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Civilian Conservation Corps (1933 - 1942)

CCC Museum
Ted Kurlinski
5636 River View Drive
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 369-4597

Civilian Conservation Corps Logo

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.

WHO ARE WE?

We are the young men who made up the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 to 1942.

We are the men who mended the scarred land, smoothed the erodes fields, cleared the muddled waters of the creeks and streams, and refreshed the depleted woodlands of our country.

We replanted forests from Maine to California. We built fire trails through the new and old forests to provide protection and care. We cleaned out the diseased deadwood to protect healthy trees and new growth. And we fought floods and forest fires.

We built lodges and campsites in our National Parks to encourage people to enjoy our beautiful country and to make the parks accessible to all. We built roads and trails.

We worked the quarries to produce building stone for the dams we erected in State and National Parks. Those dams created lakes that have welcomed campers, fishermen, and family groups for more than 50 years. From the quarries also came rock crushed into limestone and spread on farmlands to sweeten the overworked earth, and building stone from the quarries went into masonry dams and flumes to control rapidly eroding soil.

We did our work all over this country. It stands today as a monument to the youth of the 1930's and what we accomplished with our minds, bodies, and hands. We were the craftsmen with pick, shovel, and hoe; with maul, drill, and wheel-barrow.

We gained education, seized job opportunities, and achieved honor, respect, and purpose in life. We put a mark on this land that will show for many years to come.

As a generation, we are proud to have earned a place in history. We will always be grateful for that, and for the chance to share that pride with the generations that follow.

 
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