Camden State Park CCC/WPA/Rustic Style historic resources consist of a historic district containing a public use area and service yard. The district includes 13 contributing resources, all located on the banks of the scenic Redwood River. Architects were from the Minnesota Central Design Office of the National Park Service and the Design Office of the Minnesota Division of State Parks. Both the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration were active in the park.
The park’s historic district includes these resources:
Public Use Area
Recreational Dam and Lake
Shelter and Concession
Warehouse and Garage
Ice and Wood House
Camden State Park was considered an important link in the state park system because it provided recreational facilities to a large section of western Minnesota. The landscape design for Camden State Park is architecturally significant as a notable example of National Park Service master planning that allowed the natural topography of the winding Redwood River to determine the location of the various functional areas in the park.
Camden State Park was acquired by the state in 1934 and was officially established in 1935. The park was developed by CCC Camp SP-11, which first occupied the park on August 10, l934. The enrollees were World War I Veterans. (Camps of this type were also termed VCC camps or Veteran Conservation Corps camps.) An additional 32 veterans were transferred to the camp from Missouri in 1936. Because development in Camden State Park was completed by the end of September 1936, CCC Camp SP-11 moved to Fort Ridgely State Park to finish work left undone when the CCC camp in that park was abandoned in October 1935.
Several WPA projects were initiated at Camden State Park after the VCC camp left. This included dismantling the VCC camp buildings that had been located at the present-day site of the campground. Three buildings in particular were moved to a remote location in the park to be used as a group camp facility. The Swimming Instructor's Cabin and the Ice and Wood House were also constructed as WPA projects.
For current information about Camden State Park, go to the DNR website.