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  • Laci Barry Post

Hiking through CCC History

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

On a recent trip to DeSoto State Park in Alabama, we stayed in a charming cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The stone and wood work were beautiful! We even hiked to the old rock quarry to see where the workers got the stone for our cabin. It was a historical treat, and it reminded me of the great work that the CCC did in building and restoring the United States. The CCC was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program to stimulate employment and the economy following the Great Depression.

One of the main locations in The War Song Series also greatly benefited from the work of the CCC and the Public Works Administration, which was created alongside the CCC to help unemployment. Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL received many permanent buildings and post improvements during this time. Officers’ and non-commissioned officers’ quarters, an enlisted men’s barracks, a fire station, a guard house, a truck park, a repair shop, an enlisted men’s service club, a gymnasium, an auditorium, the main post exchange, an officer’s club, Silver Chapel, stables, wagon sheds, a vehicle shop, a bakery, warehouses, a Quartermaster utility shop, ordnance magazines, a railroad spur, a coal trestle, a sewage disposal plant, a concrete reservoir, roads, street lighting, a fence, and target range were all built using depression-era relief funds. That is a long list!

These major improvements helped the fort train and house thousands of soldiers and intern German and Italian prisoners during World War II. The CCC did impressive work at both Fort McClellan and DeSoto State Park that is still with us today. Take a hike and find the CCC history around you!

“They were now driving into the first of its three compounds, and Carson was drawn to a small, serene chapel surrounded by flowers and shrubbery. As they drove through the compound, he was amazed at the rows of barracks that lined each side of the dirt road and the buildings for kitchens, company orderly rooms, dispensaries, and reading rooms.”

Songbird, Chapter 21


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