Friday, April 13, 2012
Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War Recreational Hall
The Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War Recreational Hall, Eldora, Iowa, built in November, 1933 circa, was used by Companies 1755 Camp Flying Goose (November, 1933-July, 1935) and Company 1752 The Erosioners (July, 1935-1942). In the fall of 1943, it is recorded that Italian Prisoners of War from Missouri came up and lived in the old CCC campsite to help harvest hemp from the fields for two of Iowa's hemp mills, Iowa Falls and Grundy Center. When the harvest was completed and the camp made ready for the German Prisoners they returned to Missouri. In mid-1944, German Prisoners of War came from the Algona PW Camp to work in the Marshall Canning Factories in the surrounding communities of Ackley, Hampton, Reinbeck, and Marshalltown. They also helped local farmers in several communities on their farms and with harvest. German prisoners of war remained in the Eldora campsite until the war was over in 1946.
The CCC/POW Recreational Hall is the last original building of the campsite. It remains in the same location north of the Eldora Cemetery in Eldora, Iowa. The Recreational Hall is currently a "T" shaped building with a beautiful sandstone fireplace on the north side of the building. It may be viewed from 11th Avenue of the Hardin County Fairgrounds. Renovations started in 2009 and continue. Watch for future postings and more information about the CCC, POWs, Pine Lake, and the military museum that is currently underway.