Priscilla Wegars

As Rugged as the Terrain: CCC “Boys”, Federal Convicts, and World War II Alien Internees Wrestle with a Mountain Wilderness

“As Rugged as the Terrain” explores some intriguing Idaho history that took place at Canyon Creek on the Lochsa River. First, in 1933, was the Civilian Conservation Corps’ Camp F-38; the antics of these “city slickers” provide colorful insights into the lives of young men far from home. Next, in 1935, the site became Federal Prison Camp No. 11, a road-building facility for convicts mostly from the Leavenworth, Kansas, penitentiary. The authorities stressed rehabilitation, rather than punishment, but because the camp was not fenced, a few escapes occurred, some quite thrilling. Finally, beginning in May 1943, Japanese detainees at the Kooskia Internment Camp continued the road construction for two more years. Concurrently with the prison camp and internment camp periods, Italian and German internees (not POWs) worked for the Forest Service elsewhere in the vicinity