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Former CCC members recall early days in Darrington with historical society
DARRINGTON The Darrington Historical Society enjoyed some special guests at its April meeting. Two former Civilian Conservation Corps campers, Lloyd Larsen and Stan Lloyd, were guest speakers. Both of Everett, the two men both attended the Camp Darrington when they were young, albeit at different times, according to Leah Tyson of the DHS. Tyson said they didnt meet until years later but have been close friends since then.
Stan came up here not liking the outdoors, Tyson said. So he went in for the cook training. He liked the job and they worked three days on and three days off, so it gave him more time to spend with his family in Everett.
Lloyd Larsen, on the other hand, was used to being out in the woods and working hard. He had been logging with his father for years in the Darrington area.
So he wanted to be on the labor crew to be outside, Tyson said.
He was one of many who helped build CCC buildings, shelters and trails as well as fighting forest fires.
He helped build the shelter and fire pits at Clear Creek, Tyson added.
Tyson and her fellow historians shared a lot of stories about the impact of the CCCs on Darrington at the meeting.
One of the stories told about our CCC boys is that they are the ones who named the area just a short ways south of Darrington. They called it PunkinTown. It is said that the reason they called it PunkinTown was that Minnie Brysons dad had a huge pumpkin patch.
A few think it might have been named for all of the pretty girls in the company town there. It is thought that the boys may have referred to the girls they frequently visited as punkins.
The CCC boys were not allowed to bring their cars to the camp so those fortunate enough to have a car had to hide it in the woods.
Then they would quietly sneak out of camp and go to town, Tyson said.
A long-time district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service was also present at the special meeting. A CCC expert himself, Pete Selvig shared quite a bit of information.
After the presentation, Selvig took Lloyd Larsen and Stan Lloyd and DHS members Martha Rasmussen and Erika Morris and the historical societys photographer on a very interesting tour of the forest service compound.
He wanted to show our guests some of the buildings from their CCC era, that were still around, Tyson said. They viewed a garage, a portable building, and the vintage bunkhouse that a Darrington high school class is restoring.
We asked Stan and Lloyd if they knew who the infamous Thor was, but they didnt know. Tyson explained that Thors name and a little declaration of his character were scratched into the inside wood-work of the house, by someone who was helping to build it, so they are always on a mission to find out more about Thor.
The historical society recorded the presentation and it is available for purchase from DHS. The historical society meets in the Nels Bruseth room at the U.S. Forest Service building at 10 a.m. every second Saturday of each month. Visitors are welcome.