President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps on March 31, 1933, to provide employment for America's youth and promote the nation's economic recovery. The CCC's work involved conservation projects on forest, park and farm lands, resulting in new recreational opportunities for all Americans. Two million enrollees worked in 975 national, state, county and municipal areas, including 198 camps in 94 national parks and monuments. Many of the roads, trails bridges and buildings used today were built by these young men. In less than ten years they left a lasting legacy for America and the National Park Service.
The CCC worked in Lava Beds National Monument from July 13, 1933, through June 30, 1942. In June 1935, they vacated Camp Bearpaw and moved into Camp Lava Beds at the site of Gillems Camp. During their nine years here, more than 1,400 enrollees lived and worked in 150-man detachments, each for a six month period. They built the roads, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and tables that are used today. They opened and developed major caves and provided conducted tours. They built a residential and administrative complex, a maintenance facility, a gas and oil house, and the fire lookout visible from here. All of these facilities are architecturally unique and still in use. The CCC's contribution in making this park accessible and enjoyable to the public is immeasurable.
Dedicated on CCC Recognition Date, August 3, 1990