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August 30, 2013

Friends Groups Helping to Preserve Cultural and Historical Resources

Freetown State Forest BridgePhoto by Tim Mallis

"Last week Linda and I took a ride out to Freetown [State Forest] to check out the bridge for the book. While I was crawling around under it I noticed what appeared to be shipping instructions for the corrugated steel underside parts. What I can make out is "Frank R. (something) Supt. Camp SP1."

Tim Mallis, Assonet, Mass

Documenting Cultural Resources

As advocates for forest and park lands, documenting the cultural as well as the natural resources of a state property can be a rewarding and important mission of a Friends group. If you have special places within your parks, you can help The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) by documenting them:

Sharing Historical Resources

If you have historic resources within your park and would like to share photos of them with others, send your photos to friend@networkingfriends.net and we will add them to the MFPFN web site. Please tell us a little bit about them and if they are endangered tell us what the problems are.

Without public advocacy many of the places that are part of our heritage will be lost. If you have a web site add a page, with photos, about your historic resources and let us know how to link to it at friend@networkingfriend.net

Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative

DCR logo Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative (HLPI) Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative sponsors special initiatives and provides technical assistance and training to support the preservation of historically significant landscapes throughout the Commonwealth.

DCR logo Terra Firma - Free HLPI publication to help citizens and communities understand and preserve historical landscapes. Available by mail or PDF files..

Civilian Conservation Corps in Massachusetts

upton ccc building collapsed

Upton State Forest Camp SP-25

Upton State Forest is home to three remaining Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp buildings with an intact parade ground and an identifiable footprint of the original camp. In 2003 a fourth building collapsed from snow load. In 2005 Preservation Mass listed the CCC Camp as one of the “Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources in Massachusetts.”

Each year a partnership with the Friends of Upton State Forest, DCR CCC Program Committee and the Upton third grade teachers brings students to the camp for a “Day in the Life of the CCC.” The Friends hold events, themed hikes and vernal pool workshops using the camp as a base.

The camp has also been home to the Massachusetts State Guards as Camp Stover, Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Field Headquarters as Phillips Wildlife Lab, Department of Environmental Management Foresters and Carpenters and the DEM Mounted Patrol.

Without a viable plan for adaptive reuse and a long range plan for preservation of the buildings, a valuable historic resource will be lost.

Photo: Ellen Arnold, Friends of Upton State Forest

South Barn at Upton State Forest, built in 1935 as part of SP-25 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), collapsed from snow load and neglect in 2003.

The CCC camp at Upton State Forest was listed under the 2005 Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources in Massachusetts.

View a poster of the CCC Camp at Upton State Forest

CCC Camp Howe Park at Spencer State Forest

howe park, spencer state forest







Howe State Park CCC Camp

howe Brothers Marker

Photos: Mike Toomey

Howe family homestead marker at Howe State Park.

Letter to DCR regarding the proposed timber harvest at Freetown-Fall River State Forest