115. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Campfire Center.
Historic CCC Campfire Center.
Current campfire center modeled after the historic CCC style.
Group Picnic Area.
Group Picnic Area.

As one of the 50 parks that the Civilian Conservation Corps worked on from 1933 to 1942, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park contains one of the largest collections of structures and campground furniture constructed by the corps. The CCC was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, and employed more than 2 million young men between the ages of 18 and 25 to develop recreational areas and conserve natural resources. Corps members would receive steady pay, three meals a day, clean clothes, a place to live, and a sense of community. Pfeiffer’s corps members, known as Camp Big Sur, built many of the buildings still standing in the park today, including the Warden’s Cottage and its garage (now the Ewoldsen Nature Center), Recreational Hall and campground restrooms. The CCC also constructed the picnic tables, trails and water fountains found around the park. They followed a “rustic aesthetic,” using a mix of river rocks and redwood lumber to blend in with the park’s surroundings.