|Overview: The Civilian Conservation Corps at Carlsbad Caverns National Park|
|March 18 2003|
|Reviewed: Saturday April 07 2007|
|Bob Hoff (CAVE Historian, 1992 - 2005)|
|Carlsbad Cave National Monument established on October 25 1923 became on May 14 1930 Carlsbad Caverns National Park. In 1934, the U.S. government purchased 79 acres at Rattlesnake Springs about six miles away as a source for the park’s water supply. While Rattlesnake Springs did not become part of the park until December 1963 Carlsbad Caverns National Park administered this “detached” site from 1934 on.|
The Civilian Conservation Corps created Camp NP-1-N at Rattlesnake Springs in July 1938. CCC enrollees from Camp NP-1-N known as CCC “boys” worked on Carlsbad Cavern National Park projects from August 1 1938 to May 22 1942.
At Rattlesnake Springs, the CCC enrollees built a ranger residence still in use today. They also constructed a service road and a water diversion ditch and constructed masonry work to line the Rattlesnake Springs pond. While National Park Service Landscape Architect Harvey Cornell provided the plans for the CCC camp layout in 1938 it is not clear to what extent CCC enrollees constructed the CCC camp.
At the park headquarters near the entrance of the Carlsbad Cavern several structures constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps remain:
Other projects that the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees accomplished here include:
Composite Historical Picture of Civilian Conservation Corps at Rattlesnake Springs, New Mexico
Note on the picture above: Several years ago I wrote an article that included a picture of a couple CCC workers laboring on a floor in the underground lunchroom. Someone who read it thought that he recognized his father in the picture who was one of the foremen of the 831st Company at CCC Camp NP-1-N (NP being the National Park Service designation) and asked to see a larger picture which I supplied him with. Although he couldn't identify his Dad in that picture, he supplied Carlsbad Caverns National Park with a copy of the above picture which shows his Dad's name and position as a camp foreman (I am not supplying the name in order to protect his family's privacy). I think that in thirteen years that I was the park's historian, this picture ranked as one of the most wonderful donations that we received in my opinion.
During my tenure as the historian, I only interviewed a few ex-CCC "boys." To a person, they all were proud of the projects that they had participated in. And why not, they achieve mauch in many places, parks, forests, and other public areas. In other CCC camps in Carlsbad, New Mexico, they participated in working on the very important irrigation canals
CCC Camp Roster
For more information about the CCCs in New Mexico, please see
Coming of Age in the Great Depression: The Civilian Conservation Corps in New Mexico, 1933 - 1942 by Richard Melzer
Retreat at CCC Camp, Rattlesnake Springs
April 18, 2007 information addition:
Rattlesnake Springs Historic District Nomination for National Register of Historic Properties
© Bob Hoff, 2007