Farmington River: Wild & Scenic
In this Area in the Past.....
The Austin Hawes Memorial Campground is located in an area once known as the "Greenwoods," where until the late 1700's large pine and hemlock trees grew along the Farmington River. From 1800 to 1942 this was agricultural land. Starting in 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) used portions of it for athletic fields. When the CCC Camp White closed in 1942, pines began growing up again in the area.
The Austin Hawes Campground, built in 1969, was named after Austin Hawes. Hawes, who served intermittently as Connecticut State Forester for 27 years between 1904 and 1943, helped to guide the development of Connecticut State Forests and the management of woodlands throughout the state.
The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp White, 1934 to 1942 was located at the site of the current Youth Group Camping Area in American Legion. The stone chimney still stands today.
Camp White was located upriver from the campground, on the west side of the road. During the Great Depression 250 men lived in the camp. They planted trees, helped to control forest fires, and build roads, trails and the Stone Museum in Peoples State Forest.
Youngsdale Mill was located downriver from the campground, on the riverbank below the Forestry Office and
the Senior Center. From 1834 to 1880 the mill produced wood shingles, lumber, chair parts, clothes pins, and other wood products.