCC contribution to McDonald Forest and the Arboretum directly affected the development of the landscape and the forest we see today.

At its height, the camp consisted of 39 permanent buildings in the Arboretum, including the Camp Arboretum Sign Shop, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Reflecting many distinctive architectural features characteristic of CCC buildings, the Sign Shop was constructed by the CCC in 1936. Although it was one of the last buildings constructed at Camp Arboretum, “the board-and-batten sided Sign Shop is the only existing building from the Camp in its original location, and is one of only a few remaining in the state.

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