Pine Grove POW Camp - Gardners, Pennsylvania
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flyingmoose
N 40° 02.225 W 077° 20.338
18T E 300444 N 4434493
Quick Description: The remains of a camp, that was once was a Clandestine POW camp for Germans and Japanese soldiers. Parking is across the street from the entrance.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/28/2020 9:41:45 PM
Waymark Code: WM13AY7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:

Basic timeline of the location:
Originally this was the site of the Bunker Hill Farm from the 1700s to 1919. In 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corp took the site over until 1941. From 1942 to 1945 Pine Grove POW Camp was run by the United States War Department. In 1947, the site was converted into a Church camp and used until 1972.

"In 1942, the War Department was faced with the need to house prisoners of war. There was also need to learn strategic information from the prisoners regarding weaponry, and the operation of the Nazi war machine. Similar needs would emerge regarding the Japanese as the war progressed. Interrogation sites were set up at Ft. Hunt, Virginia and Byron Hot Springs, California in addition to internment facilities across the country to house the prisoners for the duration of the war. It was evident early on that Ft. Hunt could not handle the interrogation demands and a second site was selected from among three that were considered. That site was the former CCC camp at Pine Grove Furnace.

The Pine Grove Furnace CCC Camp was remodeled and two prison compounds erected, one for officers and one for the other prisoners. Prison Compound One was the larger of the compounds and was located near the CCC Fountain. Compound Two was located by the old barn wall. Compound One had four guard towers (the bases of two of them survive today), and Compound Two had two guard towers (both bases can be seen today.) Prisoners were interrogated in the former renovated Forestry Office building located along Michaux Road (at that time called High Mountain Road) near the former entrance to the CCC camp. Fencing around the entire 100+ acre site plus guard gates on High Mountain road prevented local people from gaining access to the camp. There were more than 3,000 prisoners interrogated there during the course of the war including Japanese prisoners toward the end of the war. A separate area for the Japanese was created by erecting a fence in the middle of Compound One.

The Pine Grove Furnace Prisoner of War Interrogation Camp operated until the November of 1945. The land reverted back to the State at that time. The land on which it was located was part of Michaux State Forest. Andre Michaux was a French naturalist sent to North American by Louis XIV. He was commissioned to study the plant life of the Appalachian region and gather plants for the Royal Gardens. Pennsylvania chose to recognize his contributions to the understanding of the plants of the region by naming the forest for him." - http://www.schaeffersite.com/michaux/

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