Lion’s Den Shelter

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.


PROGRESS HISTORY – PROJECT 119
Picnic Shelter.

Acting upon the suggestion of Mr. Culley we are submitting the following narrative report on project 119, Picnic Shelter. We feel this will be of interest because of the unusual amount of work accomplished in a short period of time.

Early stages of stonework, February 1936, showing the interior fireplace under construction. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

Early stages of stonework, February 1936, showing the interior fireplace under construction. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

Telegraphic approval on this project was received February 19, 1936, at which time construction was started. Knowing that our time was limited and that it was essential that the project be completed by April 1st, we used every method possible to speed up construction.

Interior showing completed fireplace wall with log roof in progress. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

Interior showing completed fireplace wall with log roof in progress. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

In order to utilize a greater number of men, the work was divided into four groups or units, each supervised by a foreman. The site of the building was chosen and the excavation started, another group began quarrying and hauling in building stone, another began shaping and laying the flagstone floor and the fourth group commenced framing the log roof. We had just gotten nicely started when our seasonal storms began. During all the latter part of February we were handicapped by numerous snow storms. The crew engaged in the actual rock construction put in the biggest part of the first two weeks shoveling snow, and the remaining three units were slowed up to a greater or lesser degree.

With the roof nearly completed, the  shelter is taking final shape. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

With the roof nearly completed, the shelter is taking final shape. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

Fortunately we had ideal weather the first three weeks of March and double shifting the crews was started on March 9th, and continued to the end of the period. Through the combined cooperation of the foremen, the Army officials, and the enrollees, we were able to complete this building in twenty eight working days. In appreciating the amount of work accomplished in relation to the time expended we must consider that the first eight days and the last five days of work were carried on under very unfavorable weather conditions.

The accompanying photographs showing progressively the different stages of construction eliminate any necessity for building detail in the narrative.

As a general statistical summary, however—The Project was approved for $310.00 for materials and 1500 man days for labor. Of this we used for materials $259.65 and a total of 1451 man days of labor.

The completed shelter, April 1936. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

The completed shelter, April 1936. Barbara Teyssier Forrest Collection.

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