Volunteers Sought For CCC/POW Camp Archaeological Project

(Gladstone, MI) -- Hiawatha National Forest and the US Forest Service Passport In Time Program (PIT) are currently seeking twelve volunteers to participate in an archaeological excavation at the historic Camp Au Train July 29 - August 2, 2019. No special skills are required to volunteer, but volunteers under age18 must participate with a responsible adult, and the minimum age is 12. Volunteers must commit to participate in the entire session. 

Participants will join archaeologists from the US Forest Service and the Industrial Heritage and Archaeology Program at Michigan Technological University. Passport In Time volunteers will help map the site, engage in a metal detector survey around the sites of the recreation hall and barracks, and excavate test units in the camp midden and near the mess hall.

Camp Au Train was established as a Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp in 1935 during the Great Depression (ca. 1929-1939). As one of many established camps for this federal public work relief program, Camp Au Train served as the home for numerous, unemployed young men as they engaged in conservation work in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan from approximately 1933 to 1942. However, during the final years of World War II, the camp was re-purposed to house German prisoners of war (POWs) captured during Rommel’s failed Africa campaign. Camp Au Train was one of five POW camps located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and housed about 225 prisoners and 40 US troops while occupied from 1944 through 1946.

Archaeological research at the Camp this year will focus on the everyday lives of both the CCC enrollees and the German POWs while they lived at Camp Au Train. PIT participants will map the site, engage in a metal detector survey around the Rec Hall and barracks, and excavate test units in the camp midden and near the mess hall. There is ample history to take in, and much to learn about this site, so we hope you’ll join us this July!

To learn more and apply for this volunteer opportunity, please visit the Passport In Time website (http://passportintime.com/camp-au-train-excavation-2019.html). Applications are due June 3, 2019. 

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About the U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service is an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as such is part of the federal government’s executive branch. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world.

National Forest System lands provide 20 percent of America’s drinking water.  The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

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