Sunday, March 20, 2016

Exploring Civilian Conservation Corps Service Records

I grew up knowing my maternal grandfather was in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and I had a general understanding as to what it was.  As I got into researching my family history, I had more questions.  What exactly was a CCC camp?  What did my grandfather do while he was there?

One day, I came across this picture and I had even more questions.  My grandfather is standing on the left, but the other two men are unfamiliar to me.  This led me to request documents from the National Archives at St. Louis.  The documents have tons of information on them, and I am looking forward to going over them line by line.

The National Archives has a great web site with tons of information on the Civilian Conservation Corps, and I have learned more than I could ever have imagined.  The CCC existed between 1933 and 1942.  It employed millions of unmarried men between the ages of 17 and 25 on projects in rural areas owned primarily by federal, state, and local governments. The men served a term of six months, but they could serve up to four terms. They earned $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

Most of the work the CCC performed consisted of manual labor and operated in every state and territory. The men built hiking trails, roads, park and forest buildings; constructed bridges; planted trees; and put out forest fires. The men could also get vocational training and basic education in academic subjects, such as math and grammar.

I am excited to do some more research and to see where my grandfather fits into all of this.

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