Company 920, Civilian Conservation Corps, Camp F-22, was one of the first camps organized in the Eureka District. As a matter of fact, it was one of the first camps in existence. Contrary to the history of many camps it has retained the original number as well as the original camp site.
On the 17th day of May, 1933, an advance detail of CCC men, Forestry Service employees, and some civilian carpenters started work on the erection of the camp. The site is about a mile from the town of Orleans, in Northern California.
The original plans for the camp called for the erection of wooden barracks which, of course, are still in use today. During the course of construction, which was completed July 1, 1933, the workers were housed in the quarters of the ranger station at Orleans.
The first army officer to assume command of this company was Captain Lowe. It was under his command that the camp was built. After Captain L0we left, Lieutenant Pierce assumed command, and he was followed by Major Harmon, who later became the Redding District Commander. After Major Harmon the following officers assumed command in the order named: Lieutenant Tandy, Captain Quiffill and Lieutenant Dessler. It as during the command of Lieutenant Dessler that the company was transferred to the Medford District.
Lieut. L. B. Rhodes, Liut. Gilbert Mathews, and Capt. Everett Bibb has been on leave, and during his absence Capt. Wm. S. Akers has taken command.
The main objectives of this camp have been road building and bridge building. One of the outstanding accomplishments is the completion of the Ishi Pishi bridge. It is dubbed the Miniature Golden Gate, due to the fact that it is a duplicate of the original. It is a beautiful piece of workmanship with a span of 285 feet across the Klamath River. Any CCC camp or any construction company could well be proud of such a project.
Then there is the Dillon Mount Bluff. This was a thousand feet of road built around a bluff at a distance above the river that a fall meant certain death. The regional inspector told Mr. Bartholff, the Project Superintendent, that he was afraid the job could not be done without the loss of several men. “It shall be done,” said Mr. Barthloff, “and I’ll not loose a man.” The job stands today as a monument to the CCC. The accidents entailed during the course of construction are nor worth mentioning.
These men had been trapped in a snowstorm and were marooned in the mountains. Of course they would have had no chance at all except for a field phone of the Forest Service nearby. They struggled to this phone and called for help. The CCC immediately organized an expedition and started off to the rescue. Of course under such circumstances only a limited supply of food could be carried because each man had to carry his own.
For three days and nights these boys of the CCC fought a battle that was way beyond the line of duty and showed that they were made of the same stuff our ancestors planted in us.
There was another instance of splendid work done by the CCC which required the stamina of real he-men under hardships which were almost beyond human endurance. It was beyond the line of duty, but to fail meant death to some one. This was the rescue of two gold miners who were 22 miles back in the hills behind banks of snow fifteen or twenty feet deep. One was a miner from Alaska, which gives an idea of the gravity of the situation.
The last forty-eight hours they had almost nothing to eat. Two boys, Know and McCarty, were outstanding in their efforts to help Mr. Barthloff, the foreman, keep up the fighting spirit of the boys as they battled on for dear life. McCarty had a laceration in is knee over two inches long. This made his going that much harder. Under such conditions, to stop meant to freeze to death.
The final result was these boys of the CCC struggled through and rescued the miners. It was certainly a peace time effort that was worthy of commendation.
Capt. Everett I. Bibb, CAV-Res Commanding Officer
Capt. William S. Akers, Air-Res Adjutant
Capt. Bayard C. Taylor, Air-Res Junior Officer
Dr. Arron B. Wernick Camp Surgeon
Fuller Swift CEA
C. E. Barthloff Project Superintendent
H. P. M. Birkinbine
G. L. Thumberg
R. W. Dougherty
W. F. Adams
W. J. Soracco
P. C. Louquet
All Southern Oregon and Nothern California Camps from
Ninth District Camps and locations in 1938 and description
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