Camp Ripley is home both to a Veteran’s Cemetery and a National Guard Training Base. The original dry stone perimeter walls were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) in phases from 1934 -1942 using locally quarried granite. The C.C.C. was a public work relief program in the United States for unemployed married men from relief families.
The program was a major part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by Federal, State and local governments. The C.C.C. provided employment for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. The tens of thousands of acres of pine plantations here in Northern Michigan bear living witness to the C.C.C.’s nationwide reforestation campaign.
The 5,000′ feet of dry stone wall we repaired and rebuilt varied in condition. Some needed only minor work, whereas other sections were completely taken apart and rebuilt. We fortified the wall according to the contract’s specifications and consumed an additional 120 tons of the local granite. A significant amount of that material went inside of the wall. This unseen part inside the wall is known as “packing”, “fill”, “core-fill”, or “hearting” – as it is also called in Scotland. It is literally the guts of the wall that hold it up and prevent it from collapsing inwardly.