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NP-1 Jewel Cave
South Dakota Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp Just west of the Jewel Cave ranger cabin and acros the road in Hell Canyon


1935
Closed: 1941

A side camp from Wind Cave was established at Jewel Cave in 1935. The crew of 25 men built a 3-room ranger's cabin with public comfort stations, installed a complete sewer and water system, and developed a parking lot and camp ground. It removed old unsightly buildings at the cave entrance, widened cave trails, and constructed an attractive 800-ft trail along the cliff leading from the parking area to the ranger cabin and to the cave entrance. CCs cleared a 20-ft fire guard and built a stock fence around the perimeter of the 1,280-acre monument (BHE).

"The ranger station historic site at Jewel Cave was constructed in 1935. Originally it was used as the administration building, but was later remodeled into a ranger station/residence. Its architecture is worthy of merit, being a fine example of log construction (HP).

"Buttressed-crowned-log walls, pointed at the ends and double saddle-notched at the corners, form the logs of the irregular T-shaped plan of the structure. A log-framed, cedar-shingle-covered roof caps the building with a shed extension sheltering the front porch. The porch floor is constructed of half logs with log steps, log railings, and bracketed pole uprights extending to the shed room above. Windows are double-hung sash. The structure rests on a stone foundation" (HP).

Jewel Cave CCC Side CampJewel Cave Side Camp - Hell Canyon
courtesy photo Harold Holmes

Park Superintendent Freeland's monthly reports during 1940 and 1941 stated that a 50-man side camp from Camp Narrows was stationed at Camp NP-1 to complete the unfinished work started by Company 2754. Men from the side camp planted 40 oak trees at park headquarters. During a 3-month period beginning April 18, 1940, the Battle Mountain trail leading from Hot Springs was constructed. In July, construction was started on the utility area for the storage of oils, greases, and other flammable material (EDF).

Though the side camp was discontinued August 1, 1940, a 20-to 25-man detail commuted daily to Wind Cave until April 1941. They completed the oil house and service road and fenced the utility area (EDF).

Foreman Stuart Hill, who had been transferred to Camp Badlands, was on detached service at Wind Cave for two 60-day periods, then transferred to Camp Narrows. He supervised the construction of the north stone guard rail at park headquarters until it was completed in April 1941--200 perch (1 ft x 1 1/2 ft x 16 1/2 ft) of stone were quarried at the Cascade quarry and transported 35 miles to the cave (EDF).x

Jewel Cave side camp Hell Canyon2013 - Jewel Cave CCC campsite - Hell Canyon - courtesy photo
Jewel Cave side camp Hell Canyon2013 - Jewel Cave CCC campsite - Hell Canyon - courtesy photo
Jewel Cave side camp Hell Canyon2013 - Jewel Cave CCC campsite - Hell Canyon - courtesy photo
Jewel Cave side camp Hell Canyon2013 - Jewel Cave CCC campsite - Hell Canyon - courtesy photo

xDerschied, Lyle A. "The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Dakota, 1933-1942." Brookings, SD, South Dakota State University Foundation Press, 1986. No longer in print. Available at some libraries but may not be checked-out.

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43.7376-103.846232
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43° 44' 15.360" N103° 50' 46.435" W