Listen to oral histories about Prince William Forest Park

Oral histories are our window to the past. They are personal, telling, compelling stories of individual experiences within a historical context. Visit our various Oral History Pages to learn more about a particular historical period.

Farm Families
19th/20th Century

Civilian Conservation Corps
1936-1942

Summer Camps
1936-1980s

Office of Strategic Services
1942-45



 
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Park Families
Generations of families lived, farmed, and died on lands that today make up Prince William Forest Park. Remnants of their lives are scattered beneath this forest preserve. They are our park families, and their stories should not be forgotten.

 
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Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
The Civilian Conservation Corps built Prince William Forest Park from scratch. From 1936 to 1942, the CCC used locally harvested materials to turn farmland into an outdoor playground for D.C. area residents.

 
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Summer Camps
Prince William Forest Park was originally called Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA). Chopawamsic was founded in 1936 as a place for inner-city kids to play in the country air. Learn more about the great depression-era summer camps that first used Prince William Forest Park in the 1930s.

 
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Spies in the Park (Office of Strategic Services)
From 1942-1945, the Office of Strategic Services occupied Prince William Forest Park. Beneath the cover of a vast forest, America's fledgling spy agency trained thousands of men how to win the hidden front of World War II - the clandestine war.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

18100 Park Headquarters Road
Triangle, VA 22172

Phone:

(703) 221-7181

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