Evolution of Camp Mercer Mess Hall & Kitchen

In 1933, the first enrollees took pride in constructing a Northwoods vertical log mess hall. Note the earthen foundation berm, which is still visible today.

Late in the summer of 1933, a building program started. Buildings were erected to take the place of tents. The first building erected was the mess hall, made of logs and put together by such men as Dan McDonald, Dan Weir, and Mike Barney, three venerable lumberjacks from the Paul Bunyan days.  

The classic lumberjack style interior of the log mess hall evoked local traditions. The building was later used as the rec building and canteen. 

In December 1934, the mess hall moved from the traditional log building to a more modern facility. 

Camp Mercer pride, good manners and discipline were required in the mess hall. 

The new mess hall included modern equipment to facilitate Camp Mercer’s expanded role as a regional administrative CCC camp. 

Bill Watson was the beloved head cook at Camp Mercer. 

 This Mercer Monitor cartoon shows an enrollee on “Kitchen Patrol,” or KP duty, a task reserved for men needing to make amends for poor choices. 

Matko, one of our industrious K.P.s, trying to make a good impression on Mr. Watson.