Camp Michaux has played many different roles over the decades and centuries. It has recently received a roadside historical marker for its significance. Growing up and living in the area I have spent time exploring and hunting the area before the more recent activities to preserve its history.
As the historical marker states, "During WWII, the US War Dept. operated this secret facility (Camp Michaux, one of three such sites in the US. Military intelligence relating to topics such as weaponry development and Axis operations was gained from thousands of German and Japanese prisoners. Originally a farm serving the iron industry. 1785-1919, the site was converted to Civilian Conservation Corps Camp S-51-PA, 1933-42. After the war, Camp Michaux became a church camp, 1946-72.
Here are some pictures I took this past weekend of what some of the things in Camp Michaux look like now.
If there is interest, it would make a neat area for HPA photographers to meet. There is a lot more to explore than the couple things I have pictured.
Remaining barn wall from the farm, circa 1787.
Star shaped concrete structure in the ground decorated with
slag and quartz. This is thought to be another remnant of the CCC era
Storage building (7) built by the Army during the POW era.
This reservoir served as a recreation area for the guards during the POW era and the early years of the church camp.
Tomís Run was divided into two channels a hundred yards west of the reservoir. The northern channel brought water into the reservoir; the southern channel ensured that water remained in Tomís Run east of the reservoir even in times of drought.
The CCC fountain (near T1)which lies at the end of the short avenue of spruce trees. This is one of the few features of the camp that is not in ruins. The original CCC builders of the fountain used blue slag (a waste product of the iron industry) and white quartz to decorate the fountain.
Other things that jump out are the patterns in landscape features from things left over and how things were planted.
Toms Run, near Camp Michaux
So much more to take pictures of. Will be glad to get some people together.
Some picture descriptions came from the Cumberland County Historical Society.