Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, April 6, 1997, pg. 19
During the Great Depression many young men went into the labor force with no jobs waiting for them. One answer to the need was the United States Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), begun in 1933 under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Recruits were placed in military-type barracks and learned the value of work and earnings as they worked outdoors on Federal and State lands. Much of northern Michigan was reforested and developed by CCC programs.
In Michigan, 104,814 young men were enrolled in the program, and between 1933 and 1942 planted 485 million trees, fought forest fires for 140,000 days, constructed 7,000 miles of truck trails, built 504 bridges, built 22 buildings, created 33 airplane strips, planted 156,660,922 fish in state lakes, and treated 5,000 acres of land for pest and disease control.
Enrollees were paid by the government $30 a month, of which $22 of that was sent home to their families, leaving $8 a month for personal items. The CCC camps provided enrollees with work, meals, medical and dental care. Revile was at 6 a.m. each day, followed by an 8-hour work day, then recreation, free time and lights out by 10 p.m.
Across the road from the North Higgins Lake State Park there is a CCC Camp Museum which I encourage our readers to visit. Also in the Museum of Michigan in Lansing there is a section on the third floor featuring the CCC camps. Why am I writing about this in this column? In both places there is a large photograph displayed of a group of men at CCC Camp Wolverine, located near Clarion, Michigan. Two of the young men in this photo are form Albion!
From our Historical Notebook this week we present that photograph. In the center (the fourth person from the left) is my uncle, Michael Kulikowski, now of Kalamazoo. The man at the far right end is another Albion young man, William Waterhouse, now of Grand Rapids. I have been told that there were other persons in CCC camps who were from Albion.
A State-wide CCC camp reunion will be held at North Higgins Lake State Park on Thursday-Saturday June 5-7. There will be camping, a barbecue, potluck dinner, and other events. For more information write: Frank Munger, CCC Secretary, 2049 Kenade N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49505. I have made Xerox copies of information about this event which I have left at the Albion Chamber of Commerce for you to pick up. I encourage those from Albion who were CCC members to get your reservation in and attend this event.
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic