Civilian Conservation Corps Exhibit to Show at Bob Bullock Museum Handcrafted Furniture, Metalwork, Other Items Featured from Famed Depression-Era Program
The Civilian Conservation Corps, once dubbed the “Tree Army” by president Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be on display as part of a special exhibition Feb. 1-June 30 on the third floor of the Bob Bullock State History Museum, located downtown.
The exhibit will display photographs, maps, postcards, original CCC-fabricated furniture and decorative arts, and even original enrollee booklets, camp newsletters and personal mementos from CCC camps that were located throughout parks in Texas. All items available for viewing date back to the 1930s and 1940s, and highlight the mission of this unique and historic federal government program.
“We’re excited to see the spotlight put on the CCC at a high-profile destination like the Bullock Museum,” said Joanne Avant, chief curator with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “The CCC has such an interesting story to tell, and, through their hard work almost 80 years ago is still a relevant part of the visitor experience at state parks all over Texas.”
As part of F.D.R.’s New Deal package to address the nation’s economic struggles from the Great Depression, the CCC helped build roads, lodges, bridges, trails, cabins, recreation halls, and many other infrastructure projects at hundreds of state, local and national parks across the U.S. Texas, currently operates 29 CCC-built state parks, which were constructed during the 1930s and early 1940s and formed the core of today’s 95-unit-strong state park system.
On Feb. 6, Katie Rainey, a park interpreter from Bastrop State Park –a park that was built by the CCC—is scheduled to conduct a talk at noon at the Bob Bullock Museum entitled “Learning to Work,” an interactive presentation about life as a CCC camp member, featuring CCC uniforms, tools and other objects that visitors can observe and hold.
The CCC was designed to put young men to work during a time of severe unemployment and economic downturn, while at the same time improve and help preserve many of the nation’s parks and forests. More than 3 million Americans, most between the ages of 18 and 25 joined the CCC from 1933 until its disbandment in 1942, with an estimated 50,000 men assigned to camps in the Lone Star State.
Image courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department