From the 1930’s until 1941, it was home to the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps – Camp F-20) which was located one mile east of town. Detroit had service stations, a post office, schools, stores, taverns, a church, a hotel, a railroad station, and the Canyon Movie Theater (1947-1952). It also had regular bus service. The population in 1945 grew to 250 residents. By 1949 the community had an active fraternal order of Eagles (FOE).
The Army Corps of Engineers selected the site of the Detroit Dam in the 1930’s. The dam would put the town 100 ft under water. After WWII, a cease building order on the town site expired and construction of the dam commenced on April 1, 1949. At the time, it was the 4th highest concrete dam in the world with dimensions of 463′ high and 1523′ long, and cost $70,000,000 to build.
At peak construction, in 1950, there were 3,000 workers on the project. Worker housing was named Camp Mongold, with dorms for 800 single men and accommodations for 100 trailers. It would eventually house 1,200 people. Many contractors did not accept this housing, and alternate residences were constructed in Mill City for officials and employees.