The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work relief program for young men from unemployed families established on March 19, 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first hundred days. It was part of the New Deal designed to combat the poverty and unemployment of the Great Depression in the United States. The CCC became one of the most popular New Deal programs among the general public and operated in every state and several territories. The young men went to camps of about 200 men each for six month "periods" where they were paid to do outdoor construction work.

In Wisconsin over 200 projects, as each state numbered the project and the camp, were created between May of 1933 and October of 1939.  There were 50 camps running at any one time with a peak of 90 during 1938.  The original plan was for the CCC to serve city youth but more enrollments came from small towns and rural areas. 


CO. #










Park Falls


Riley Creek 16 mi. E





Park Falls


Sheep Ranch 16 mi. E





Park Falls


Taylor Lake 10 mi. S





Park Falls


Sheep ranch 10 mi. E


These are the four CCC camps that were based out of Park Falls.  As you may note the camps were actually located some distance from Park Falls.  The locations listed above are all a part of the Chequamegon National Forest.

The mix at the camps meant V for a camp of World War I veterans or a X meant a racially mixed camp of white and African Americans.  

Travel to the camp was by train, leaving the Milwaukee Road depot in downtown Milwaukee trainees would have spent 24 hours on the train before arriving in Park Falls.  For many of these young people this would have been there first trip away from home.  Once in Park Falls “Waiting for us was an Army truck, which was a 1935 Chevrolet ½ ton truck covered with canvas.”

After I joined the CCC, I was sent along with others to start a CCC camp near Phillips Wisconsin. We had been given uniforms and gear and sent to our camp. All of the uniforms worn in the Wisconsin CCC were old army issue..the "pea" coat, wool shirt and pants with the tighter legs were the standard issue, left over from WWI....we took to sewing in wedges of wool from army blankets up both side seams on the legs, to make them wider and more comfortable..hence the "first bell bottoms" and the Navy thought they invented that !! We never had any ensignia, badges or patches, that I recall.

Biography of Guy Christianson

Casey Kaminski was assigned to Camp Riley Creek, this camp is located off Highway 70 about halfway (22 miles West) between Fifield and Minocqua.  It is in the present day Chequamegon National Forest. He served from March 25, 1935 to February 1, 1936 and according to his discharge papers was involved in “reforestration”.  He earned $30 per month of which $25 was sent home and the remainder to use as spending money. 

The experience would have been like a military encampment, the officers and sergeants would have been regular military assigned to the CCC, uniforms and inspections were common place.  Some of the work would have been tree planting, cutting fire roads, remove slashing left from logging operations or reconstructing trout streams.

I can remember my first breakfast at Company 642 Camp Riley Creek: Corn Flakes, Milk, Toast and Coffee, Sweet Roll.  Eggs if you wanted them.  You had to get into line and the cooks would bring them over in a great big frying pan; I never saw such a huge frying pan in my life.  It would be full of eggs, any style you wanted.

Arthur E. Krenn

Camp Riley Creek had a work shop, library, ping pong and horse shoe tournaments as well as a basketball and baseball team.  Speakers came in for programs; grade school, high school and even college courses were available.  The camp newspaper is an excellent source of camp news, gossip and sports.  Local dances and weekend trips to local towns were available.

Individual Record – Civilian Conservation Corps Casimir Francis Kaminski
Life as it was at Camp Riley Creek 1938-1939 Arthur E. Krenn
Camp Photo Camp Riley Creek June 5, 1938
Riley Creek Rag – 1937
The Life of Riley – 1939
CCC Museum - 5636 River View Drive, Rhinelander WI