Author Archives: mountainparks
Among the original Chapter 7 alumni, we are now down to a precious few, three remaining widows of the CCC boys who were members. Thelma Armstrong, long-time secretary of the organization, passed away May 8. Her sister, Eva Burnham, and Irene O’Donoghue, long-time chaplain of the group, are still doing well, as is Katy Cruz. We are fortunate in the remarkable longevity many members of this generation have displayed!
Once I thought that watching our CCC friends leave us would be a constant grief. For the most part, it has been gradual, and often we don’t get news of the loss until long after. But we think often of the brighter days and good times at the Morrison Camp, where they gathered monthly in the spring and summer to celebrate the camaraderie they developed by being part of the Greatest Generation. They never forgot to thank their days in the Civilian Conservation Corps for giving them a start in life.
Those of us who had the opportunity to know them and work with them were privileged, and we will always remember these incredible individuals. That’s why we’re continually inspired to share their stories here.
We recently received photos and materials related to CCC work at Durango, Camp SP-16-C. This report on the construction of the shelter at Reservoir Hill, known today as the Lion’s Den, provides great details to go with step-by-step photos received recently from the collection of Barbara Teyssier Forrest, daughter of the project supervisor, Edward Teyssier. See also La Plata County profile.
For photos and the rest of the story, see Lion’s Den Shelter, under Projects.
Forgive the late notice. The Aurora History Museum exhibit on the Civilian Conservation Corps continues through October 5th. Worth checking out, the exhibit includes many excellent, rarely seen photos from Colorado State Archives, as well as some from Denver Mountain Parks and Mile High Chapter 7 collections.
Last week, we went to the museum to present a talk on the CCC’s role in developing parks in the Front Range, called “From Poverty to Parks.” For this brown bag session, the room filled to capacity and those present seemed to appreciate the information provided. We even met a former CCC enrollee who shared his story! I hope to have excerpts from the presentation online here within a couple of weeks.
Contributions from the Loveland Historical Society, the University of Colorado Boulder Visual Resource Center, and other online sources enabled us to present a reasonably coherent view of park development from Fort Collins to Trinidad, Colorado. Of course, the MHC7 collections complemented the effort. I expect to be taking the presentation to Loveland next spring, and we’re available to share it elsewhere in the Front Range region as well. Email us at milehighchapter7 AT gmail DOT com to plan a presentation.
What’s next? How about a project to capture our own photos of CCC-built features in the Front Range? Please send us photos you capture of historic CCC sites in Colorado to help us create a complete story of the CCC in Colorado. (We know this is a long-term project!)
p.s. The “Wolves and Wild Lands” exhibit next to the CCC one is well worth visiting too!