St. Croix State Park was originally developed as a national recreational demonstration area, one of the largest in the country. It has three group centers, originally designed as summer camps for underprivileged urban youth. There are more than 120 historic buildings from Great Depression-era work programs like the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and Works Progress Administration which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, two special musical programs will take place at St. Croix State Park in Hinckley on Saturday, July 27, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
The programs will feature music and storytelling by Michigan-based author and performer Bill Jamerson, who has performed at CCC reunions around the country and at dozens of national and state parks.
Dressed in costume, Jamerson will take his audience on a musical journey with stories and songs about working in the woods, living in a bunkhouse, the hardships of river drives, the importance of camp food, and going into town in spring.
- At 1 p.m., Jamerson will salute Minnesota lumberjacks with a program titled, “It’s Daylight in the Swamps,” a phrase shouted by cooks at lumberjack camps to wake up the men in the morning. With guitar in hand, he will sing traditional lumberjack songs and tell stories about life in the lumber camps. The program is geared toward families, and children will be invited on stage for a sing-along and a chance to win prizes. Meet at the council ring.
- At 5 p.m., he will pay tribute to the CCC with a program titled, “Dollar-A-Day Boys.” It will feature stories and songs, including “Chowtime,” an entertaining look at camp food, and “City Slicker,” which tells of the mischief the boys find in the woods. Meet at the council ring.
The CCC was a federal work program created by President Franklin Roosevelt during The Great Depression. From 1933-1942, 84,000 young men between the ages of 17 and 25 enlisted from Minnesota. They planted more than 180 million trees, fought forest fires, built dams and bridges and left a legacy of log and stone buildings at several state parks, including St. Croix State Park.
For more information, including a map and virtual tour, visit the park’s Web page. Park information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
More CCC photos from St. Croix State Park: