Historic photographs, artifacts and personal mementos are displayed in an original Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) building outfitted with modern conveniences and equipment to carefully preserve these national treasures. Visitors can learn about the dedication and sacrifice in the words and letters of the men whose contributions will last forever.
By March of 1933, 13,600,000 people were unemployed in the United States. In the face of this emergency, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, only two days after his inauguration, called a meeting of government officials to create a Civilian Conservation Corps. Roosevelt intended to put 500,000 unemployed youths to work in forests, parks and range lands across the country.
In its nine years, the CCC employed more than three million men and left an undeniable imprint on the nation's landscape. The CCC built more than 40,000 bridges, planted two billion trees, restored nearly 4,000 historic sites and structures, improved thousands of beaches, roads and shorelines, and created 800 state parks, including six in Virginia.
On June 15, 1936, just three years after the CCC began, Virginia simultaneously opened six state parks: Douthat, Westmoreland, Hungry Mother, Fairy Stone, Staunton River and Seashore, now First Landing. The CCC also helped develop what would become Pocahontas State Park and the National Park Service's Prince William Forest Park.
Those who served were between the ages of 18 and 25, unmarried and unemployed. They came from families on relief, and $25 of their $30 monthly pay was sent back home to their families. They volunteered for a six-month commitment, with the opportunity to re-enlist for another six months for a maximum of two years. They joined the CCC as young, Depression-scarred boys, and through their work they left Virginia and the nation a better place.
Just 20 miles from downtown Richmond. From Interstate 95, take State Route 288 north to State Route 10 east, then State Route 655 (Beach Road) west.
|Museum hours vary seasonally. Call the park for more information and to arrange group tours, (804) 796-4255.|
|To learn more about the CCC's work in Virginia, be sure to visit www.ccclegacy.org. It's in the heart of the George Washington National Forest.|