A New Deal Legacy

One of my uncles logged in some time at a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp during the Depression of the 1930’s, so The Bureau of Reclamation’s Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy: 1933-1942 caught my eye while I was looking over a list of new books at GPO. When the Roosevelt Administration established the CCC in 1933, America’s youth had been hit extra hard by America’s drastic economic decline. In addition to putting thousands of young men like my uncle to work, the CCC’s legacy includes a myriad of buildings, picnic shelters, and other structures still in use today across the country.

This is a weighty tome, indeed. It was originally published in 2000 and revised to include updated research and more photos. In addition to an interesting essay on the history of the national CCC and another on the Bureau of Reclamation’s involvement, the bulk of the book is made up of brief forms describing the history and activities of each Reclamation camp. The real revelation to me was the involvement of the Bureau – I’ve always thought that the Forest Service and the National Park Service were the major Government players regarding the CCC. The book is nicely designed and includes many period photos of the CCC at work, and of the structures they built as they look today.

Note: Although a great resource for students of the CCC, this is mainly a reference work rather than a narrative history. As such, it would be a good addition to library collections.

You can look through it here, buy a copy here, or find it in a library.

15 Responses to A New Deal Legacy

  1. JinJin88 says:

    It is great to find out and understand our history, it is always not easy to walk through what our ancestor’s path. We should appreciate more rather than complain.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Altered Books says:

    Considering our current economic woes, I wonder what an Obama Bureau of Reclamation project would look like. What projects would they take on, and what kind of improvements and technology would be implemented. Thank you for the thought provoking book!

    Like

  3. Joseph Montana says:

    I try to dip my toe into American history every now and then being a yank living in England.

    I can’t see a similar scheme getting off the ground nowadays, it is somewhat a testament to the culture back then that pride was taken in building these still standing structures.

    Like

  4. License Plate Guy says:

    While the boys and young men were working at these Civilian Conservation Corps camps I’m wondering if they were getting any kind of pay other than room and board.

    Like

    • govbooktalk says:

      Good question! According to information from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Dakota Badlands, which hosted CCC camps back in the day, “A CCC worker’s salary was $30 a month, most of which the men sent home to their families. Meals, lodging, clothing, medical, and dental care were all free for enrollees. The men generally spent $5 to $8 of their monthly salary on toiletries, postage, haircuts, and occasional entertainment. The few enrollees promoted to Assistant Leader and Leader positions earned a bit more, $36 and $45 per month, respectively.”

      Like

  5. Delores Briscoe-Brooks says:

    Preview did not work.

    Like

  6. Thanks for the Tip I will check it out next time i’m in the area. Beacutiful pic by the way :)

    Like

  7. Susan James says:

    Thanks and that’s interesting. Pls. visit Byrd Vistor’s Center at the park to see the exhibit as it is fantastic.

    Here’s my picture of the sculpture at Shenandoah Nat’l Park.
    http://www.thegardens.us/index_files/shenandoahnationalpark.htm

    Like

  8. Jumper Rental says:

    While I may not necessarily agree with the politics of the CCC I did love the read. It’s important to know our history.

    Like

  9. Susan James says:

    The area is west of the Mississippi River in this publication. Do you have one for the East? There is a wonderful display on the CCC with artifacts in the Shenandoah Natl Park. The building is next to the Big Meadows Lodge. Outside is a sculpture of one of the CCC men.
    I was facinated with all the work the men did to creat and improve the parks.Here’s alink to see 74 pix of the CCC at Shenandoah Natl. Park:
    http://www.nps.gov/shen/historyculture/collections.htm

    Like

    • govbooktalk says:

      Susan: Thanks for your question. This book includes only the CCC camps run by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, and they were all out West. Most CCC camps were administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Soil Conservation under the Department of Agriculture, and the National Park Service under the Department of the Interior. Your inquiry made me curious, so I checked and, according to the Shenandoah National Perk Web site, “Between May 11, 1933 and March 31, 1942, ten CCC camps were established within, or on leased land adjacent to, Shenandoah. At any one time, more than 1,000 boys and young men lived in camps supervised by the Army and worked on projects directed by the [National Park]Service and the Bureau of Public Roads.” That’s what I love about doing this blog — you never know what’s going to turn up!

      Like

  10. juanbautista lopez garcia says:

    interesante historia felicitaciones

    Like

  11. [...] Via GovBookTalk. One of my uncles logged in some time at a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp during the Depression of the 1930’s, so The Bureau of Reclamation’s Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy: 1933-1942 caught my eye while I was looking over a list of new books at GPO. When the Roosevelt Administration established the CCC in 1933, America’s youth had been hit extra hard by America’s drastic economic decline. In addition to putting thousands of young men like my uncle to work, the CCC’s legacy includes a myriad of buildings, picnic shelters, and other structures still in use today across the country. [...]

    Like

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