14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2021 11:14 AM by Linda Naoi Goetz

    Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH

    Delsey Wilson Newbie

      We own property next to Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, Ohio. The property has several foundations and other features from a recent time. We were told it was once a CCC camp. I have found proof Serpent Mound did receive support from multiple divisions of the "New Deal" starting in the mid 1930's. However, I did not find a Serpent Mound camp at ccclegacy.org. I have searched our Ohio State online WPA archive, it has nothing of help. Any suggestions on where to look next? Local land records department had nothing. The 1940 Census Enumeration Map showed a camp, I believe it is "Pine Gap", but not sure. Also, who owned the properties that the WPA/CCC camps were built on? I was thinking of doing a deed search.

        • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          The Guide to Federal Records lists quite a lot of microfilm, photos, and other types of records for Ohio for the Public Works Administration https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/069.html

          All photographs and moving pictures are at NARA-College Park, MD and they probably have all the other records, but I suggest contacting them to make certain

          • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
            Jason Atkinson Guide

            Dear Ms. Wilson,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            According to the National Register of Historic Places submission for “Twentieth-Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio,” Camp Pine Gap in Peebles was a CCC camp for African American veterans that performed work for the Soil Conservation Service.


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 43 records series relating to camps in the Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps (Record Group 35) and 92 record series relating to Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the Records of the Records of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Record Group 114). For more information about these records, please email the reference unit listed as the contact in the Catalog description.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from the various NARA units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            Camp Pine Gap is listed on the webpages CCC Camps Supervised by the Soil Conservation Service and CCC Camps Ohio. We also searched online for "Camp Pine Gap" CCC and "Camp Pine Gap" "Soil Conservation Service" and located a number of additional sources, to include newspaper articles.


            We suggest performing the deed search you said you were considering.  We also suggest contacting local and state libraries, historical societies and similar institutions such as Ohio History Connection.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

              • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                Delsey Wilson Newbie

                Thank you Jason,


                Sorry, my comment wasn't clear that the camp I am looking for is not Pine Gap, but the one next to Serpent Mound. Pine Gap is the closest one that I can find any mention of but not the camp I am looking for.
                Northern Adams County, Ohio 1940 Census Map

                The locals all say it was a CCC camp, however, I have found many local references both from the state Ohio Historical Societies Records and local newspapers that mention several of the New Deal branches worked there - WPA, NYA, CCC,

                  "The forty State Memorials (State parks) in custody of the Society have profited greatly during the past year through resources of WPA and the National Park Service, under the energetic guidance of Curator McPherson and Assistant Curator Zepp. A number of smaller memorials virtually have been brought up to date, while the larger properties, as Fort Ancient, Serpent Mound and Schoenbrunn, will require from one to two years' additional attention before the improvements which they merit will be completed. Some $200,000 have been spent in this quarter, the generosity of the two government agencies, thus advancing these areas far beyond what could be expected under normal State appropriations."  APRIL 21, 1936-APRIL 20, 1937. VOL. 46
                  "The Society cannot overestimate the aid accorded by the National Park Service, through CCC and WPA, in this important development." APRIL 21, 1936-APRIL 20, 1937. VOL. 46

                "C.C.C. labor has been provided by the Soil Conservation Service at Fort Ancient, Fort Hill and Serpent Mound." 

                1940 Vol. 49, pg.225

                "The Secretary reported that the Sundry Claims Board had allowed a claim for $164.1O in settlement for delinquent taxes due prior to the purchase of the Hanby Memorial at Westerville, but had rejected the claim for reimbursement of $5,360.27 expended in 1936 and 1937 on W.P.A. projects at Fort Ancient, Hanby House, Mound City, Serpent Mound, and Tarlton Cross." 1941 VOL. 50


                Should I be searching for a WPA Camp instead? Or looking under the National Park Service? I will try walking the property back to see "Who" owned it during the 30's and 40's.

                • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                  Delsey Wilson Newbie



                  Thank you for your generous suggestions. Since my husband and I are avid Serpent Mound Researchers, we have already acquired all of the multitude of articles on Serpent Mound from the Library of Congress Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers. Through that I had previously also identified from local newspapers several of the projects done by the WPA, CCC, or NYA.


                  My Husband and I have been researching all things Serpent Mound since 2004, he is compiling a very large and informative collection and turning it into a coffee table size book. We are also founding members of the Friends of Serpent Mound. Which was created to help the park with volunteer projects, events, and such. In 2009, we even helped the Park Manager operate the park for several months before the owning organization turned over Management to another organization. During that time, we found that in the attic of the museum was a box of original blue prints from the WPA Construction Projects for Serpent Mound and Fort Hill Parks of all of their buildings. My husband was able to bring a scanner there and digitize them. Fast forward a few years later and no one has any idea where went. Then last year or the year before, the large multi-bay garage built to those specks in the 30's-40's burns down and we learned that those and several other historic items were in the attic.

                    • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                      Alice Lane Ranger


                      Is there something specific that you are looking for?

                      I can try again.


                        • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                          Delsey Wilson Newbie

                          Thank you Alice. I am trying to find out more about the actual Camp that was next to Serpent Mound. I would love to see if there is any pictures, descriptions, or maps/drawings of the layout. We are trying to find, locate, and identify things in the landscape. As we have found clay pipes, foundations, road indents, well heads, trash dump, and a fireplace that is said to be from the foreman/overseer's house. We are looking for septic tanks and other underground projects. For the most part, I believe this was a tent based camp and not a permanent or complete camp. I know that Camp Fort Hill did do a few projects at Serpent Mound, so maybe it actually housed the workers and this was a management site? Were there different types or sizes of camps? I guess, I have a lot of questions and not sure where to look for the answers, since I can't visit the Archives.

                          • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                            Delsey Wilson Newbie



                            I decided to try a few different terms and wording groups in Google and I found it! Well, at least that there was one. It looks like maybe I have been looking under the wrong group. So, now I will have to try looking under the WPA and  National Park Service and not the CCC. It seems sometimes one just needs to talk through their research brick wall.

                            Thanks you all!

                            Camp location description

                      • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                        Alice Lane Ranger


                        Are you an Ohio Native, if you are I thought you might be interested in this find. An 1880 map of Adams County from Library of Congress showing property owner.


                        Map Information



                        Full Title: Green Township - Right
                        Full Atlas Title: Adams County 1880
                        State: Ohio
                        Location 1: Unattributed
                        Location 2: Unattributed
                        Publish Date: 1880
                        Publisher: J. A. Caldwell
                        Number Maps in the Atlas: 146
                        Map Original Width: 7.96"
                        Map Original Height: 9.45"
                        Item Number: US170349
                        Collection: Historic Map Works Rare Historic Maps Collection
                        Image Quality: Informational quality scan which is suitable for research use and lends itself nicely to being reproduced in our research print format.


                        Alice Lane
                          • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                            Delsey Wilson Newbie

                            Thank you Alice,


                            Yes, that's a wonderful book. We have two. Plus, an entire library on all things local history, archaeology, and North and South American Indigenous Peoples, and more. We love books and researching. I just needed help figuring out exactly who oversaw the camp that was on our property. Thanks to some of your comments and suggestions, they lead me to the answers last night! I so, appreciate your help. Now, to try and see if I can find some online searchable resources on the WPA Camps oversaw by the National Park Service. We also noticed that the Ohio Historical Society oversaw the work as well, so they really should have some records, but from working with that organization we also know how to many shifts in employees cause items and information to get lost.


                            Thank you again Alice! If you ever need any help with researching anything in Ohio, just ask. I do genealogy research, too, so I know my way around courthouse and library holdings. But with the pandemic, not much library research can get done right now. Part of the reason our library is growing, my husband just buys the books he needs to research in. lol Now, that I now know the direction we need to look, I guess I will, too.


                            Have a great day!

                            Delsey Wilson

                          • Re: Seeking records of Serpent Mound Park, Peebles, OH
                            Linda Naoi Goetz Newbie

                            Try contacting the State Historic Preservation Office to see if they have any information about the site's history.  https://www.ohiohistory.org/preserve/state-historic-preservation-office