Salina City has been named a 2017 Preservation Utah Heritage Award winner for its restoration of the
Civilian Conservation Corps and Prisoner of War Camp.
The project to restore the camp’s three buildings including commander’s quarters, a bunk house and a motor pool and repair shop was completed in early November 2016.
“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to receive this award,” project coordinator and fundraising director Tami Olsen said, “It will bring wonderful recognition for the community and city of Salina.”
Originally built to house CCC employees, the camp gained notoriety years later during World War II when it was being used to as a POW camp for 250 German prisoners.
On July 8, 1945, two months after the war ended in Europe, Private Clarence Bertucci, a guard stationed at the camp, opened fire with a .30-caliber machine gun on 43 tents where the POWs were sleeping.
In just 15 seconds Bertucci peppered the barracks with 250 rounds because, he later said, he “just didn’t like Germans.” He killed six POWs and injured 23, three of whom later died at Salina’s hospital. Bertucci was later declared insane and sent to a mental hospital.
Last year, a local group restored the buildings from glorified storage sheds into near-original condi on. A broad range of individuals and groups helped finance the $103,000 project, including the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
The award was presented to Salina Mayor Dustin Deaton on Thursday, April 6, at Preservation Utah’s annual meeting and award ceremony at the Falls Event Center, Trolley Square, Salt Lake City.
The restored CCC/POW camp in Salina, Utah, will now serve as a museum. Salina City has restored this
CCC/POW camp to its former state.
According to Alison Flanders, Preservation Utah public outreach director, recipients of the award are nominated by the public for their efforts in preserving historic structures or furthering the preservation movement in the state.
Nominations are judged by a jury of architects, and preservation and planning professionals from throughout the state.
The restored CCC/POW camp is now being operated as a museum. Beginning April 18, hours will be Tuesday-Friday 4-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Group tours or special arrangements may be made by calling Salina City. The camp also has a Facebook page: CCC & POW Camp Salina, Utah.