Bendick, J. Jr.
|Established on the banks of the turbulent Trinity River
in the heart of the rich gold mining country of Trinity County, Camp Big
Bar received its first contingent of Ninth Corps enrollees from Fort Scott
on May 27, 1933. First Lieut. Kinsler, 30th Inf., Regular Army, assumed
command aided by 2nd Lieut. Phillip Foote, Camp Adjutant.
While there have been many changes in the camp army administrative personnel, there have been but three project superintendents directing the work project since the campís inception. Capably supervising this phase of the organization, Mr. OíNeil, Mr. Scharschmidt, and Mr. E.J. Wyllie have served as superintendents, their respective tours of duty being in that order.
Due to the mountainous terrain, difficulties were experienced in laying out and building the Big Bar camp, the site chosen being located on a hillside.
Under the supervision of the above-mentioned project superintendents, some of the outstanding work projects of the Big Bar enrollees have been:
Construction, landscaping and maintenance of the Big Bar Ranger Station, most beautiful of its type in the Trinity National Forest.
Construction and maintenance of the Hayden Flat, Big Flat, and Hobo Gulch Public Camp Grounds.
Erection of the Junction City Bridge, suspension type and the longest single span constructed by the Forest Service in California. In addition were built the North Fork Bridge over the Trinity River near Helena and the Price Creek Bridge.
Approximately forty-five miles of truck trails and roads have been built as an aid to the natives, vacationing public and the Forest Service. Outstanding examples of this roadbuilding are the Backbone Ridge Road, seventeen miles in length, beginning at Helena and ending at the borders of the trinity Primitive Area, opening up to the public vast areas of rough scenic beauty and a sportsmanís paradise; and the Corral Creek Road linking Big Bar and Hyampom, a distance of twenty-one miles.
Seventy-five miles of fire trails have been constructed and are being maintained in this vicinity, greatly lessening the fire hazard.
More than one hundred and twenty miles of telephone lines now connect Big Bar with outside points. Due to the exceedingly steep contour of the surrounding mountains, great difficulty has been experienced by our telephone crews in building these lines of communication.
Other completed projects include the Dedrick, Cabin Peak, and Eagle Rock Lookout Stations, the Backbone Ridge Fireman Lookout Station, the Big Bar and Ranger Station water systems, improvement work on the Big Bar suspension bridge over the trinity River, and construction and maintenance of the Weaverville and Corral Bottoms spike camps.
Although numerous forest fires have broken out in the vicinity since establishment of the Big ar camp, efficient and timely fire fighting by the suppression crews has held timber and property loss at a minimum.
Filling a long felt need, the camp personnel, in the fall of 1934, used its own initiative and built a recreation hall, the largest building in the vicinity. As funds sufficient for the lumber were not available, native timer was used, even to the cutting of rough shakes for the roof. This building was constructed by enrollees during their spare time, and stands as an excellent example of the cooperative spirit and enthusiasm of past members of the camp.
The 1935 baseball season ended with the Big Bar team making an all-time record for CCC camps in northern and central California. While yet a member of the old Eureka District, Company 996 won the district championship handily. Challenging the champions of the Redding District, the Big Bar boys traveled to the town of that name and were victorious in a hotly contested game. Satisfied that their season was a success, the local boys were checking in their equipment when a challenge was received from the Sacramento District champions. History repeated itself. The Big Bar team traveled to Sacramento and trounced the valley favorites. With three district championships under their belts, the Big Bar boys gained undisputed superiority in northern and central California.
Originally conducted in one small room, the camp educational program has progressed to the stage wherein the main camp classroom, darkroom, library, Forestry and Army quarters and mess hall are utilized as places of instruction. A well stocked and comfortable library and reading room are at present available to the camp members.
Commanded by Capt. Don B. Kates, CA-Res., 519th CA, the present Army administration consists of Contract Surgeon Thomas G. Mitchell; and Educational Adviser Dayton t. Coffey. Other commanding officers of the company were: Lieut. E. H. Wilson, 30th Inf.; Lieut. Phillip B. Foote, Air-Res.; Capt. John E. Eilbertson, Engr.-Res.; Lieut. James P. Abbott, Cav-Res.; Capt. William A. Sedden, Inf-Res.; Lieut. Roy E. Dahlin, Eng.-Res.; Capt. Harold H. Hearfield, Inf.-Res.; Campt. Donald W. Dye, Inf.-Res., and Lieut. Mathew Santino, CA-Res.
Capt. Don B. Kates, Ca-Res. - Commanding Officer
Lieut. Theooore H. Ebbert, Inf-Res. - Junior Officer
Dr. Thomas G. Mitchell - Camp Surgeon
Dayton, T. Coffee - CEA
E. J. Wyllie - Project Superintendent
Robert P. Haughey
Cornelius W. Gibbons
All Southern Oregon and Nothern California Camps from
Ninth District Camps and locations in 1938 and description