Giant City State Park

Okay, you got me...not Kansas, but it does have a personal connection so bear with me.

I just finished a new (2010) book by Kay Rippelmeyer entitled Giant City State Park and the Civilian Conservation Corps: A History in Words and Pictures. I had been eagerly anticipating the release since happening upon it on Amazon a few months ago with a "preorder" option. While I am interested in almost any of the recent publications detailing the work of the CCC around the country, this one holds my interest even more since I lived just a few minutes from Giant City State Park while working in Southern Illinois in the mid-1990s. The park is a great slice of the Southern Illinois landscape and that in itself makes it worth a stop for those who might be making a trip through that part of the world- the fact that it was developed by the CCC is a bonus. A visit to Giant City Lodge is a must if you make the stop at the park.

The park was home to two camps, one positioned in each of two counties (Jackson and Union), in part to ease tension in local politics where different political parties were in control in each county. Work included constructing infrastructure to make the park more accessible and user-friendly as well as conservation work of the park's natural and cultural environs.

The background focusing on this particular park development, the history of the work at the park, and the numerous illustrations of the work through period photographs and other documents (186 illustrations total) is what I enjoyed the most. I can hardly wait to go back and visit again now that I'm armed with this guide to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps at Giant City State Park. If you're interested in the work of the CCC in park development at the state level, this is an excellent and focused history of such work in Illinois. I look forward to Rippelmeyer's future publication on the Shawnee National Forest and the CCC for much the same reason. Check it out if you get the chance...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog. One of my favorites. Keep up the good work!