Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, United States. It is located in Humboldt County between Eureka and Weott, about 25 miles (40km) south of the city of Arcata. The park preserves old-growth redwood forest with several large groves including Big Basin Grove, which contains over half of all the world’s total amount of coast redwoods; South Fork Grove, home to the tallest trees in the park; and North Creek Grove, where the Douglas firs give way to redwoods near the mouth of North Creek. The park was named after explorer Jedediah Smith, who traveled through the area in 1826 on his return trip from the Pacific Northwest to San Francisco.
The reconstructed barracks building now houses the visitor center and administrative offices. Other projects completed included a seismic upgrade of the mess hall, construction of a new latrine, and a playground. A historical museum has been planned but not yet funded.
In 1940, during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt assigned the Civilian Conservation Corps to develop public lands, including this one. CCC Company 849 arrived in June 1941 and worked for six months on roads, trails, buildings, and campsites. They cleared streams, built bridges, constructed fire breaks, planted trees, and otherwise worked to make the property ready for its new use as a state park.
On October 7, 1941, less than two months before their scheduled departure, the company signed a contract stating that they would “remain at the post until March 1, 1942 when it will become a State Park.” When the camp closed in 1942, it became part of Fort Worden, an active U.S. Army installation engaged in World War II coastal defense. After being decommissioned in 1944, it remained open until 1955, when it fell into disuse.
Twenty years later, local citizens convinced the California legislature to create a special fund to purchase the land and convert the facility into a state park. Although some parts were in poor condition, enough of the original structures remained standing to allow restoration work to proceed. A yearlong process of demolition, excavation, and reconstruction resulted in the refurbishment of most of the facilities by 1996.