Hidden in the National Forest in the Upper Peninsula among the trees is an old stone chimney not far from M-28 in Brimley Township. It’s the remains of Camp Raco, Michigan’s first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) facility. The camp was created in 1933 by President Roosevelt’s New Deal plan. Two hundred young men from Detroit built the camp and lived there while working on conservation projects in the U.P. They built roads, planted trees and buildings for public use.
The camp closed in 1942 but was opened back up during World War II and used as a prisoner of war camp. It housed 267 German Nazis captured by the allied forces. After the war, the buildings were removed and only the foundations and the chimney remains. Next time you are driving along M-28 near Brimley look for the small wooden National Forest sign for Camp Raco.
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