THAT REMINDS ME WITH MARILYN HAGERTY: Turtle River State Park takes shape in '37

When you turn back the pages of time 75 years, you find news of the Civilian Conservation Corps Company 764 holding an open house near Larimore, N.D.

When you turn back the pages of time 75 years, you find news of the Civilian Conservation Corps Company 764 holding an open house near Larimore, N.D.

Northwest Airlines was showing interest in making a stop at the airport here. And the drought continued with soil erosion showing up.

Residents of northeastern North Dakota were invited to visit the camp of the CCC Company by Capt. Lawrence Holder. Located north of Arvilla, N.D., it was then called the Grand Forks State Park. It is now Turtle River State Park.

The purpose of the open house in 1937 was to acquaint the public on the fourth anniversary of the founding of the organization with the work being done and the service being given to the enrollees and the public, the Herald reported.

"There seems to be an indefinite knowledge of just what the CCC is, what it does, how it operates, how it trains the men and how it is maintained," the story continued.


The open houses were being held at CCC camps across the country.

The work project of the camp on Turtle River near Arvilla was to be shown. Residents were asked to inspect the camp at any time to get an idea of what the camps were doing in the way of betterment for communities of America.

When the CCC was established by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1933, the army was the only existing agency. Holder said it was equipped to take care of the conditioning, feeding, housing, clothing and transportation of the corps.

Army officers organized the corps. The army continued to control activities in connection with the camps. The enrolled members were turned over to the project superintendent for the work day, except for the few men necessary to operate the camp. The members reverted to the control of the army at the end of the work day.

This, the Herald reported, gives the camps the benefit of the army procurement, distribution, medical, record, discipline, welfare, educational and recreational services. The army also was responsible for the proper feeding, clothing and housing of enrollees.

The army finance officer arranged for the payment of the men. The base pay was $30 a month, of which $5 was paid to the enrollee and $25 mailed to the relative or dependent named by the enrollee. A small percentage of the enrollees received an additional $6 to $15 a month for special responsible duties.

The fact that Northwest Airways was showing interest in stopping in Grand Forks prompted interest in airport improvement here in the spring of 1937.

J.R. Dubuque of Chicago, an airport engineer of the U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce, inspected the Grand Forks municipal airport 75 years ago. He conferred with civic leaders regarding features to be considered in development of the airport.


Among those accompanying Dubuque on the airport inspection was C.A. Dow, Works Progress Administration engineer at Grand Forks.

Dubuque said he would study the plans and make necessary recommendations. The ultimate aim, he said, was to secure satisfactory usable facilities, allowing future expansion.

Because of the increasing size of transport planes and longer take-offs required, the present 3,500 foot runway requirements soon would be outmoded.

Soil drifting already had started in Grand Forks County in April 1937, according to County Agent William Page. Prompt control of drifting in small areas would check drifting over greater areas and prevent damage getting out of control, he said.

Spreading of manure or straw with first signs of drifting was recommended by G.N Geisler, extension soil conservationist.

Another method was to cultivate with a shallow tillage implement while the ground was still frozen. This meant going two or three inches below the surface. Wet soil turned up usually forms clods, which resist wind action for some time, Geisler said.

A booklet on emergency wind-erosion control was available at the county agent's office in the court house.

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