Grand Rapids CCC Project

"Building upon the Legacy" brought together Civilian Conservation Corps alumni with college aged enrollees of the Minnesota Conservation Corps to carry on the work of the CCCs and share their stories with the Forest History Center’s visitors.

Grand Rapids CCC Project
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See what people had to say about this project!

"I enjoyed the opportunity to create my own character, especially incorporating details from my own family history."

"Perhaps the most enjoyable part was working with the students, noting their interesting and enthusiasm. Great group of students!"

"Very worthwhile project. I agree that we all need more of a connection. When one takes the time to learn and investigate our local history, there is a connection in more than one way."


Click on image to browse all photos. Photos by John Connelly.


Photo by John Connelly Photo by John Connelly Photo by John Connelly Photo by John Connelly Photo by John Connelly

See the manual that the project participants produced:PDF document

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Conservation Corps of Minnesota enrollees were trained and employed at the Forest History Center as CCC era first person interpreters through the 2010 summer season at the Forest History Center. Through conversations with Chapter 119 of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni and primary source research materials compiled by historian Barb Sommer (author of “Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota”) they developed historic characters and presented this living history to the public. In addition to historical site interpretation, the enrollees guided logging camp tours, tended a seedling nursery and built a vertical log structure using the tools and techniques of the 1930s.

Youth Participants: CCM interns Jake Leingang, Willie Storm, Megan Denver and Allison Moore

Adult Participants: Robert Brown, Lowell Laager, Emil Johnson, Harry Stanley 

For more information: Contact Project Manager Aleah Vinick at or 651-259-3417.

Forest History Center
Learn more about the Forest History Center, a Minnesota Historical Society site.

Background on Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, was founded in about 1872 as a logging community. The nearby Mississippi River provided transportation for the logs from the white pine forests surrounding Grand Rapids to the mills in Minneapolis, and later in Grand Rapids itself. The Blandin Paper mill still operates in downtown Grand Rapids.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Resources

Minnesota CCC Handbook

Minnesota History Magazine: The Civilian Conservation Corps: A New Deal for Youth

Civilian Conservation Corps Podcast

Map of CCC Camps in Minnesota

Logging in Minnesota Resources

Minnesota History Magazine: Early Logging Methods

Forest, Fields, and the Falls: Connecting Minnesota Interactive

Logging in Minnesota Chronology

Project Details

Date: May 2010 - August 2010
Partner(s): Chapter 119, NACCCA alumni; Keith Matson, retired U.S. Forest Service and Itasca Private Woodlands Council; Ed Nelson and Terry Weber, Forest History Center; Aleah Vinick, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: Grand Rapids, MN

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