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News of Yavapai County

Archaeological Society to review reconstruction of Chevelon Canyon CCC Camp

The next meeting of the Arizona Archaeological Society Verde Valley Chapter. The meeting will be on Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m. at the Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road in West Sedona.

The presenter for our April meeting will be Joey LaValley, a professional archaeologist with the firm Logan Simpson, who currently resides in Flagstaff, AZ. He has a BA and MA in anthropology from Georgia Southern University and the University of Nevada, Reno, respectively.

His master’s thesis assessed prehistoric obsidian procurement and stone tool production in northwest Nevada; however, in his 7 years as an archaeologist throughout the southwest and intermountain west, he has gained a special appreciation for historical archaeology and history of the west.

He has recorded the archaeological remains of carbonari/charcoal production areas in central Nevada, SLC-San Bernardino railroad camps in Las Vegas, sections of the General Crook Trail and accompanying telegraph line on the Prescott NF, and WWII-era aspen carvings in northern New Mexico.

He will present a paper on the Chevelon Canyon Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp (F-78-A), located 35 miles south of Winslow on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF), was in operation from 1939 to 1942 and was one of only two permanent camps located in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country. Its history and the recollections of one of its enrollees, Charles Pflugh, were presented in a 2006 book and 2007 Journal of Arizona History article written by Robert Moore.

In 2016, as part of an ASNF site relocation project, the camp’s archaeological remains were documented for the first time since closure. Though most of the buildings were transported and repurposed into barracks at Luke AFB at the onset of WWII, their foundations/outlines, a complex network of pedestrian footpaths, and traces of a water/sewage system are still visible and easily accessible amongst the resurgent pinyon-juniper woodland.

With the aid of a 1940 hand drawn sketch map and inventory of the camp, available archival photographs, Charles Pflugh’s testimony as reported by Robert Moore, standards and blueprints of CCC camp buildings, and other supporting historic documents, this paper will interpret our archaeological data to reconstruct how the camp was erected, spatially arranged, and operated.

Please join us for this fascinating program. Our meetings are open to the public: admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. For additional information or questions, contact Tom Cloonan @ 206-849-8476, or check out our website: www.azarchsoc.org/VerdeValley

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