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Designation: F-10  Date: 2016-03-13


South Dakota Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp 13 miles SW of Rapid City


1933, 06/16 - 1935, Spr, 1794
Date Closed: 1935, 10/18

Camp F-10 was located 15 miles southwest of Rapid City on Rushmore Memorial Highway 40 (now U.S. 16), nestled in a valley south of Rockerville (1934). It appears that it may have been located near the center of the south section line of section 24, T 1S, R 6E.

In 1933 it contained 17 buildings-four, 50-man barracks, mess hall, kitchen, bath house, cooks' quarters, recreation hall, administration building (army and forestry), store room, foresters' cabin, CO's cabin, hospital, garage, blacksmith shop, two other cabins, and a water tower on top of the hill (1934).

Company 1794 was the only company to occupy Camp Rockerville. It was born on the eve of a young cloudburst at Fort Meade, May 18, 1933. The downpour facilitated an early christening, and the company became Headquarters Company. It consisted of 55 men transferred from other companies. Transfer of all special duty men to the company built its strength to 175 men, but further transfers and assignments caused considerable variations in the strength (1934).

Stratosphere Lift-offphoto courtesy Wayne Kewley

The company was designated as 1794, causing rumors of an exodus to the woods, which was well accepted by the embryonic "Boones" and "Mortons." The move came on June 16, when the company of 87 men was sent to Rockerville, into the Harney National Forest to Camp F-10 (1934).

During the spring of 1934 word came about a stratosphere flight to be sponsored by the U. S. Army and the National Geographic Society. The Black Hills were mentioned as a possible place from which to make the flight. A reconnoitering party that included the superintendent and company commander went to a place known as Bonanza Bar or Moonlight Valley, which seemed to be an ideal place for the flight. The spot was later investigated and approved by National Geographic and army personnel, and became known as the Stratosphere Bowl (1935).

The only adequate road to the bowl was then built by members of Company 1794. Later it set up a camp used by the technicians and army personnel connected with the flight. A guard rail was built around the top of the bowl as a safety measure for the crowds that would come to see the flight. The medical officer from Camp Rockerville was assigned to temporary duty as surgeon of the Strato camp (1935).x

xDerschied, Lyle A. "The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Dakota, 1933-1942." Brookings, SD, South Dakota State University Foundation Press, 1986. No longer in print. Available at some libraries but may not be checked-out.

Camp Rockerville (photo scan donated by Steve Bennedict)
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Rockerville Enrollees (photo scan donated by Steve Bennedict)
Steve Benedict's father, John Harry Benedict, was enrolled in Camp Rockerville and is 3rd row down and 5th from the left in the group photo
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43° 57' 18.626" N103° 22' 10.331" W

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