CPS Unit Number 089-01
Unit ID: 1
Operating agency: AFSC
Opened: 3 1943
Closed: 4 1943
Total number of workers who worked in this camp: 63
The American Friends Service Committee operated this camp which opened in March 1943 after a number of delays. It closed one month later. In one piece of correspondence, Dr. Alex M. Burgess, Jr., referred to the camp as Swallows Falls. (Burgess)
Oakland is located in the southern tip of the farthest northwest county of Maryland near the source of the Potomac River. Cumberland, Maryland, to the east in the next county, was the nearest town at which the camp could find a supply of pasteurized milk.
The camp relied on water from a deep well at the camp, so isolated that “no human habitation anywhere near enough to pollute it.” (Drury)
Director: John Ferguson
Assistant Dir: Herbert Hadley
A large group of men transferred from CPS Camp No. 54, a forest service base camp at Warner, New Hampshire, when the camp closed due to lack of financial and other support. The Warner men desired to transfer as a group, with the largest number leaving for this camp. Of the Warner men, the majority were Catholic, and they had faced many struggles at Warner. See CPS Camp No. 54 for background on the men and their experience there.
The men trained to fight fires also performed fire prevention activities, removing dead trees known as snags, readying equipment, while also maintaining trails and roads.
From the few records for this camp, it appears that its short life must have required significant adjustment and accommodation. Dr. Alex M. Burgess wrote to a Dr. Baumgartner, “The situation at this camp will be somewhat complicated by the fact that a group of men previously in a camp sponsored by the Association for Catholic Conscientious Objectors are being transferred in a body to this camp. I have no idea of the sort of physical check they have been subject to but plan to check over the group in some way and see whether they will need re-examination ….” (March 15, 1943)
AFSC Memorandum to Andy Burgess from Roger Drury dated November 27, 1942 in records compiled by Anne Yoder, Archivist Swarthmore College Peace Collection, April 25, 2011, American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG002), Section 1, CPS Administration, Box 63c folder “Oakland (#89): medical care”.
Letter from Alex M. Burgess, Jr. M.D., Medical Director to Dr. Eugene Irving Baumgartner dated March 15, 1943 in records compiled by Anne Yoder, Archivist Swarthmore College Peace Collection, April 25, 2011, American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG002), Section 1, CPS Administration, Box 63c folder “Oakland (#89): medical care”.
For general information on CPS see Albert N. Keim, The CPS Story: An Illustrated History of Civilian Public Service. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1990.
Gordon C. Zahn, Another Part of the War: The Camp Simon Story. Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1979.