Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy
"Passing the Legacy to Future Generations"  

2009 Vol. 33, Issue 4 - Jul/Aug

On This Page:  

Bass River State Forest Celebrates CCC Recognition Day 
Camp Karn - Fighting the Good Fight, Co. 1853, SCS-8, Oklahoma
CCC Experience and Future:  Lamonte Dehn - Co. 2708, Badura, at Nevis and Park Rapids, MN.  By L. Dehn
CCC Was the Place to be - Natchaug State Forest CT.  Contributed by -  Bill Beckett
Ed Hogan at Brown's Creek, ID
Lost in the Woods - The Legacy of the CCC Camp Pelican, MN
Minnesota Book Award Earned by Barbara Sommer
Remembrance:  William E. Fudge, Jr., Co. 366, S-125, PA.  Contributed by William Fudge
South Dakota Dedicates Statue and CCC Museum
South Dakota Garden Clubs Participate in 75th Anniversary Tree Planting Project
With Picks, Shovels & Hope - CCC on the Colorado Plateau - Contributed by Elizabeth Green 

CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33, Issue 4, July August 2009

Bass River State Forest, NJ, Celebrates CCC Recognition Day

The Bass River State Forest Office, Burlington County, New Jersey, was the site of a commemorative ceremony on March 30, 2009, honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps.  At this time, a bronze statuette of a C.C.C. enrollee was given to the Cynthia L. Coritz, Superintendent of Bass River State Forest, the oldest state forest in New Jersey.  The 9” statuette was presented by Doug Kiovsky, of Princeton, New Jersey, and will be added to the artifacts, pictures, and memorabilia accompanying the recreation of a C.C.C. superintendent’s office that is displayed at the forest office. Kivosky is an employee of the Hunterdon County Park. "If it were not for these young men," Kiovsky said, "a lot of our parks would not have been created. The fire tower at Bass River State Forest was built by the CCC, and the cabins for families were built by the CCC as well."

Special mention was made for two veterans of the C.C.C. camps at Bass River, who passed away in 2008: John Nisky and Renert Wiseman.  Nisky was one of the C.C.C. boys, who provided invaluable information on life at the camp, and whose oral history was recently transcribed and is now available for researchers.   Wiseman was local resident who enlisted in the C.C.C.  Both men were present and honored at the C.C.C. 75th commemoration held in June, 2008 at the state forest’s C.C.C. monument.

Part of the ceremony was a reading of a Joint New Jersey Senate and Assembly resolution that designated 31 March 2009 as Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day in the state by Dan Campbell, the Resource Interpretive Specialist of Historic Resources.

 The CCC camp at Bass River State Forest, Camp S-55, lasted from 1933 to 1942, throughout the entire life of the CCC. Company 225 served at the camp from 1933-1937 and Company 2201-V, a Veteran’s company, followed from 1937-1942. There were usually 200 men at the camp, which was a full complement. The CCC members performed wide range of conservation work. The young men of the CCC built park roads, trails, bridle paths, bridges for vehicles, ponds for fish and waterfowl, lookout towers, nature observatory shelters, picnic areas, cabins, fireplaces, campgrounds, recreational lakes, and landscaping. The enrollees assisted in firefighting, and three young men lost their lives fighting a fire in 1936.  The most noteworthy feat was the creation of the 67-acre Lake Absegami, by damming two streams flowing through the forest. The foundations of Camp S-55 and the CCC Memorial are part of a self-guided trail. Brochures are available at the Forest Office and at the beginning of the trail near the parking lot on East Greenbush Road. Stop in at the Forest Office to see artifacts from our Camp as well as a partial list of members from our Camp.

If you were a part of Camp S-55 or have a friend or relative who served in our camp, please contact the Bass River State Forest office at 609-296-1114.


CCC Legacy Journal -  Vol. 33, Issue 4  

July/August 2009

Camp Karn - Co. 1853, SCS-8, OK.  Fighting the Good Fight-Boxing Ring Revealed
 By:  Benjamin Clark, Curator of Education, Oklahoma History Center

While researching monuments and exhibits dedicated to the CCC in Oklahoma, I ran across an article in the Daily Oklahoman in the late 1980s that mentioned a stone entrance gate and an elevated stone boxing ring.  It just happened I would be in Geary the next day visiting a friend.  Why not have an adventure and see what was there?  Perhaps I could even get a photo of a marker for my article on monuments. 

The only information I had was that it was located one mile south of town.  Geary hasn't grown much since the 1930s, so it should be pretty easy to find.  Or so I thought. 

According to the "all knowing" internet, it would take just over an hour to arrive in Geary from my home in

Oklahoma City.  Arriving nearly 20 minutes early to meet my friend, I thought I'd reconnoiter the area where I thought the camp would be.  Over half an hour later, I was frustrated.  Nothing.  Maybe the town had grown more than I thought.  Maybe it shrank.  I widened my search area and still found no sign of the camp. 

Going out there, I knew the camp at Geary, could be tough to find.  Unlike the camps in Oklahoma City, they weren't building parks, but performing soil conservation duty.  It was designated SCS-8, Co. 1853, Camp Karn, according to the state listing posted on the CCC Alumni website.  I knew it would be a long-shot to learn the origin of the name Camp Karn, but a guy can hope.

Frustrated, I met my friend for lunch and was introduced to her grandfather and a friend of his who had lived in Geary for a long time.  She remembered the camp, but said it was north of town, not south.  She didn't remember any boxing ring, or even sure if the stone entrance was still there, but she was certain of it being on the north side of town.

We trudged out again, in search of the mysterious Camp Karn.  After driving past the water treatment facility north of town, I noticed two stone pillars next to the driveway.  Six such pillars continued from one end of the property all the way down to the next intersection, about a mile east of the main road through Geary.  The water treatment facility took up only a small corner of the parcel, most of it was under till, the rest was overgrown.  Trees grew in clumps mostly in the center of the land not in cultivation. 

From the road I noticed one clump of weeds were growing in a way to suggest they were growing up through something substantial and structural.  I crossed the

 field and into the weeds.  It was hard to tell at first, but then I was certain, it was the stone boxing ring.  It was very conveniently located so that folks from town would be able to come out and enjoy the fights.  I started to pull down the weeds, trying to discern how much of the boxing ring was left.  A couple good sized stumps sat in the middle and along the edges.  It had large trees growing through it at one time, but these had been cleared, though it is falling into neglect again. 

Clearing some of the weeds revealed a corner post of the ring still intact.  I was excited to see the three hand-forged iron rings still in place that had once held the ropes.  I took a few snapshots to pass along to Oklahoma's State Historic Preservation Office.  Sadly, no marker has been set to remember the CCC in Geary, Oklahoma, but the countless productive farms surrounding it are certainly testament to the hard work in soil conservation that was done all those years ago.

Benjamine L. Clark Curator of Education
Oklahoma Museum of History
Oklahoma History Center
2401 N. Lair Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73015-7914


 CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33 Issue 4, July August 2009

CCC Experience and Future:  Lamonte Dehn - Co. 2708, Badura, at Nevis and Park Rapids, MN

Conbributed by:   Lamonte Dehn

This was the Great Depression years, which started around 1929 and Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president, in fall of 1932.  He wanted to start a work program for young single men, 17-25 years old, whereas the enrollee would get $30. monthly and of this $25 would go to the parents to help care for the family.  It was called the Civilian Conservation Corps.

 When I joined the CCC, I had to have my parents sign for me, as I was only 15 years old, this was May, 1941.

 I was stationed at Camp 2708 Badura, at Nevis/Park Rapids.  It was like an Army camp and was run by Army personnel, both active and retired.  

 We learned how to plant trees from seeds and later replanted outside.  I also learned how to drive a truck, both small and large.  We built roads, using logs and rock for base fill.  We were taught how to fight fires create fire brakes, also build fire lookout towers.

 We could finish our education, if you had dropped out of school and there were many that did.  There were all types of trade to learn, like: bakers, cooks, blacksmith, stone mason, heavy equipment operators, brick layers and truck drivers.  This was a very good training for a person’s future.

 We were taught how service living was with KP (kitchen police) mess hall work and were treated like being in the military service, with reveille, to get up in the morning and retreat, which was lights out at night.  This was something different for a 15 year old boy!  I became a man in short order, which I did not mind either.

 After I left the CCC in 1942, I went to work building the Farragut Naval Base at Athol, Idaho.  This was Eleanor Roosevelt’s pet project to build a submarine training base in Idaho.  The training base for submarines was by Lake Pon’d Oreille and this was between two ranges of mountains.  The lake in spots was a least 1500 feet deep, so it made a very good training area for all of the divisions of the Navy.

 During the 9 months working there, my job was working all different places with construction, landscaping, truck driving, planting trees and shrubbery.  After my contact was finished, December 1942, I went home for Christmas.

 In March, 1942, my father and I went to the employment office in Minneapolis, MN and signed up to work in Canada and Alaska on the Alcan Highway.  The highway was put thru Canada and into Alaska basically for the purpose of putting the Canadian/American Oil line and Canadian/American Communication line in.  My job was to drive truck and haul pontoon and bridge equipment for temporary bridges throughout Canada/Alaska for the Post Engineers.  My contract was finished after 5 months and in July, I went back to Minnesota as I had to report for selective service induction in the military service.  In the middle of August 1942, I went to Fort Snelling and I was classified 4L, meaning limited service as I had lost the hearing in my right ear from mumps when I was 12 years old.  This meant I would go into the service in about 6 months.

 At this time, I enlisted in the Merchant Marines-took basic training at  Sheepshead Bay Maritime Training Base in Brooklyn, NY.

 I went to Long Beach, CA and shipped out on a T-2 Electric tanker hauling gas/oil and aircrafts on the ship’s deck to the South Pacific bases.

 In December, 1944, I went home on leave, I stopped in the Little Falls bowling center, to see if  there was any of the fellows I used to work with setting pins while I was going to school.  When I entered the lanes, the owner stated, “I knew my prayers would be answered.”  I said, “What does that mean?” he said “One of my pin setters could not work, can I help him out and set leagues for him?”  I told him, “OK, I’ll do it but only for the night!”

 I set the first leagues and then I went up to get a sandwich and beverage and I saw two young ladies come in to watch the leagues bowl.  I asked if they were going to be there awhile as I’d see them later.  The brunette was a special lady, I thought! I went back and set the second league pins, and I asked the young man, Don Yasger, if he had seen the two ladies.  I said the brunette; “I’m going to marry her.”  He said,  “You are nuts, you don’t even know her”.  “I know, but before the nights over I will!”  

 I got through work and I went up front and asked if she would like to go for a sandwich and she said, “Yes, I willl, but the way, my cousin had to leave as she had to go to work.”  We went for a bite to eat and afterward I walked her home.  I asked if could have a date, she said, “How about January 2,” which was in two days.  We had a few dates and I met her mother and hit if off reall well.  On February 15th, I gave her an engagement ring and we were married on April 21!  Donnetta Maneval and Lamonte Dehn.

 In the meantime, I contract my ship and told the captain I would be staying home and then I went to the draft board about my deferment to see if I could carry over on my job at a defense plant.  I was informed I had until July 1st, then I would have to go into the service.  On August 15, I received a letter; I would be going into the U.S. Air Force as of September 1st, to Sheppart Field, TX to take basic training.  On November 1, 1945, I was transferred to Camp Pinedale, CA in Fresno, CA and assigned to a Communication Squadron.  

 In August, 1946, I received shipping orders to go to Occupation Assignment in Japan.  Our first son was born March 1, 1946.  When I got my orders I went to my commanding officer and informed him there had been an order by the President that was signed that all drafted fathers would be discharged.  After the orders were checked out, I was transferred to Camp Beale at Marysville, CA and this was a separation center and I was discharged on October 16, 1946.  

 For a couple of months after getting back to Minnesota, I worked part-time in building construction.  On December 11, 1946, I applied at Hennepin County Court House to do janitor work and I worked there for 10 years and was working with the boiler engineers until 1956.  I then applied at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff.  On July 1, 1957 I was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in the Traffic Division.  I worked there for seven years and was transferred to the Civil/Levy Division serving due process and legal papers.  In 1967, I was promoted to the Criminal Division as a Sheriffs Detective.  I worked the Forgery/Fraud Division and the last 12 years I was in charge until I retired on July 11, 1981.

 I was very glad I retired when I did as we had a motor home and my wife and I did extensive traveling in the US of A and Canada until fall of 1985.  This was when we found out my wife had ovarian cancer.

 On April 9, 1987, I lost my honey to the Dear Lord.  It was just 12 days short of our 42 wedding anniversary.

 When we got married in 1945, there were several persons that said it would never last, as we did not know each other!  They were wrong as we had 3 wonderful children, Robert, Richard, and LaDonna, 10 grand-children and 10 great grand-children!

 Since I retired in 1981, I have been involved with the Minnesota Conservation Corps for over 15 years and I have been involved with the CCC Alumni Chapter #33 and have enjoyed every year!

 I feel this recession we are having now (2009) is very similar to what we went through in the Great Depression.  We should be working with conservation and getting our young men and women off the streets and working.   


 CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33, Issue 4 - July August 2009

CCC Was the Place to Be - Natchaug State Forest, Connecticut

Contributed by Bill Beckett

Each day that I drive by a bridge being constructed over the railroad tracks on the west end of Great Falls, MT, I think of the bridge that was built over the Natchaug River in the Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut.  That’s seventy years ago now.  The construction was done by the men of the CCC company that lived in a camp in that forest.  Under supervision of engineers employed by the state the project was completed.  When I see all the heavy equipment in use on the Great Falls project I am reminded of the one tractor with a grader and a bulldozer in use on the CCC project.  In addition the engineers supervised the making and use of a gin pole and several A frames for use in the assembly of the bridge.  Well, we must have done something right for the bridge is still in use each summer by visitors to that state park.  Whenever we visit Connecticut I try to drive through the park and take a look at the bridge.  There is a picnic area on the east end of the bridge that gets a lot of use.

 Another project was the draining of a swamp and directing the water flow towards the river.  One of our men had knowledge of the use of dynamite and he blasted a ditch that did the trick.  All the rest of the crew had to do was clean up the ditch to ensure uninterrupted water flow.  We did place a culvert under the road where the park road crossed the drainage ditch. 

 Other things we did were clearing the woods of scrap wood to prevent forest fires, fight forest fires, cut trees down for the use of firewood in the camp buildings when necessary.  The biggest forest job was to salvage the trees downed by the ‘38 hurricane and there were plenty of them.  The sawmill at camp make lumber from all those trees for use by the state.  The road in the park were maintained and improved by the CCC also.  For those who are not aware of camp life; it began with a wake up call at 6:00, breakfast at 7:00, inspection at 8:00.  After inspection the camp commander who was U.S. Military turned us over to the State for work supervision.   We came back to camp for lunch unless we were too far away; then lunch would be brought out to us.  We worked until supper time then road in the trucks back to camp.  After supper we did various things: classes, camp newsletter, card games, dice, plenty of reading and occasionally we would have a speaker about religion or other subjects.  In the summer we had boxing and baseball.  We traveled to other camps for those sports or were hosts to guest athletes. 

I never regretted being in the organization for a year and firmly believe we should have a similar program today. 


CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33 Issue 4 - July August 2009 

Ed Hogan - Camp Brown's Creek

My service was from spring of 1941 until fall of 1941.

I boarded a train in Little Rock, AR, with a hundred or more other Arkansas men and headed west. We arrived on a beautiful day at Greer, Idaho on the Clearwater River. I said to myself, “This is going to be a wonderful experience”.

The name of the camp was Camp Brown’s Creek but I don’t recall the camp number. This being a Forestry Camp, I was on a Blister Rust crew. My job was to take a large ball of swine, but a stick in the center of the spool, place it over my shoulder and mark off lanes for the crew to follow pulling ribes bushes which caused the blister rust. I also fought a small forest fire. Other members of this camp built road, trails and camp grounds. While there, I also had my tonsils extracted at Fort George Wright, outside of Spokane, Washington, an old military base.

Camp Browns Creek Camp closed in August and we were transferred to Camp Sullivan Lake, Metaline Falls, WA, also a Forestry Camp.

I was glad to hear of keeping the history of the CCC camps alive and commend you on all you are doing and your efforts.

Ed Hogan


CCC Legacy Journal: Vol. 33, Issue 4  - July August 2009  

Lost in the Woods - The Legacy of CCC Camp Pelican - Co. 4751, S-76, Merrifield, MN

Contributed by James Henderson

Seventy years ago over 60 Civilian Conservation Corps camps were scattered around the State of Minnesota providing employment for hundreds of young men who couldn’t find a job anywhere else. CCC enrollees were involved in a variety of forestry and soil conservation projects. Most of these camps were demolished when they were closed. One of these camps housed CCC Company 4751 near Merrifield, Minnesota. Known as Camp Pelican S-76, it was built on the shore of Pelican Lake. Dr. James D. Henderson, a resident on Pelican Lake near the old campsite, has just published a book about the camp.

 LOST IN THE WOODS–THE LEGACY OF CCC CAMP PELICAN describes the camp’s history, how it was formed, the men and boys who built it, the projects they worked on, and what camp life was like. The book includes a roster of over 600 members that lived in the camp between 1935 and 1938 when the camp closed.

 Perhaps the only surviving member of the first group of enrollees and U.S. Army staff to arrive at the campsite on September 15, 1935 is Norman Aune of Brainerd, Minnesota. At age 94 he still has a vivid memory of his days in camp.

 Norm served as the camp’s First Aid Assistant and held the CCC rank of Assistant Leader. The Boy Scout first aid training he got in his hometown of Larson, North Dakota came in real handy when he applied for the CCC job. Norm was always interested in learning new things and was a voracious reader. With the limited funds he had left over, after $25 was deducted from his pay and send home to his parents, he would buy one book a month for about a dollar.

 Lt. Donald Thomson, the camp’s Executive Officer and Norm developed a shared interest in ham radio communication. Both learned code and communicated with other operators around the country. Norm explained that most of their radio work was done at night when they had access to the camp’s electric service. Electricity was generated in the camp using a LeRoi gasoline engine and a GE generator. If they wanted to use the radio during the day they had to power it with dry cell batteries that didn’t provide as much power. As a result of his experience with radio operation Norm continued this work when he joined the Army during World War II. After the war he returned to Brainerd and operated Aune Electric until he retired a few years ago at 90.

 Fate sometimes takes a cruel turn. One of Aune’s closest friends from Fessenden, North Dakota was Allen Fagen. Most guys in the camp had nicknames. They called Norm “Big Jack” since he was 6 ft. 4 in. Fagen was the “Viper”. Just where that nickname came from is lost to history, but Allen was well liked by others in camp. He served both as an Assistant Editor and Feature Editor of the camp newspaper The Pelican Press. Fagen enjoyed fishing year around on Pelican Lake. When he was discharged from camp at the end of May 1937 he began working for the Russell Creamery in Brainerd. He was accidentally electrocuted when he touched an ungrounded cream separator on Friday afternoon, November 12, 1937. He was 27 years old.

 Last year on a road trip back to his hometown with his son, Norm visited the “Viper’s” grave. He’d never forgotten his CCC buddy.


James Henderson is a retired veterinarian and freelance writer. He has recently published LOST IN THE WOODS-THE LEGACY OF CCC CAMP PELICAN the story of the only CCC camp in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. The book is available for purchase online and the author may be contacted at


CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33, Issue 4 - July August 2009 

Minnesota Book Award is Earned by Barbara Sommer for her book on the CCC

Author Barbara W. Sommer received the Minnesota Book Award for her work titled,  Hard Work and a Good Deal:  The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press) in the Minnesota Category.  There where eight categories plus the readers’ choice award which was selected by more than 2,000 voters from across the State.  

 On April 25, The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library announced the winners at the 21st Annual Minnesota Book Awards.  The event was attended by CCC Legacy members Mr. and Mrs. Ed Nelson of Chapter 119, Chisholm, MN, Monty Dehn, Ralph and Mary Halbert, Chapter 33, and Mr. and Mrs. Len Price, of the Minnesota Conservation Corps.  

 The annual Minnesota Book Awards program is a project of Friends of the St. Paul Public Library in a consortium with the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul Major’s office.  

 Congratulations to Barbara and thanks for adding to the knowledge of the great legacy of the CCC in Minnesota.  

 Hard Work and a Good Deal can be purchased at most major book retailers and on the Internet.  


CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33, Issue 4 - July August 2009

Remembrance:  William E. Fudge, Jr. Co. 366, S-125, Pennsylvania

Contributed by:  William E. Fudge, Jr.
April 10, 1941—April 9, 1942

 I lived in Jersey shore, PA and in April 1941, I was 17 years old, the oldest of six children.  My family was having a hard time of it  so I quite high school and went to Williamsport, PA and enlisted in the CCC.  I wanted to go to the National Park camps in the west so bad.  I could feel the excitement of being there, but, was sent over the mountain from Williamsport to White Deer Valley, Elimsport, CCC Camp Co. 366, S-125 PA.

 My first assignment was at the Williamsport hospital serving as a clerk for a dentist who was examining draftees.  I had an outline of the mouth that showed each tooth number.  The dentist would tell me the number of the tooth and if it was to be pulled out to put a circle around it and if it is was a tooth that needed a filling to put an X on it.  

 When my day was done with the dentist I would walk around Williamsport and South Williamsport until 5:00 pm.  On my walk across Market Street Bridge I met a young woman and had a conversation with her and then we went our ways.

 When my duty with the dentist was over, I worked in the blacksmith shop repairing tools and sharpening picks with heat from the forge, repairing chains and other items.

 I worked on the roads removing downed trees and repairing ditches.  Today, when driving South on Rt. 15 out of South Williamsport at the top of the mountain there is a road on your left called Armstrong Road east along the mountain to Muncy, PA which was built by our CCC camp in 1941.  

I also fought forest fires on the north side of Bald Eagle Mountain Range.  The Pennsylvania Railroad ran west along the Susquehanna River at the base of the mountain range.  The locomotives would shoot soot and sparks on the mountains and start fires.  I spent many days and nights on the mountain with a 5 gallon tank of water strapped to my back with a hose and a squirter to spray hot spots.  

 This camp was made up of men from the hard coal region, Scranton, Kulpmont, Shamokin and Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania.

 While at this CCC camp I was enrolled at Williamsport Technical Institute taking up aviation Engine Assembly and had 168 hours in this course.

 In late 1941 and early 1942 our camp was disbanded and there were only 10 or 15 of us kept and our new designation was Co. 366, Williamsport Central Repair Shop Detachment (WCRS Det.) Camp S-125 PA.  We went every day to South Williamsport District garage and repaired equipment and to different camps to pick up equipment. 

 Now the young lady I met on the Market Street bridge in April 1941 became my wife on August 23, 1943.  We were married for 62 years when she died on August 14, 2005.  We had seven children—four boys and three girls and we lost our first boy on April 29, 1944.  

 I was discharged from the CCC on April 9, 1942 and I enjoyed every moment of it.  On 4 January 1944, I went into the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor Amphibious repair base until December 1945.  I was discharged at Sampson NY December 31, 1945.

 Submitted by:  William Fudge  

Photographs supplied by:  John Eastlake 

CCC Legacy Journal:  Vol. 33, Issue 4 - July August 2009

South Dakota Dedicates Statue and CCC Museum 

Under the bright blue skies and a balmy spring South Dakota breeze nearly 250 CCC enthusiasts gathered on May 16 in Hill City to dedicate the 51st CCC Workers Statue and the new CCC Museum at the Hill City Visitors Center.

Organized by CCC Legacy members, Jay Hendrickson, local president, and Peggy Sanders, this well attended event was enjoyable by all.  Emceed by Jay Hendrickson, guest speakers included Walter Atwood and Joan Sharpe, CCC Legacy; Robert Thompson, Black Hills National Forest; Jay Vogt South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office; and Brett McMacken, Administration, City of Hill City.  

One of the main speakers was Andrew Weathermon.  At 11 years old he has attained a vast knowledge of the CCC and frequently serves as a youth speaker and ambassador for the CCC among youth groups.  Because of his frequent presentations, CCC Legacy President, Joan Sharpe awarded him with a certificate naming him as 2009 Youth Ambassador.  

For several years Chapter #177 has diligently nurtured the idea of a CCC center and statue in the Black Hills area.  By developing a partnership with the City of Hill City and starting a non-profit, CCC Museum of South Dakota, they have built an infrastructure that will carry CCC heritage in South Dakota into the future.  

Funding for the CCC workers statue was provided by CCC Legacy member Melvin Hermanson of Rapid City, SD.  

There were 30 CCC enrollees in attendance.   


Black Hills Chapter # 177 was invited to house a CCC museum in a 728- sq. ft. room inside this former US Forest Service building. The Hill City, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Committee and the city worked on a project of turning the recently vacated office space and picnic area into the Hill City Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce.

The property includes several acres which are already landscaped and the picnic tables offer a welcoming appearance. Hill City , SD was the home post office for several CCC camps.

The museum is located on the split level and stairs are required for access to both levels and an elevator will be installed as part of the building remodeling.  


Just north of the main building and across the creek, two cabins, purportedly CCC built, sit empty. They may be incorporated into the scheme of things. 

 For more information about the CCC in South Dakota:  

Learn more about the CCC in South Dakota.  Go to :  South Dakota author, Peggy Sanders, has become a driving force in bringing awareness to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Black Hills area.  Biographical, research information, and contact information is available by viewing her blogspot.  Peggy is also anxious to talk to folks who can contribute additional information to the history of the CCC in South Dakota.  

South Dakota Garden Clubs Participate in 75th Anniversary Tree Planting Project

Friendship Garden Club of Andover, SD is the first garden club to meet the  challenge.    

As we head into the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal, garden clubs within South Dakota have stepped forward to participate in the anniversary.   Garden Clubs have a long history of  beautification and conservation.  Tree planting has long been an active part of their mission.   

South Dakota has a rich CCC history.  Although the greater portion of the CCC work was done in the Black Hills area, all across the state there are remnants of New Deal activity.  On the Great Plains of eastern South Dakota CCC work has a larger presence in wildlife refuges such as Sand Lake, Waubay, and Lake Andes.  The tree shelterbelt system, which stretched from North Dakota to Texas,  included millions of trees raised by the CCC and planted by different public works organizations.  Shelterbelts are still visible and play an active part in soil erosion and moisture retention.  

The New Deal touched all citizens and its history is still present in all of our communities.  Become involved: plant a tree.  

CCC Legacy Journal: Vol. 33, Issue 4 -  July August 2009

With Picks, Shovels & Hope - CCC on the Colorado Plateau 

Contributed by:  Elizabeth Green

At the height of the Great Depression, America’s young men and public lands were in peril. Unemployed youth despaired at their prospects for earning a living for themselves and their families. At the same time, choking dust storms were stripping away fertile soil and fire was ravaging the nation’s woodlands.

Creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 saved the nation’s youth and its land. Thousands came to work on the Colorado Plateau, which spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado and contains the greatest concentration of public lands anywhere in the nation. Nowhere would those young men encounter greater natural beauty and greater challenges—or have a greater impact—than in this four-state region.

Colorado was particularly suited for the CCC: only five states exceeded its national forest acreage, and only four could top its national park acreage. A quarter of the state’s banks had closed and unemployment neared 25 percent. That first summer, 29 camps were created, and in the last year of the program, the state has 42 CCC camps, the majority of them devoted to Forest Service projects.

With Picks, Shovels & Hope is rich with personal stories, and broad in its coverage of many of the individual projects carried out by CCCers. It is a must-read for history buffs, descendants of the men who served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, and anyone who wants to be inspired by the ability of people and government to see a need and quickly, efficiently fill it.

~More about the book and its authors~

 Dr. Wayne K. Hinton retired after teaching for 38 years at Southern Utah University. He is the author of four books and numerous articles. He lives in Cedar City, Utah. Elizabeth A. Green is a freelance book editor and writer. She lives near Durango, Colorado.

With Picks, Shovels, and Hope: The Legacy of the CCC on the Colorado Plateau by Dr. Wayne K. Hinton with Elizabeth A Green.

Publication date: November 1, 2008 / paperback / 978-0-87842-546-4/ $30.00

8 3/8 x 7 1/2 / 304 pages / bibliography / index / 45 color photographs / 2 maps

59 black-and-white photographs / 4 appendices 

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