In the fall of 1933, the enrollees celebrated “…to have a bath-house to clean up in instead of the good old Manitowish River…”
Very few of the inhabitants of 660 can tell you what it meant to have a bath-house to clean up in instead of the good old Manitowish River; a mess-hall to eat in instead of out of mess kits and eating out in the open; barracks to sleep in instead of tents, which are the coldest things in the world when the mercury gets around zero. But the men took it with a smile being thoughtful that they were doing something, instead of laying around at home with nothing to do.
In December 1934 a new mess-hall was built and the old mess hall was made into a recreation hall and canteen — making one of the finest in the Fifth Forestry Sub-District.
The camp’s first bathhouse, shown here, caught fire in August 1934. Constant fire drills and Army discipline prepared Camp Mercer personnel for calamities.
Fire Rages Bathhouse
Friday evening, August 17, during mess hour a fire broke out in the roof of the bathhouse. A signal was given and in less than two minutes the whole company was lending a hand to extinguish the blaze. Buckets, axes, and fire extinguishers were soon put to use, and the experienced fire fighters of Co.660 soon had the blaze under control.
This 1939 image shows enrollees fixing up the bathhouse.
This 1936 Mercer Monitor illustration depicted the wood stove that kept camp personnel and pipes from freezing.
The new bathhouse, centrally located, kept enrollees “clean and fit” to Army standards.