Construction of Camp Mercer
In June 1933, “…approximately 3000 sq. yards of canvas,” consisting of a community of WWI Army surplus tents, created Camp Mercer’s earliest footprint.
In the first months of Camp Mercer, both canvas and local birch trees were fashioned into a post exchange, or PX, to deliver amenities to enrollees.
Frame constructed barracks and buildings were built mostly to Army specifications by enrollees. Note the stud walls of the buildings on the right side of the image.
Snow covered tents continued to provide shelter. The men reported, “Old King Winter” greeted our CCC men early, leaving a couple inches of snow on their blankets. The center building has tarps protecting the masonry fireplace, the signature of the officer’s quarters.
Camp Mercer evolved into a robust administrative CCC camp, as pictured here in the Sparta District Pictorial Review Company 660 Camp Mercer S-79 1939.
Excerpt from Sparta District Civilian Conservation Corps Sixth Corps Area Annual 1937, 660th Company of Camp Mercer.
Tents seem the coldest places in the world when the mercury gets around zero. But the men took it with a smile being ever thoughtful that they were doing something instead of staying around home with nothing to do.