Fullersburg Archeology: Structures Still in Use

by Carl Strang

 

Today I want to continue reviewing the Civilian Conservation Corps chapter in the history of Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve, this time focusing on some structures that still stand.

 

I’ll begin with the single remaining “Trail Shelter” marked on the 1937 map. Earlier I described some of these shelters that today are represented by only a few foundation stones. The standing one is very simple, and you can find it by traveling north from the Visitor Center, turning left just before the Willow Island bridge, and looking on your right.

 

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This is simply a bench with a roof.

 

I long was puzzled by the different forms of shelters, sometimes so close together as to question what the builders had in mind. The map made this clear, however. Some of these structures have substantial beams and are larger.

 

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They come in various shapes, but have in common the large round beams, which were formed from the trees that were cut to create the main parking lot, and the dolomite stone slabs, which came from the Lemont Quarries. All are simply marked “Shelter” on the map, and apparently were intended for picnics and other group activities.

 

The other common trail structure design has a square shape and smaller beams with square cross sections.

 

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These are marked “Well” on the map, and originally contained pumps. Their frequent proximity to the shelters is explained as the provision of a water source for picnickers. None of these house pumps today.

 

The most substantial building left by the CCC is the Visitor Center, which they intended as a “Boat House”

 

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In Fullersburg’s heyday as the most popular property in the then much smaller Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, this building was known as The Landing and indeed housed a boat concession from which people had excursions on Salt Creek.

 

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It likewise is characterized by the use of large round beams and dolomite slabs in its construction. The CCC did a lot more at Fullersburg. Stay tuned.

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3 Comments

  1. February 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    […] entry on the Civilian Conservation Corps  chapter of Fullersburg Forest Preserve history is more speculative than the others, hence the […]

  2. February 20, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    […] Conservation Corps whether they know it or not. Most of the trails, the parking lot, bridges, dam, visitor center and trail structures were created by workers in the Fullersburg CCC camp. I have shared some of the ruins of other works […]

  3. January 6, 2010 at 7:10 am

    […] Canada goose roost in east central DuPage County is on the stretch of Salt Creek adjacent to the Fullersburg Woods  Forest Preserve visitor center, between Willow Island and the Graue Mill […]


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