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McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

4S500 Raymond Dr, Naperville (IL), 60563, United States

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(630) 933-7683

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Description McDowell Grove Forest Preserve, located in Naperville, state of Illinois, is a 439acre preserve on the West Branch of the DuPage River.The Preserve was used as a work camp for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1933 to 1938, and during this time, many projects were accomplished, including dredging the McDowell's lagoon and building of a limestone dam on the West Branch. The camp had military style barracks for housing of the 3,800 men who lived and worked in the camp during the five-year period.The Preserve was the site of a secret radar training school during World War II. Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army took over the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp located in McDowell Grove, just northwest of Naperville, to construct a camp for the training of radar technology, operation and maintenance.The U.S. Army Signal Corps quietly recruited highly intelligent young men for the classified work with the promise of a commission and a draft deferral. Because the students wore civilian clothes, they were sometimes accused of being conscientious objectors by townsfolk who could not be told what took place within the secret compound.
  • 4S500 Raymond Dr, Naperville (IL), 60563, United States
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