Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CCC - POW - Brockport Vets

An interesting bit of Brockport history has recently surfaced about where the housing for married vets that used to be on campus came from originally. You can read more about it in the archives blog. The story is of interest not only because of some new information about our campus, but also because of the broader context it touches on.

Many are familiar with Hamlin Beach Park, up on Lake Ontario. But how many people realize that the park, like many across the region, was originally developed by workers of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s? Or that after the war began, POWs, mostly Germans, were brought from Europe and housed at Hamlin Beach? (One of the many stories about the POWs is that they were used as workers on the local farms, many of which were farmed by people of German descent, and who still spoke German.) There is a local group which is interested in the history of all this, and they do have a website. We have books in our catalog about the CCC and POWs in WWII, and America: History & Life would be great for articles on the subject.

Pictured above are Hienrich Willert and Gottfried Schulze, two men who in their youth were German POWs at the Hamlin Beach camp, and in recent years discovered via the Internet the efforts to build a small museum there. They contacted the local history group, and supplied many stories about the camp. Below is an image of the married vets housing that came from Hamlin to the campus.

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