Camp Victor


Ozark Historical Photo 335347, November 1936; CCC Boys, first day of road work, Camp Victor.

The following is from Dr. David Jurney’s Sept 2005 report 05-10-03-13 for Bayou Ecosystem Restoration Environmental Analysis (EA) Area 3PP192; also in The Four Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Pope County Arkansas Complied by: Smoke (Michael A.) Pfeiffer, 2016.

This is a historic site, the Victor CCC Camp, a tent camp in the floodplain of the North Fork Illinois Bayou. This site was recorded on in 1985 by L. Vogele, Arkansas Archeological Survey, in conjunction with the US Army Corps of Engineers Overview. It was revisited by D. Jurney in 2005 as part of the Bayou Ecosystem project, Rotary Ann subsection. The site covers a 500 x 500 m area from 810-850 ft amsl.

Vogele placed the site on the basis of a 1932 US Forest Service administration map, and inferred that it was on a parcel with a standing building. However, the original plotting falls on privete land and does not correspond to the ground evidence. The site is located on a large landholding compiled by R.A. Rowlands and sold to the Forest Service in 1932. The tract inventory plat incorrectly places the site in the SW1/4 of the NW1/4 Section 34. The plotting of the North Fork Illinois is correct, and indicates that the plotting should be the SE1/4 of the NW1/4. In the plat, the entire area is shown as a pasture, with strip of woods along the slope and the Bayou. The camp is shown as a rectangular compound with seven large symbols suggesting group tents in the site location.

Surface manifestations at the site are a pine plantation with scattered old field cedar snags, a steel can cluster (5 x 10 m), two rectangular earthen platforms (5 x 6 m), and a series of rock lined plots (3 x 3 m) that appear to be seed beds. Surface materials include a tin enamel bucket, a railroad rail, and ornamental vegetation (yuccas, jonquils). A historic rock fence (500 x 1.2 x 1.5 m) is also present, lining the floodplain adjacent to the Bayou. Twenty-three shovel probes were excavated around the surface manifestations in 2005. All were culturally sterile. The stratigraphy is a reddish brown gravelly clay loam from 0-25 cmbgs, overlying a 2 m cobble basement.

The Camp Victor CCC camp lacks many of the structural types commonly encountered on developed CCC camps. It appears to have been a tent or “spike,” camp, used as temporary housing for special work projects. Therefore, it has high potential to contribute information relative to this less visible type of CCC Camp. The site has potential to yield information relevant to the Developed Settlement Historic Context- Work Progress Administration, CCC, and Early Forest Service A.D. 1908-1950. It is recommended eligible for the National Register. It indicates past fire and forest management of the area. Tree removal and prescribed fire are necessary to reduce deterioration of the landscape at the site.