The CCC worked within state and national parks and forest areas across the nation combating soil erosion, fighting forest fires and building park facilities. At Big Spring, boys from 3 separate camps (Co. 1710, 734 and 1740) kept busy with a variety of projects through cooperation with the Missouri state parks system in work phases from June 1933 through April 1937. Working largely by hand, the CCC used raw materials from the area to protect natural resources and enhance recreational activities.
CCC at Big Spring
· Provide Recreational Facilities
· Fight Forest Fires
· Protect Big Spring
Forest preservation was a high priority. Co. 1710 cleared roadsides, removed downed trees and cut brush for fire prevention. They also fought periodic forest fires. Camp 734 built a fire tower in the southwestern corner of the park during their few months at Big Spring (Nov. 1933 - Apr. 1934) to aid in forest protection.
Lodge and Cabins
Work at Big Spring State Park included buildings for park visitors. Between 1934 and 1936, the CCC built, renovated and/or relocated 20 structures. A style combining native stone and hand hewn timbers in a "rustic" design to blend in with the surroundings was used in the dining lodge, 3 cabins, and entrance station, restrooms, picnic shelters, concession stand and a museum.
Company 1710 immediately started work on dikes to protect the Big Spring from Current River flood waters. Working primarily by hand and aided by an old steam pile driver, they constructed 5 dikes with oak pilings and over 6000 truck loads of rocks to keep the river in its channel.
The C's cleared and graveled 5 hiking and horseback trails, providing access to scenic sections of the park behind the spring and along the river toward Chubb Hollow.