New Deal Tour Highlighted for History Buffs Across the State

Historical Society of Michigan Membership Magazine features article written by Friends of Ocqueoc Outdoor Center Board Member Mary Ann Heidemann.

Looking for something fun and educational to do in Northeast Michigan? Mary Ann Heidemann, Board Member of the Friends of Ocqueoc Outdoor Center, would like to introduce you to the many sites that came about as the result of the New Deal.

What’s the New Deal? To explain it, we need to take you back to the Great Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had just taken office, and he quickly assembled a series of programs, public work projects, regulations and financial reforms to help put the country on the fast track to recovery. One of those programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), affording young men and veterans the opportunity to work on reforesting land and constructing public buildings.

Some of these men arrived here in Presque Isle County and lived at CCC Camp Black Lake, which is now the Ocqueoc Outdoor Center. Heidemann’s booklet, The New Deal Tour of Presque Isle County, highlights their projects.

The Chronicle featured a four-page spread of photos from the book and a map to help its members find their way from one historical landmark to the next. Among the many photos included in the article are P.F. Hoeft State Park, and Onaway State Park , where structures erected by the CCC Camp Black Lake residents still stand. It also covers the Rogers City Post Office and the sign for the Rogers City airfield, which came to being as part of the New Deal but were not a part of the CCC Camp Black Lake’s efforts.

Also featured in the article is the Ocqueoc Outdoor Center, a set of modular buildings assembled by CCC Camp Black Lake and used as home base while these projects were underway. One of only two CCC locations left in the state of Michigan, it’s even more unique in that it didn’t house the typical population of men for which this program was formed. “It was a veterans camp, not youth ages 18 to 24” Heidemann told the Presque Isle Advance in a June 2 article. “It was veterans of World War I.”

If you’re not a member of the Historical Society of Michigan, you are still able to take part in a New Deal tour! The booklet is on sale for $10.

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