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TPWD News Release — Feb. 4, 2008

Call Goes Out for CCC Veterans to Attend Bastrop State Park Celebration of Federal Work Program’s 75th Anniversary

BASTROP, Texas — Most of the men whose skilled hands during the 1930s and early 1940s helped build the structures that form the backbone of the Texas State Park system have passed on as the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps approaches. Those CCC workers who are still alive today are in their 80s and 90s.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is trying to track down as many surviving CCC workers as possible to invite them to a special event on March 28-29 at Bastrop State Park. The event coincides with the 75th anniversary of the CCC’s creation in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the executive order to put the Depression-era’s young men back to work conserving the nation’s natural resources by planting forests, building parks and other means.

Former CCC workers are invited to contact Janelle Taylor (512-389-4665), so she can extend an invitation to the March 28-29 celebration. Bastrop State Park is one of only six state parks in the United States built by the CCC designated a National Historic Landmark.

"We really need to find these guys and honor them," Taylor said. "We need the public’s help." This group is so humble that unless someone tells them they need to contact me, they probably won’t call."

About 100 former CCC workers attended a celebration at Bastrop State Park in 2003 for the 70th anniversary. During previous CCC reunions, Taylor and others have been collecting oral histories that provide a rich archive chronicling the CCC veterans’ significant achievements so that future park visitors and others can learn about these remarkable men’s achievements.

Thirty Texas state parks operated by TPWD bear the distinct mark of the young CCC laborers who erected permanent structures that reflect the National Park Service’s trademark "rustic style." By 1935, 27 CCC companies were working in Texas state parks, building roads, bridges, swimming pools, dams and hundreds of sturdy, handsome rock-and-timber structures, such as Indian Lodge in Fort Davis. The 101 companies of young men at 130 CCC camp locations throughout the state developed 56 parks in Texas between 1933 and 1942 before many of them headed off to World War II.

For more information about the celebration, call (512) 389-4665.


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