Tuesday, February 8, 2011

D Is For Dam

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is D. D is for Dam, as in the old stone dam right here in Mena.


I like to hike back to this old stone dam that is not far from town. I first found the dam in August 2006 through Geocaching. There was a cache listed that was called The CCC DAM BOMBER TRAIL cache. I had a hard time figuring out how to get to this cache, and even though I made it I did everything wrong. I found an old cowpath through the brush that took me to the bottom of the dam on Ward Lake. I climbed the dam and bushwacked through the bottom of Ward Lake as it was dry. I found my way up the creek bed and eventually came to the bottom of the CCC Dam. I had to climb the dam to get to the cache. Once I made it to the dam, I realized that there was a trail, and I took it out to the road.

On The Dam

The dam was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was a work relief program for young men from unemployed families, established on March 21, 1933, by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As part of Roosevelt's New Deal legislation, it was designed to combat unemployment during the Great Depression. The CCC became one of the most popular New Deal programs among the general public and operated in every U.S. state.

During its nine-year existence the CCC enlisted nearly 3 million single men between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five to work at erosion control, fire prevention, land reclamation, and pest eradication. For their service, enrollees received $30 monthly, $25 of which they were required to send home to their families.

In Arkansas, the CCC erected 446 buildings, constructed 6,500 miles of road, built eight dams, laid 250 miles of fence, erected 86 lookout towers in forests, planted 19.4 million trees and strung 8,600 miles of telephone line. They also built cabins, pavilions, bridges and trails in Arkansas’ state parks.

View From Below The Dam

Every time that I reach the dam I am amazed by it . It looks like an archeological site. The trail is almost never used, so there is absolutely no indication of people having been there. Every time I see it I feel like I have discovered it again.

Gina and I On The Trail


  1. Interesting post, Richard. I didn't realize that the CCC did so much work in Arkansas. I was a kid living in Texas/New Mexico while most of that was going on. My dad was a supervisor of a CCC team, and built a dam at Balmorhea TX. He also worked with a NM crew and did a lot of work in an area which is now part of Bandelier National Monument, just south of Los Alamos, NM.

  2. Sometimes, it can be more fun to go off the trail!

  3. What an interesting post for the D Day, Richie! Looks like a great day out! I particularly love the sunshine!!!! Hope you have a great week!

    ABC Team

  4. I am forever greatful for what the CCC has done in every state. The preservation and development of so many sites gives us places to go and things to see.
    Great post and nice picture of you and your wife.

  5. Great topic ! And, great photo of you guys. When the cache was first placed by a local cacher named 1tonJeep, it caught our attention. Guess what, we made the same bush whacking way into the dam and also had to climb it ! We really enjoyed your article. Thanks buddy.
    harm & bett

  6. That would be fun walking a trail that makes you feel you are discovering the dam over and over. :)

  7. That was an interesting post today. I learn so much each week on ABC Wednesday. Nice choice for D day.

  8. It looks as though it is organically part of the forest. Sounds a great trail walk.

  9. How neat that you found this dam and it remains to be an inspiration to you. Sounds like the CCC left an indelible mark on Arkansas -- as I'm sure it did in many states. Interesting post. :)

  10. Gotta love this dam. Sounds like a great deal of fun - good-looking twosome, too!

  11. very dam interesting narrative.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  12. Fascinating about the dam...looks like a gorgeous place for a stroll.

    ABCW Team

  13. Looks like a great place for a hike. There are so many here in Arkansas. Hope y'all are ready for more snow.

  14. Very informative post. I wonder how they made it. And took a very good shot. Thanks for sharing and the visit!

  15. What a beautiful dam and a dam good story. ;-)

  16. vivid and valid demonstration of the dam, it is old stone yet it reminds one of history and memories.

    beautiful take.

  17. Great topic, picures and narative so interesting. Lovely picture of you and your wife, Gina.

  18. I've never been to a damn trail before...:) thanks for sharing! Check out my ABC Wednesday entry too. Thanks! have followed your blog.

  19. What a beautiful trail and damn! How exciting to h ave found it! I always think I'd like to geocaching, but I don't have the time. I know it would finally make me learn how to use my GPS gadget.
    Great photos!