Wednesday, 19 June 2024

The Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Hemlock, Washington (1933-1942)

Presented by Rick McClure

History Pub

6pm doors, 7pm program


All ages welcome

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About The Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Hemlock, Washington (1933-1942)

The Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Hemlock, Washington (1933-1942)

Providing work relief to unemployed Americans during the Great Depression was a primary goal during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term in office. Among the best known of his New Deal programs in Washington was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a massive labor force for forest conservation and improvement projects on public lands.

One of the first of 50 CCC work camps established in Washington, CCC Camp Hemlock (F-41) was in the Wind River watershed of the present-day Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Between 1933 and 1942, the workers assigned to this camp-CCC Company 944, organized at Fort Lewis-were mostly young men from families in Southwest Washington that were experiencing economic hardship.

Extensive archival and oral history research, including interviews with former enrollees, was used to develop a comprehensive history of life at Camp Hemlock, summarize the accomplishments of its personnel, and describe its material culture. Drinking was forbidden in the camps, so the items most frequently excavated were, of course, beer, wine, and whiskey containers. This project provided an unparalleled opportunity to explore traditional methods of ethnoarchaeology in assessing the "official" records of the CCC, in relation to the actual social behavior of enrollees at Camp Hemlock.

Rick McClure is a retired federal agency archaeologist and alumnus of both Evergreen State College and Washington State University. His professional experience has included cultural resource management positions with the USDA Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Hood National Forests in Washington and Oregon, including the role of Heritage and Tribal Programs Manager. Rick and his wife Cheryl, also an archaeologist, are the authors of For the Greatest Good: Early History of Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Rick and Cheryl make their home near the foot of Mount Adams in the Washington Cascades.

About History Pub

History Pub

Stay the night, mention History Pub at check-in for 15% off your room.

These events are open to everyone interested in Pacific Northwest history, and beyond! Often co-sponsored by local or state historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers, historians and documentaries expounding on topics from indigenous history to the birth of Portland, early explorers to hop growing, and on and on! It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp

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