The listings were announced this month and culminate a six-year-long process that started with a cultural landscape study prepared under the auspices of the National Park Service. The campground contains a number of important historical resources and is one of the most popular in the area, said Supervising Ranger Rob Colligan.
“It is one of the few campgrounds in the district that is on reservation year-round,” he said. “It also has electrical hookups and several large group campsites.”
Campers enjoying the facility Tuesday said they were unaware of the long history of the campground. They all said they enjoyed the campground because of its ideal location and mild weather.
Darryll and May Walker of Clovis said they have stayed at the campground several times a year for the past six or seven years.
“The campground is easy to find and get to,” May Walker said. “It’s also quiet and away from downtown.”
The site was developed in the 1920s as a speculative residential development that failed with the onset of the Great Depression. The state purchased the land in 1934, and the Civilian Conservation Corps finished construction of the campground in 1939 as a Depression-era public works project.
Craftsmen with the CCC constructed 47 stone masonry picnic tables, masonry-sided grills and a restroom and shower building, all of which are still used today. They were built in an architectural style called “National Park Service rustic.”
The campground now has 135 campsites and five restroom and shower buildings. It joins Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, called Hearst Castle, as the district’s other nationally recognized historical resource.
Listing of the campground and its historical structures in the national and state registers ensures their protection and helps ensure resources for their preservation for future generations.