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

Statue History


 "Spirit of the CCC"  - 1935

The first major statue produced to honor the CCC was a statue titled "Spirit of the CCC," later nicknamed "Iron Mike." A Works Progress Administration (WPA), Federal Art Project sculptor, Uno John Palokangas (known as John Palo-Kangas), was assigned to Camp #1917-V (WWI Veterans Camp), SP-21. The art work in this statue is referred to as art-deco and is typical of the art of that period.  The model for this statue was Robert J. Pauley of Carmichael, California.  Mr. Pauley was a veteran of WWI and was about 38 years old at the time.  

The statue was unveiled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the dedication on October 1, 1935 at CCC Company 1917 in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California.  

A bronzed colored plaster of the park model was exhibited at the CCC exhibition camp in Balboa Park in San Diego, California and was dedicated on May 19, 1936 by James J. McEntee, Assistant Director of the CCC.  

Both statues have disappeared.
 Spirit of the CCC - 1935
"Spirit of the CCC"  Recast 1993  

California NACCCA Chapter 55, which also called itself the "Spirit of the CCC Chapter", initiated the drive for a replacement bronze statue and they were supported by Chapters 34 and 65. Over $26,000 was donated by members of NACCCA. The reproduction bronze statue was sculpted by Jim Brothers of Lawrence, Kansas.  It was donated by NACCCA to the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks.  

The replacement statue was dedicated on October 1, 1993. The statue stands at Griffith Park, Travel Town Museum, but this time is made of sturdy bronze rather than concrete. It will be a memorial to the CCC for many years to come. 
Bronze cast of Spirit of the CCC statue
"CCC Worker Statue"TM  1995
The excitement of the dedication of a permanent "Spirit of the CCC" statue, led to the design, construction and dedication of a life size series of statues. The new series of statues known as the CCC Worker StatueTM dot the American landscape in tribute to the men of the CCC.  The CCC Worker StatueTM is the latest piece of statuary created by the alumni organization as a symbol of honoring the men and their work.  

 CCC Worker Statue, 1995

 Between 2005 and 2010 a small desktop statue measuring nine inches tall was cast in the image of member John Selesky.   Before his death, John Selesky, of Michigan, was the coordinator of the CCC Worker StatueTM program.  Due to the many requests for an affordable table top statue he began a miniature statue program.  The statue design was taken from a photograph when he was a young CCC enrollee walking off the fire line.  The photo was the cover photo for a book titled We Can Do It: History of the CCC in Michigan 1933-1942, author Charles A. Symon.   This photo was used by sculptor, John Gooden, of Oklahoma to create the statue cast. Gooden discontinued the casting of the miniature statues when he transitioned his studio pieces to life size statues.  This statue is no longer available for purchase.  The total number cast is unknown.   
 Mini Statue-John Selesky Model

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