The CCC Interpretive Area Project
Thanks to the financial support of the South Cumberland Community Fund and other generous donors, SCSP Rangers and Friends Volunteers have created a new Interpretive Area that tells the amazing story of the village that housed nearly 200 members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1475 at Grundy Forest, near Tracy City.
In the 1930s, the Federal Government created the CCC program to provide paying jobs for able-bodied young men needing work during the Great Depression. CCC Company 1475 called this workers’ village home. The camp included a number of buildings which housed, fed, hospitalized and stored equipment and supplies for the workers of Company 1475 from the mid-1930s until the start of World War II. Around 1938, Company 1475 also set up a satellite camp at what is now Franklin State Forest, near Jumpoff Road, south of Sewanee.
The young men of Company 1475 undertook many projects which improved the lives of people in this area. One CCC legacy is the chain of Grundy Lakes, now used for swimming, paddling, and fishing. CCC personnel built some of the first hiking trails in what would later become South Cumberland State Park. They also erected fire towers, built roads, strung some of the first telephone lines in this area, and fought forest fires. They were also instrumental in helping contain a 1935 fire in downtown Tracy City — one of the biggest fires in Grundy County history. Company 1475, among many other CCC companies, were also called in to help control Mississippi River flooding in the spring of 1937, an effort for which Company 1475 received high marks.
The site of Company 1475’s camp is located on what, until 2016, was the “CCC Campground” in the Grundy Forest area of South Cumberland State Park. The project identified, cleared, and began to conserve some of the aging camp infrastructure — building foundations, cisterns, paths, and creation of a new interpretive loop trail that will take visitors to the most interesting areas of the site.
Thanks to all our VISTA, TN Naturalist and other volunteers
who turned out during the course of this project to help us clear and prepare the new interpretive area, build the trail, install signs and guide-posts, and many other essential tasks:
Click on any image below to see an enlarged image:
MEDIA COVERAGE RELATED TO THE CCC PROJECT:
The CCC Interpretive Area at South Cumberland State Park is now OPEN!
The site is approximately 1/4 mile from the Grundy Forest trailhead, along the Grundy Day Loop Trail. The walk to, through and back from the site totals approximately one mile. The trail is generally easy, but there are sections with roots and rocks; sturdy walking shoes and walking sticks are recommended!
Can't make it out to the site?
Click the button below to view the content of the 13 interpretive panels on display in the Interpretive Area:
Interpretive signage at the site of the CCC camp is made possible by a generous grant from the South Cumberland Community Fund.