Schroeder Area Historical Society, Schroeder, Minnesota
The oral history of Kenneth Bonin describes his first visit to the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, and visit with his brother at a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, World War II military service in the Pacific theater, building Edwin Lundie Cabins with Joe Pecore, work at Reserve Mining in Silver Bay, Minnesota, and Erie Mining, Taconite Harbor, Minnesota, home building, Schroeder, Minnesota, life, running Gunderson Resort, Schroeder, Minnesota.
This interview was conducted on February 18, 1990 by Richard Olson. Sherby Roy Woods was born August 17, 1918 in Iowa. After moving to Minnesota, he worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the lumber industry as a heavy equipment operator in northern Minnesota. Woods was drafted into the Army on October 14, 1941 at the age of 23. During the war, he was attached to Company B, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division. Discharged as a Technician Fifth Grade, Woods worked in heavy equipment and demolitions during campaigns in North Africa and Italy. Woods shared his opinions of Allied soldiers and Axis Power POWs and what he described as the poor training given to replacement troops. He also described how the war changed the U.S. military, including his improvised invention of a more efficient automatic transmission system for light tanks. After returning to the U.S. in 1945, Woods married Cora Lillian Moe, attended heavy equipment maintenance school on the GI Bill, and began a long series of treatments for a facial injury at the Veterans Administration hospital. He worked on heavy equipment for Milaca County until his retirement. Woods concluded the interview with a discussion of contemporary events such as apartheid in South Africa and stated that embargos are a more effective tool than war. He passed away on January 23, 2007 at the age of 88 and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Milaca, Minnesota.
Image of CCC building in Hovland, MN, that was still standing and used for storage by possibly both the highway department and the forest service until the 1990s. Rock walls and stairs from this camp can still be seen on the Arrowhead Trail in Hovland.
Clarence Johnson talks about his work in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He describes the camp at Big Lake in Beltrami County, Minnesota and the various work assignments including fire prevention, firefighting, road building, tree planting, roadside cleanup and forest conservation.
Alfred (Irv) Nelson discusses his work with Company 708 of the Civilian Conservation Corps located at Rabideau Lake, South of Blackduck in Beltrami County, Minnesota. He describes the camp and camp life, and the various work projects including road building, tree planting, firefighting and fire prevention.