From 1933-1942 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) gave hope to young men and families struggling through the Great Depression. As a part of the New Deal, the CCC was a public work relief program in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families. These young men, eager to do anything to help their families, didn’t know what great impact they would leave in New Hampshire State Parks and other natural areas throughout the nation! CCC workers earned the nickname Roosevelt’s Tree Army, throughout the life of the program.
The scale of the Civilian Conservation Corps was massive, employing approximately 5 percent of the adult male population in the United States. If the CCC still employed 5% of the US adult male population today, there would be 6 million citizens working on conservation and land development projects around the nation! Visiting Moose Brook State Park, it is impossible to miss the presence of the CCC’s work.
Traces of the CCC from their work developing Moose Brook 1934-1936:
- The Old Bathhouse-almost 100 years old, this bathhouse is now closed to the public. You can still admire it today at Moose Brook’s ice cold swimming hole!
2. Stone Work– Take a closer look as you cross the bridge connecting to the picnic area. All of these stones along the edge of the creek were fitted into place by hard-working men almost 100 years ago! (they still look pretty good!) Today, sections are beautifully draped with moss.
3. Fireplace Camp Site– Towering into the sky, alongside pine trees, a single fireplace sits in a small clearing. Back in the 1930’s this chimney is said to have been a part of the barracks where the young CCC workers rested. This site is marked by an ‘FP’ on the Moose Brook State Park map.
4. Group Camping Site/Field: Though the men did long hours of heavy labor each day, the barracks and uniforms of the men were kept neat and orderly. Take a short walk past the shelter and fireplace sites and you will find a large field for group camping. Here, every morning, the men would line-up in formations for daily inspections before heading off to the work-site. Standing in that field I imagined the rows of men that would stand in that same spot, neatly dressed and sleepy-eyed waiting to start the work day.
5. Park Office: On your way out of the park there is one more piece of history you should not miss! Stop in at the original park office building built by the CCC. Let your imagination run wild thinking of the banquets and meetings park workers used to have in this historic building.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore NH State Parks!
Written by: Anastasia Slough (Northern Rover)