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Camp Rabideau Preservation – Seeking Volunteers

June 23 - June 28


Start: June 23
End: June 28
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Camp Rabideau
Scenic Hwy NE
Blackduck, MN 56630 United States
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Camp Rabideau Pavilion and Barrack Preservation, Minnesota
Session Dates: June 23-28, June 30 – July 5th, July 28 – August 2, August 4-9, and August 11-16
Location: Located approximately 70 minutes Northwest of Grand Rapids, MN
Project Site Description and History:

If you haven’t noticed by now, HistoriCorps is often associated with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Restoring CCC built structures has been a niche our organization has gladly sought to fulfill and our upcoming project at Camp Rabideau may be one of those crown jewel moments where our non-profit’s mission and the CCC’s heritage intersect to make a legacy defining impact.

Camp Rabideau, located inside the Chippewa National Forest of northern Minnesota, is an exemplary effort of preservation and curation. Built in the 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Camp Rabideau is one of hundreds of work camps developed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal aimed at countering the Great Depression by putting young men to work on public lands projects across the country. The camp itself saw action from 1935 through 1941 and was built from pre-fabricated materials with the intention of being a temporary compound. Ninety years later Camp Rabideau has weathered father time due to a series of fortunate circumstances that otherwise would have left it dilapidated like most of its counterparts.

With the onset of World War II, the buildings at Camp Rabideau fell into disuse and the inevitable lack of maintenance that accompanies it. However, in 1946 the University of Illinois began utilizing Camp Rabideau for its engineering and forestry schools, but by the early 1970s it was clear these structures were not built to last and the university moved on. Over the next 20 years the camp would fall further into decay with only thirteen of the original 25 buildings still intact. In 1991 the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota would step in to help preserve this fading landmark of the New Deal and by 1999 the Chippewa National Forest would begin its own restoration efforts that would ultimately lead to a continued push for more preservation work at the camp.

In 2006 the camp was designated as a National Historic Landmark and by 2010 was repurposed as the Rabideau Conservation Academy and Learning Center, providing year-round youth programs for kids and young adults serving the nearby local counties. It’s this legacy of providing opportunities to young folks that sets Camp Rabideau apart from the many of disheveled CCC camps and recreation areas spread across the county. If you want a hands on opportunity to preserve a truly historic place that will live on in service of others, this opportunity cannot be missed!

Scope of Work:

HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Pavilion and Barrack at Camp Rabideau:

  • Restore the deteriorating cedar shake roof of the Pavilion
  • Repair and replace deteriorated posts and pedestals of the Pavilion
  • Restore and install updated flooring inside the Barrack
  • Install wall sheathing and roof insulation and sheathing at the Barrack
  • If time allows, prime and paint the roof trusses of the Barrack


Click here to for more information and registration!