Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Work by the CCC

Once again--as if I needed to be reminded--we were faced with how much we owe to the works of the old Civilian Conservation Corps. The Sherando Lake Recreation Area where we spent a full day of enjoying ourselves under a clear blue sky is itself the product of the labor of the CCC. You can't stand anywhere in this recreation area without witnessing the results of their work.

There are two lakes here, both dammed and created by the CCC. There are a number of structures, one of which is absolutely spectacular and which was built by the Corps. It serves as a bathhouse, a picnic pavilion (with TWO huge fireplaces), a vending building, and a camp store selling ice, matches, and anything else you may have forgotten on your way to enjoying a cookout at the park.

What is always foremost in my mind when I see these places built by the CCC is that when they arrived here there probably wasn't much to see but the ruined lands denuded by timber companies. I doubt that there were many trees here more than a decade or so in age. The southern Appalachians were pretty much totally denuded of forest cover by the 1930s, and I will assume this spot was no different. It wasn't just to build lakes and campgrounds that the CCC busied themselves. They were also instrumental in laying the groundwork for the restoration of our native forests that had been so terribly ruined by the timber companies.

The main bathhouse, built by the CCC.

Trees, buildings, facilities, brought to you by the sweat of the CCC.

Two enormous fireplaces in the pavilion.

Carole under the pavilion. Look at that floor!

This guy had a really neat pontoon boat, complete with electric trolling motor.

Bottom of the spillway. The creek below here is a stocked trout stream.

Staircase leading up the spillway to the top of the dam.

Water going over the top of the spillway.

I forgot to take a good photo of the dams in the recreation area. But I did manage to remember to take a shot from atop the dam looking out on the lake.

I took this one mainly to illustrate the detailed and meticulous rock work on the retaining walls.


lovewithoutfear said...

Thank you for your post appreciating the CCC work at Sherando Lake. Lovely spot, magnificent work.

James Robert Smith said...

So many parks and recreation areas were created and improved by the CCC staff. I never fail to be totally amazed at the quality, ingenuity, and longevity of the engineering and hard work they did.