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The South Mountain Partnership has a new web site!! Please visit http://www.southmountainpartnership.org. The South Mountain blog will continue to be hosted at http://southmountaincli.blogspot.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

Camp Michaux Recognition and Development

For 10 years, the Cumberland County Historical Society has supported the development of increased understanding of the history of a site in Cooke Township known as Camp Michaux. The site had been used as a farm associated with the iron industry from 1787-1912, and then as a farm leased by the state from 1913-1919. In 1933 the site became the first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in Pennsylvania and continued to function until 1942. In 1943, the U.S. Army converted the CCC facility for use as a secret interrogation camp for enemy German and Japanese prisoners of war, one of only three such sites in the country. After WWII, the facility was renovated and operated by Camp Michaux, Inc., a joint effort of the United Church of Christ and the United Presbyterian Church, as a youth summer camp.

With the aid of a South Mountain Partnership mini-grant and under leadership of historian David Smith, the project has secured an official State Historical Marker for the site. Trails have been opened at the camp and individual sites cleared to make them more visible to the public. A self-guided walking tour guidebook has been produced and keyed to numbered posts that have been erected throughout the former camp. The project also seeks to list the property on the National Register of Historic Places and the nomination process for this phase of the project is still in progress.

Download a PDF of the Self-Guided Camp Michaux walking tour from the Cumberland County Historical Society's web site here.