The Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy
"There is much to be discovered < indistinguishable > way of beautiful scenery inaccessible on account of lack of trails and < indistinquishable > time this parkwill be one of the nicest in this part of the county."
- Tell W. Nicolet, Inspector for the National Park Service for the Maryland-Virginia region who supervised the work of the camp (taken from reports to the NPS in the National Archives.
The Civilian Conservation Corps transformed Patapsco State Forest Reserve's informal recreation ground into the extensive Patapsco Valley State Park, which our legacy today. Some picnic shelters, roads, and trails are visible reminders of the work done by the young men of the CCC.
Organized during Great Depression, the CCC - sometime's called "Roosevelt's Tree Army" - was a New Deal program created to provide employment for young men in conservation work across the county. CCC men received $30 a month ($25 of which was sent home to support their families) and benefited from nutritional, educational, and recreational programs.
This field once served as the CCC's Patapsco Camp Tydings, #356. From June, 1933 to April, 1938, an average of 200 men per year worked on reforestation, fire prevention, picnic areas, campground facilities, trail development, and road construction.
Similar park projects were continued between May, 1941 and August, 1942 by the first camp of the Civilian Public Service program - an alternative to drafted military service for conscientious objectors during World War II.
Only a few concrete steps, sidewalks and a stone fireplace mark the site of the camp.
Text with middle left photo: The Patapsco Camp hosted Baltimore Orioles start Lyle "Punch" Judy and Milt Gary, depicted here in 1937. Note the stone fireplace of the recreation hall now incorporated in a picnic shelter and the Oriole on the camp's emblem over the mantel.
Text with main photo: Camp Tydings included five barracks, a recreation hall, a mess hall, the headquarters building and a dispensary.
Text with lower middle photo: Patapsco Camp Tydings #356 was built by the U.S. Army in Baltimore County, after flooding destroyed an earlier camp on the Howard County side.
Text with lower right photos: CCC men building rustic shelters, the architecture recommended by the National Park Service who supervised the work.