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59 4 View of intersection before underpass project, looking east from county road meeting park road, June 1934. National Archives, CCC records, Project 47C, photo #1. Work Projects O n January 6, 1934, a meeting of CCC camp superintendents of state park projects was held in Springfield. Called by Robert Kingery, Illinois director of the Department of Public Works and Buildings , and attended by Dr. Service, procurement officer, and Harry Curtis and R. C. Van Drew, inspectors for the National Park Service, the meeting was arranged to verify approval of work projects for the coming months.1 One complicated proposed project at Giant City was accepted at this meeting. Through the park’s center crossed two roads, one known as the Park Road, which ran north and south, and the county gravel road that ran more or less east to west in the park. A bridge and subway road, referred to as Project 47C, were approved for construction at this juncture. The first order of business to prepare for this long-term project was to build detour roads so the local farm-tomarket travel would not be disrupted.2 the subway project Throughout January, February, and March of 1934, the subway or underpass project demanded most of the energy from both Companies 696 and 1657. The average strength of the two companies combined in January was 393 men, allowing 298 men entirely for work details. Company 696 put a detail on the subway, and Company 1657 put men on the second unit of the road leading from the north entrance. For the subway construction, approximately 5LSSHO&KUHYLQGG $0 work projects 60 Work project map, February 1934. Note the subway under construction. National Archives, CCC records. 5LSSHO&KUHYLQGG $0 work projects 61 Aerial view of Giant City State Park showing the north entrance road and the subway location. Published by U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1938, Map Library, Morris Library, SIUC. 5LSSHO&KUHYLQGG $0 work projects 62 Excavating 50 percent complete on underpass project. National Archives, CCC records, Project 47C, photo #4. Work on stone wall of underpass project, June 1934. National Archives, CCC records, SP-11. 5LSSHO&KUHYLQGG $0 work projects 63 fifty men per day were used to dynamite and shovel dirt and rock at the excavation area. Each month, as many as 192 sticks of dynamite were set into holes drilled five to six feet deep. Thousands of yards of dirt were then used as fill on the areas of road being prepared by Company 1657. Retaining walls were built to hold fill that was spread by the single shovelful . Foreman William Unger supervised this work. Stones for bridge abutments were carefully stacked, and two concrete culverts were poured for the northernmost sections of road. Superintendent Albin F. Olson highly praised the men of both camps, saying their work was beyond expectation and had been performed as fast and as satisfactorily as could be expected by a contractor “on the outside.” Particularly the stonemasonry on the bridge abutments was compared by Olson to the fine work of professional stonemasons.3 George Oliver laid some of the rocks along the bridges and roads, explaining that the rocks were picked right out of the creek. The trick to laying the rocks, he said, was to slope each rock back a little bit. It was slow work, requiring the patience to try to fit a rock onto the wall, and if it didn’t fit just right, the men would try another rock. “We’d just keep moving those rocks around until they fit right.”4 stone fort is rebuilt Everyone who was well acquainted with the Giant City Park area by 1933 had walked among the piled stones on the 125-foot bluff outside Makanda called Stone Fort. Many wondered about the ancient history of the wall’s builders. Archaeologists have now determined that Makanda’s Stone Fort is actually one of ten such enigmatic prehistoric walls located on bluff tops in southern Illinois. Although referred to most often by the public as forts, experts today consider it unlikely that they were built either for defense or as animal Excavation at Bridge #1 for abutments and center pier, May 1934. National Archives, CCC records, SP-11. 5LSSHO&KUHYLQGG $0 work projects 64 Bridge #3, showing hewn stringers in place and stone abutments completed, March 1934. National Archives, CCC records, SP-11. Bridge #3 completed with hewn superstructure in place, March 1934. National Archives, CCC records, SP-11. 5LSSHO...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780809385638
Related ISBN
9780809329229
MARC Record
OCLC
649913235
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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