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Civilian Conservation Corps (1933 - 1942)
The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum (CCC) is dedicated to preserving and telling the CCC story. The museum was opened September 21, 1983 by Wisconsin Chapter 23 of the National Association of CCC Alumni, who were joined in this commemorative effort by all Wisconsin NACCCA chapters.
CCC alumni from all parts of the country contributed cherished mementos of life in the Wisconsin camps to the museum project.
The museum provides a fascinating glimpse of the CCC work camp experience. Through photographs, personal memorabilia, uniforms, work tools, emblems, jewelry, papers, and an actual barracks replica, visitors to the museum gain an understanding of the history and accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Since its dedication in 1983, the Wisconsin CCC museum has been operated and maintained by an enthusiastic and loyal group of volunteers - CCC alumni, their spouses, interested friends, and faithful supporters. The museum was recently donated to the City of Rhinelander with the intention of keeping it open to the public for many years to come.
A GENERATION OF HOPE
Few Depression-era work programs matched the success of the Civilian Conservation Corps. As all volunteer corps of three million young men, the CCC contributed to the preservation, improvement of fish and wildlife habitats, as well as the reforestation of thousands of county, state, and national forests, parks and campgrounds.
Know popularly as "Roosevelt's Tree Army," the decade-long CCC program contributed to the rebirth of our forests in Wisconsin following the wide-spread fires which devastated the upper half of the state just after the turn of the century.
In addition to its undeniable environmental impact, the CCC had an important social legacy, for it shaped the lives of an entire generation of young men. Due to Depression-era restrictions requiring that the few available jobs go to "heads of families," for many young men the CCC was their first experience working with others. A stint in the CCC taught the boys how to live in harmony with others, to follow orders on the job, to operate heavy equipment such as trucks and bulldozers, and to take care of their communal living quarters.
In return for their efforts, the young men received $30 a month - $25 sent home to their families, a $5 allowance - and their camp accommodations.
As a nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to the young men of the CCC, whose personal growth and development in the difficult Depression years found positive expression their work.
Within four months after America entered World Was II, 90% of CCC men joined the Armed Services and continued their contribution to their country.
From 1933 through 1942, the CCC assigned nearly 165,000 men to 128 camps throughout Wisconsin, planting nearly three billion trees, some 265 million of them in Wisconsin.
The memorial is open from the last week in May through the first week in September.
The Museum encourages tours, and will open its doors by appointment for tour groups outside normal operating hours. Write or call the number above.