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CCC camp gets old papers

Barracks like this housed young men in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the late 1930s. History Center president Jim Gorman and Forest Service archivist Mary Nipp welcome Carol Rice (center) to Camp Rabideau where Rice's father served. Daryle Rice was the artist for camp newspapers like the nine volumes presented to the camp by Rice last weekend.1 / 3
"My father built this tool chest," said Carol Rice (right) as Blackduck Area History Center president Jim Gorman admired the workmanship.2 / 3
Daryle Rice was the illustrator for the CCC camp newspaper, copies of which are being looked at by Forest Service archivist Mary Nipp (left) and Carol Rice, who donated a collection of the papers for the restored CCC camp to display. Photos by Jack Swenson3 / 3

A chance meeting at a Twin Cities estate sale has led to the donation of a collection of early camp papers published at Camp Rabideau, the one-time Civilian Conservation Corps camp southeast of Blackduck.

The papers were presented by Carol Rice, whose father, Daryle, was one of the young men stationed at the camp and was also the artist whose drawings appeared each week on the paper's mimeographed front page. Rice and Helen Heiland, who grew up in Hines, found they had a mutual interest in Blackduck and in Rice's desire to find a home for the papers.

Daryle Rice was also one of six brothers who went into the CCCs with his other brothers going to camps around the area. Following the start of World War II, the brothers also went into service at about the same time, Daryle into the Army Air Corps (now the U. S. Air Force) and brothers Kenneth, Clark, Melvin, Orville and Duane into the Navy. The family lived in Hill City.

In the CCC camp, Daryle also learned how to plant trees, a lesson he remembered in later years.

He became a custodian working at Lincoln High School in Bloomington. He and his brothers acquired property adjacent to the school grounds, and just as they had years before in camp at Rabideau, they planted trees over the entire acreage.

The papers Carol Rice presented were handed to Mary Nipp, whose Forest Service employment has included now being responsible for archiving material like the Rice papers.

Together with news of camp activities, each issue also includes ads for existing Blackduck businesses at that time, among them are the City Drug, Wolden's Service, the Hartz Store, Gamble's and Rolfe's Confectionery.

Rice also brought to the camp a tool chest her father had built while stationed there. The chest was reinforced with ¼-inch steel angle bars, heavy enough when empty to encourage a second person to lift it.