I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast-rooted, they travel about as far as we do.

John Muir

-------------------

My grandfather was a laborer in California's Eldorado National Forest with the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. After discovering a tattered album buried deeply in a closet and doing a little research, I discovered that he was also, on the side, an amateur photographer and leader of the CCC unit's photography club.  This is a continuation of his 1937 project documenting the lives and labors of the other shirtless grinning youths digging ditches and swinging picks alongside him.


Working with the encouragement and assistance of the U.S. Forest Service, I've created a series of photographs exactly matching the scenes shown in the original photographs from 80 years ago, inhabiting the modern national forests with the very ghosts that created them.

John Bookholt, left, served in the U.S. Army in World War 2;  he was injured in 1945, leaving him permanetly disabled.  He returned to Pennsylvania, where he opened a furniture store, and lived until the age of 98, dying in 2018.  

info
×

Rock Creek Bridge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1936.

info
×

Georgetown Ranger Station.

info
×

Rock Creek, developed by the CCC 1936.

info
×

Slate Mountain Lookout, developed by the CCC 1937.

info
×

Rock Creek Bridge, built by the CCC 1936.

Benjamin Tymuczczuk joined the CCC under a false name, Edward, to hide a criminal record. He was discovered and, being judged a 'particularly pathetic case,' with a dead mother, absent father, and four siblings, was allowed to remain in the CCC, after which he returned to New Jersey, working as a stevedore under his assumed name.  George William Priestly made a life in San Francisco, where, at the age of 99, he still lives today.

info
×

Site of 1840s gold mine, located near Camp Mosquito, today a popular hiking and jogging trail.

info
×

Finnon Reservoir, site of CCC "Camp Mosquito." 

CCC member identified as "Garland."

info
×

Rock Creek, developed by CCC in 1936.

info
×

Loon Lake, developed by CCC in 1937.

info
×

Chili Bar Bridge; began by CCC in 1937, later redeveloped into modern bridge.

Henry Van Buskirk stayed on with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and died in 1967 in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. 

info
×

Site of CCC "Camp Mosquito."

info
×

Site of CCC "Camp Mosquito."

Bill Cotter, Sam M. Speers, Bill Oates, Bill McLane.  Cotter spent his entire life with the U.S. Forest Service, rising to be the director of the Sly Park Forest. 

info
×

Loon Lake, developed by CCC in 1937.

Carol Kaplita, Henry Van Buskirk, Gregory Ottalagano, McCaffrey.

Kaplita served as a PFC in the U.S. Army in World War 2, and died in New Jersey in 2009.  Ottalagano ended up in the Navy, making a life in Gloversville, New York before passing in 1995. 

info
×

Georgetown Ranger Station; power lines installed by CCC in 1937.

info
×

Gerle Creek CCC barracks, utilizing a WWI Army Air Corps base.

info
×

Georgetown Ranger Station; power lines installed by CCC in 1937.  Original CCC-built ranger station torn down and replaced with modern building.

info
×

"Camp Mosquito" site. 


Wally Green.

info
×

Loon Lake. Developed by CCC in 1937.

info
×

Joseph Feury, right, served in the Phillippines, and died of disease in 1943.  

info
×

"Camp Mosquito" site.

info
×
Using Format