The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression to provide work relief for unemployed young men. Over 8000 men were employed by the 103 camps in Michigan. They were responsible for constructing roads, maintaining forest lands, and constructing state park facilities in Michigan. The program operated from 1933 to 1942.
Camp Lunden in Lewiston in Montmorency County was one of the camps from 1933 to 1936. It was names after Herman Lunden (1859-1929) who Had been active in conservation in his native Sweden where the terrain was very similar to that of Michigan. He was the timber manager of Kneeland Bigelow Company of Bay City.
Camp Lunden in the beginning was 200 “unmarried able-bodied men” between the ages of 17 and 23 who set up camp on Hunt Creek in June 1933. Soon afterward they moved to what is now known as Camp Lunden but still lived in tents. They built permanent barracks and a mess hall as well as other structures for the camp.
They built roads, trout ponds and built a county airport out of the forest. Their primary mission was reforestation and they planted trees and dug fire lines to protect the newly re-planted forests.
Little Michigan as it is called depicts Michigan and 4 of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair. The “lakes” were dug by men training to be draftsman and civil engineers in the spare time who arrived near the time the camp was closing. The camp closed in 1936 leaving the ponds and a historical marker to mark the spot where the CCC camp once stood.
Camp Lunden was designated as a state Historic in 1994. The Lewiston Historical Society Patrons maintain the replica of the Great Lakes.
Two World Wars and the Depression (1915 – 1945) – Registered in 1994 and erected in 1994 – ID # S647
Located at County Rd. 612, Lewiston, Albert Township – Lat: 44.88416900/Long: -84.17938900
Opened in June 1933, just three months after President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) would “put people to work,” Camp Lunden was one of 103 Michigan camps organized by mid-1935. The men were originally housed in tents; however, they soon built barracks, a mess hall, and other structures. The corps planted trees, built roads, fire lines, and trout ponds, and cleared the air field for the Atlanta airport. Many of the men socialized in Lewiston, boxed, and gave musical performances. Camp Lunden closed in 1936.
In June 1933 two hundred unmarried, able-bodied men between the ages of seventeen and twenty three, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, set up camp on Hunt Creek. Soon after, they relocated to this site, which they named Camp Lunden. In 1936 forty men training to be draftsmen and civil engineers arrived. In their spare time they landscaped an earthen scale model of the state of Michigan in front of their barracks. The dug out lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and St. Clair—were fed by an artesian well and stocked with fish.