CCC - Changing the Park

Every section of the Black Hills has responded to the call of a heavier tourist season, unfortunately Wind Cave must remain in the same old rut.

Affairs at the park, are at a standstill due to the pitiful, yet disgraceful lack of funds.

The buildings at Park Headquarters compose about the most perfect haywire outfit we have in the park system. They are a disgrace to the U.S. Government and the National Park Service.

Historic black and white photograph of CCC Camp NP-1
CCC Camp NP-1

A Struggling Park
These reports from 1920s Superintendent Roy Brazell illustrate his frustrations with operating Wind Cave National Park. Inadequate funding made it difficult to hire laborers, start much needed maintenance projects, or make any park improvements. Basic upkeep of roads and buildings was a struggle. President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps would soon change the neglected federal land into a national park worthy of the name.

Historic black and white photograph of dozens of CCC enrollees lined up
CCC Enrollees
On July 9, 1934, a CCC tent camp was established at Wind Cave National Park. NP-1, or Camp Wind Cave, annually employed 200 local men. A permanent camp was built on the hillside southeast of the visitor center. Today, only one building of the original compound remains. During the summer of 1935, a side camp was established at Jewel Cave performing projects similar to those at Wind Cave. NP-1 was transferred to the newly created Badlands National Monument (now National Park) in 1939. A side camp from Custer State Park was sent to Wind Cave to complete unfinished projects and demolish the CCC camp structures. Camp Wind Cave was officially closed in the winter of 1942, bringing an end to a very effective program and a new beginning to the park.
Black and white historic photograph of CCC Barracks

Last updated: December 28, 2017

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26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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