African American Civilian Conservation Corps and the Ozarks

Missouri State Parks and Black History Month

Missouri State Parks are remembering the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps’ Companies 1713 and 1743 for their strong and historic 1930’s structures such as, Camp Pin Oak dining hall at Lake of the Ozarks State Park or the CCC lodge at Roaring River State Park. Missouri State Parks are also remembering Black History Month and African Americans’ struggle for equality, at The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site just miles from the Kansas border, and the 220 members of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry with orders to clear out a band of Southern-sympathizing guerillas. Also, the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center in Kansas City is exhibiting the contributions of African Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the African American Inventors and Innovators Exhibit from January 10, 2017 to March 12, 2017. Learn More About Black History Month in The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site and the contributions of The stonemasons of the all-black Company 1743 of the Civilian Conservation Corps that worked in the park between 1934 and 1939. You can find things to do in Missouri State Parks with the Locator Map.

Washington School located at 529 South Locust Street, Monroe City, Monroe County, Missouri, 63456, listed on National Register of Historic Places, employs a colonial revival style of architecture that was designed by African American Architects Bonsack and Pearce and built by Epple Construction Company in 1937. Locally, African American marriage records from 1865 – 1881 in Monroe County, Missouri, can be researched for free with the Monroe County Colored Marriage Book 1 Index 1865-1881. Batch M515873 at FamilySearch.

The State Historical Society of Missouri has extensive collections of teaching aids, documents, family correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, recordings records histories, unpublished manuscripts, programs, directories, reports, pamphlets, and articles of family, friends, employers, church, and schools postcards, a few letters, and announcements that evidence a vivid portrait of black family and social life in Missouri such as, the records of Royal Arch Masons, their wives, mothers, widows, sisters, and daughters of the African American organization of the Heroines of Jericho at Joplin in Jasper County, Missouri.

The collection from Fannie Marie Tolson, the first African American educator to teach in the desegregated schools of Fayette, Missouri includes family correspondence photographs, and memorabilia from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, and teaching aids and documents concerning St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Fayette, and recordings of two interviews conducted with Tolson.

There are also records from the Warren family and descendants that lived in the Three Creeks area of Boone County, Ashland, and Columbia, Missouri, whose collection documents black family life, social and church events, education for several generations, economic and social conditions, clothing styles, automobiles, houses and their locations, prevailing trends, and racial attitudes.

Other Missouri African American collections include the African American Healing Arts and Lore project focused on the topic of folk medicine and healing practices among elder African Americans in the St. Louis Community. And, the histories, unpublished manuscripts, programs, directories, reports, pamphlets, and articles of Afro-Americans In St. Louis, 1920-1980. As well as, the African American Pioneers In Journalism And Broadcasting Oral History Project.

Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743
Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743, who worked at Washington State Park in the 1930s, pose for a photo in the park. Foreman Tal Whiteside is at the far right. Photo provided by Missouri State Parks.
Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743
Left to right: First row: John Napier, Charles Steward, Dennis Lee, George Case, Benjamin Chase, John Edwards, Ray Hendred, Robert Campbell, Phil Meachum; Second Row: Mormon Keaton, Sellie Bruitt, Clarence Prince, John Davis, William Baker, Roderick Kingsberry, Wallace Hester, Henry Kiles, Thurman Moss, Edward Mucherson; Third Row: Robert Cambridge, Jack Tapp, Charles Williams, Clarence Nichols, James Dukes, Lafayette Alston, Otis Hutchinson, William Allen, Rufus Arrington, Oliver Cobb, Robert Burgett, Harrison Brooks; Fourth Row: Jessie Rayford, Richard Davis, William Hardin, John Beasley, Lee Clark, J. C. Romas, David Sainds, John Conley, Archie Humphrey, Melvin Smith, Raymond Kitchin, William Fisher, Robert Barnes Smith, Melvin Smith, Lewis Harris; Fifth Row: Phillip Carter, Elmer Mizner, Earl Howe, Gerald Holt, Melvin Wansley, Richard Kemps, Virgil Patton, Percy Patterson, Joe Gillum, Robert Coby, Quinton Whitaker, Howard Jennings, Manzell Riney, John Wright, Frank Ousley, Lawrence Davis, Russell Goodwin, Freddie Turner. Photos from the Official Annual, Missouri-Kansas District Civilian Conservation Corps, 7th Corps Area Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1937. Photo provided by dnr.mo.gov
Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1743
Left to right: First row: Robert Rollins. Isaiah Steward, Melvin Banks, Walter Allen, Joseph Chitwood, Potas Newman, Raymond Kennerly, William Shannon, James Strong, William Robinson, Clifford Baynham; Second Row: Lucias Tooks, Richard Smith, Vernon Simmons, Ernest Mack, Eugene Bentley, Curtis McWilliams, Russell Fanniel, Russell Burnett, Andrew Pittman, Emmett Sparks, Oliver Caldwell, Bobbie Vermont; Third Row: Sidney Peeler, Cleo Johnson, Lawrence Cook, James Montgomery, Edward Stamps, Frank Scott, George Benson, William Vantreece, Vernon Wallace, Earl Terry, James Lamarque, Herbert McGee, Roosevelt Powell, James Brooks, William Mason, Walter Curd; Fourth Row: Nathan Washington, Charles Grimes, George Hammond, Stanley McKinzie, Clifton Drake, Mack Taylor, James Davis, Homer Steel, Willis Draffen, James L Fisher, Willie Parks, Doris Kinney, Winston Jones, William Cooper, Muriel Cox; Fifth Row: Robert Cusingbury, Grady Johnson, Floyd Matthews, Lloyd Yokley, Ellion Thomas, Maurice Jackson, Raymond Bingham, Edward Thomas, Charles F. Evans, Herbert Howard, Benjamin Harrison, Howard Williams, Melvin Brame, Wilbert Poindexter, James Hamilton, George Draffen. Photos from the Official Annual, Missouri-Kansas District Civilian Conservation Corps, 7th Corps Area Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1937. Photo provided by dnr.mo.gov
Civilian Conservation Corps Pamphlet for African American Enrollees
The Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet from the Federal Security Agency, Civilian Conservation Corps, Washington, D.C., May 1940
Baking Class, Colored CCC Company 3748
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees in a Baking Class, Colored CCC Company 3748. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
The Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet Director and Advisory Council Page. The Civilian Conservation Corps is a cooperative Federal agency. To carry out the program of the Corps the facilities of three government departments are coordinated through the office of the director, CCC. These departments and their functions are: the War Department is primarily charged with Camp organization, administration and supervision of the educational program offered in each CCC camp. The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture are primarily charged with the technical supervision of the conservation field work projects, carried out by the CCC enrollees on the nation’s forests, parks, public domain, and on farm lands. Selection of junior enrollees (17 to 23 years of age) is the responsibility of the office of the director, CCC. The War Veterans’ contingent of the Corps is selected by the Veteran’s Administration. The CCC operated as an independent government agency from April 1933 through June 30th 1939. On July 1st, 1939, it became a part of the Federal Security Agency created by the president under the reorganization Act of 1939. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees in a Cooking Class, Colored CCC Company 3807. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
What The Civilian Conservation Corps Is Doing For Colored Youth page. 300,000 colored youths have served in the Civilian Conservation Corps since it was established in April 1933. Regular habits of work, training, discipline, fresh air, and three well prepared and ample meals a day have combined to improve the morale and health of all in enrollees. The gain in weight averages from seven to twelve pounds for each boy. 30,000 young colored men in war veterans, about one-tenth of a total CCC enrollment, are actively participating in the Civilian Conservation Corps program at the present time. $700,000 is allocated each month by the colored CCC boys to parents and dependents at home. 90,000 books have been supplied by the Corps for the colored camp libraries. Current magazines, daily and weekly newspapers are available in the camp recreation hall. 12,000 colored CCC enrollees have completed courses in first-aid through cooperation of the Corps and the National Red Cross. 2,000 colored project assistants, leaders and assistant leaders are on duty and CCC camps. 600 colored cooks are steadily employed and CCC kitchens. 151 colored college graduates are serving CCC camps as educational advisors. 400 colored typists are assigned to the headquarters of CCC camps. 6 colored chaplains of the U.S. Army Reserve Corps direct religious activities in a number of the colored camps. They are aided by ministers from nearby communities. 15,000 colored enrollees have been taught to read and write. About 90% of the colored CCC enrollees regularly attend CCC academic, vocational and job training classes offered in the camps during leisure hours. Howard University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee Institute, Hampton Institute, Florida A. and M. College at Tallahassee, Tennessee A. and I. State College and a number of other Negro colleges have granted scholarships and fellowships to CCC enrollees. 2 colored camp commanders are on active duty in the CCC. 1 colored camp superintendent and three other graduate engineers are in charge of the CCC project at Gettysburg National military Park, Pennsylvania. Written by Edward G. Brown, Adviser on Negro Affairs.
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of Integrated Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of a group of integrated enrollees in a cooking class. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
The creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the spring of 1933 set into motion the most ambitious program for the conservation of human and natural resources ever attempted in the United States. Utilizing the services of the War Department, the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Veteran’s Administration and conservation and welfare organizations in every state, the CCC has for seven years, been operating a huge chain of outdoor camps in our forests, parks, and on farm land as well as the public domain. A constant stream of unemployed young men have entered those camps, working for periods of from six months to two years and left better prepared to obtain and hold private jobs. During the first six months that the corps was in operation about 15,000 CCC camps where is established in our national forests and parks and on farms. At its peak strength in the late summer of 1935, a total of 2,652 CCC camps were in operation of which about 265 were colored. Slightly in excess of 4500 camps have been established during the seven years the corps has been in operation. The Civilian Conservation Corps records show that 2,450,000 young men, war veterans, Indians and territorials have been enrolled for CCC work since the conservation movement was begun. Of this number, about 250,000 were colored enrollees. Some 300,000 and enrollees are now at work in 1,500 CCC camps located from Canada to Mexico and from New York to California.
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees standing in a formation. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
The Civilian Conservation Corps enabling act, as passed by Congress, specifically stipulates that no person shall be excluded because of race, creed or color. At present, there are approximately 30,000 colored enrollees located in 151 colored and mixed CCC camps distributed throughout Forty-three states. These figures represent about 10% of the CCC totals for members of enrollees and camps, a figure corresponding generally to the proportion of percentage ratio that the colored race holds to the whole population. Eighty-three all-colored camps are located in twelve southern states. The remaining sixty-eight are distributed throughout thirty eastern and northern states, with three in California. Northern states such as Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio each of six or more colored camps. At the Gettysburg National Park in Pennsylvania, the CCC company located on this site as a colored camp commander in charge and an experienced colored graduate engineer as superintendent of the camp. They are assisted by six other college trained workers in the administration of the camp and direction of the work project. These Negro supervisors have been carrying on a successful camp program for the past three years. At present there are approximately forty colored CCC companies engaged on soil conservation projects. More than 100 companies are carrying on reforestation and forest protection work, recreational development, levees and drainage projects, mosquito control, fish and game conservation and flood control work. Millions of dollars have been saved for the country by the work of these colored CCC enrollees. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees in a baking class. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
The day’s activities in a CCC camp run on schedule. The men get up at six o’clock, eat at six-thirty, police their barracks and the camp and get to work at eight. At four o’clock the eight hour work day is over. When the Men return to camp they change their blue denim work clothes for their neat green or summer khaki uniform. They take pride in being well-groomed and in presenting an appearance the company Commander as well as themselves could be proud of when they stand at attention during the retreat flag ceremony at the close of day. After work hours until the ceremony, and again after supper, the men are at liberty to study, read, or to engage in activities of their own choosing until bedtime at ten o’clock. Sports are popular in the camps, many companies have their own baseball, basketball, track and football team many camps have glee clubs, some orchestras. The camp library as well supplied with books – technical manuals, novels, histories, biography magazines and newspapers which the boys enjoy. Opportunity Magazine is included in this list. Educational classes are held four evenings a week in the educational building. There is an education advisor in each camp but all technical and supervisory personnel assist in conducting the educational program. Participation by the enrollees is voluntary but approximately 90 percent of the boys take advantage of the opportunities offered for academic, vocational and job training. Once a week there is a company meeting at which the company commander presides. He discusses topics of interest and value to the enrollee in making the most of his stay in camp and … Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees working in a kitchen scene. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
… his personal life after leaving the CCC. The educational advisor often speaks on some subject of general and current interest. The medical officer gives lectures on personal hygiene. Frequently the evening in is concluded with the showing of a movie. There is no field work on Saturdays except in the case of emergency such as forest fire fighting, flood rescue work or aid in looking for lost persons and such similar extra duties. The only exception is that if work time has been lost during the week due to severe weather which make working conditions impossible this time is made up on Saturdays. On Saturday morning the enrollees usually work around the camp, fixing the walks, planting flowers, painting and cleaning up, or decorating the recreation hall if there is to be a dance or other social gathering in the camp that night to which they have invited relatives or friends. If a camp is located near a town enrollees usually go into town on Saturday night. Sunday have an opportunity to attend services in camp conducted by one of the chaplains attached to the Corps or by a visiting minister. An almost immediate physical improvement and gaining of weight is shown by virtually all CCC enrollees. The food as well prepared and carefully planned. The CCC boy is given a balanced diet suited to the needs of active outdoor workers. He is given proper medical and dental attention which aids in building him up physically. This physical improvement is matched by increased self-respect and self-reliance as he adjusts himself to camp life, benefits from the guidance and inspiration of qualified leaders and becomes interested in work of which he can be proud – work which makes him feel that he is of service and a useful member of society. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees working in a kitchen scene. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
Also important is their pride in being of assistance to their family – the allotments of from $23 to $25 sent home each month from their basic cash allowance of $30 has been of inestimable aid to their families. It is also added to the enrollee’s sense of responsibility and pride and accomplishment. The 300,000 colored CCC boys who have served in the corps during the past seven years have been distributed over the country and camps of 200 Men each. The excellent health of the CCC enrollees is due to regular habits of work, discipline, fresh air and three well-prepared, nourishing meals a day. The average weight gain has been from seven to twelve pounds for each boy serving a six-month period: many gain from twelve to twenty-five pounds. Almost three-quarters of a million dollars a month was allotted by colored CCC boys to their parents and dependents back home during the last fiscal year. Approximately fifteen million dollars has been obligated for wearing apparel, including suits, hats, shoes and underwear since April 1933, about sixteen million dollars for food served colored CCC enrollees. In order to promote the fullest cultural and spiritual life of these youngsters, nearly 50,000 lectures and sermons have been delivered at the camps by colored educators and Ministers. Nine hundred classes and Negro history have been conducted in the camps. Programs at 151 camps in cooperation with the National Negro Health Week have been sponsored each year by official authorization of CCC director James J. McEntee. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees working in a machine shop. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
More than 2,000 colored boys have gained business training in the capacity of store clerks and managers of the post-exchanges operated in each camp. About four hundred colored enrollees are assigned as typists to CCC headquarters of the camp commanders and supervisory forces of the camps. One hundred and fifty-two colored college graduates from the leading institutions of higher learning are serving in the camps as educational advisors. There are a number of color physicians, members of The U.S. Reserve officers Corps and Chaplains on active duty in the camps. Two colored camp commanders are on active duty at Gettysburg National Park, Pennsylvania, and Fishers Landing, New York. The man building value of the CCC is illustrated in the rise of a colored enrollee, Henry J. Scott, to the position of camp commander in charge of the company at Fishers Landing in New York state on the banks of Lake Erie. In 1934, Scott entered the CCC as an enrollee in Delaware, which is in the Second Corps Area, compromising New York, Delaware, and New Jersey. He was assigned to the camp on the Tuckahoe Fish and Game Reservation. He was soon promoted to company clerk where he served for three years. By continuing a correspondence course given by the War Department, Scott was promoted to First Lieutenant in Reserve Corps. Previously, he had won a Commission as a Second Lieutenant. When President Roosevelt, in 1935, issued the Executive Order instructing the employment of colored camp officials, Lieutenant Scott was one of the selected by the War Department. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees working in an office scene. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
He served two years under Captain Joseph H Holmes, senior colored Camp Commander, as junior officer at Fishers Landing. New York. In 1939, Scott was promoted to the top position of the same company as its camp commander and serves in that position today. Camp commanders, since December 31, 1939, have had a civilian status in the camps even though they hold Reserve Officers Commissions. Colored enrollees of the CCC have been engaged on a wide variety of useful work. A colored CCC company in the Everglades of Florida under the supervision of experts from the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the past year has been the eradicating the wild cotton indigenous to this area, which is the breeding place of the boll worm, a potentially more destructive insect than the boll weevil to the vulnerable commercial cotton crop of the southern states. Two colored CCC companies with four other companies have been working for the past three years on the Skokie Lagoons in the Forestry Preserve of Cook County, twenty-eight miles from Chicago. This project, when completed, will serve the dual purpose of controlling floods and providing a large recreational area for the people of Chicago and adjacent counties. Many of the colored enrollees at these camps are employed as carpenters, painters, chauffeurs and mechanics by the National Park Service because of their aptitude, skills and dependability. At Zanesville, Ohio, a colored CCC company has aided in the development of the largest tree nurseries in the United States. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American Enrollees learning radio signals in a radio class. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
The colored CCC Company at the National Arboretum, just outside of the city limits of the nation’s capital, was given first place in a rating for five consecutive months in Area A of the Central District. This company was also highly commended at the recent meeting of company commanders of the Third Corps Area. Another excellent record has been established by two colored CCC companies had Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the experimental farm of the Federal Government in Maryland. A colored CCC camp has been at work and at the Manistee National Forest in northern Michigan for several years. This company and its projects have been inspected frequently by Negro leaders from Idlewild twenty miles away. The Idlewild Chamber of Commerce has officially commended the contribution made to conservation by these enrollees. Through research work, clearance of excessive vegetation and the restoration of old structures and fortifications, colored CCC enrollees working in the colonial National Monument, Virginia, have restored the settings of some of the most important battle sites of the Revolutionary War and of Colonial life which preceded the revolution. Under the supervision of the National Park Service, excavation work is now in progress in Virginia’s Colonial settlements at Jamestown and Yorktown. Colored enrollees of five CCC companies including four junior and one veterans’ company are tracing the colonial history of America from its beginnings at Jamestown in 1607. Through discoveries resulting from their work, the early history of the colony established by John Smith is being rewritten. Foundations of the old houses have been uncovered. Relics… Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollee
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of an African American Enrollee serving as a radio operator. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
… of the first settlers’ pottery, glassware, stone utensils, firearms, mechanics’ tools, and buckles from shoes on other wearing apparel have been carefully unearthed, labeled and set up on display by selected groups of these colored CCC boys under the supervision of skilled archaeologists. These young colored men of the Civilian Conservation Corps had demonstrated not only skill and versatility but patience and appreciation of the value of the work they have been entrusted to perform. To recover any of the remaining vestiges of the Jamestown settlement the whole site of the first English colony in America had to be painstakingly excavated, almost inch by inch. The island was plotted in geometrical ten-foot squares which were excavated to a depth of from nine to fifteen feet. In this manner foundations of the settler’s cabins, roadway beds and many relics of early colonial civilization were uncovered. Among the articles found in the excavations were all types, kinds and designs of china and glassware showing traces of Dutch, Italian and even Chinese influence along with predominant English patterns, as well as farm utensils and fireplace tiles and tongs. The heavier iron pieces are carefully cleaned of dirt another obstructions; the more delicate articles, like glassware, are sorted, then pieced together like the original creation, classified and labeled by the archaeologist in charge and his staff of colored CCC enrollees, and finally removed for exhibition in the National Park Service Museum. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollee
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of an African American enrollee sending a radio message in code. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
At Yorktown, the scene of the final battle of the Revolution, old fortifications, including redoubt, batteries and trenches have been cleared out to buy colored CCC workers, identified, and important areas marked. One of the most interesting of the CCC activities at Yorktown this the salvaging of the contents and the equipment of the two British frigates which were sunk in the York River during the siege of Yorktown. In a graphic account of the Civilian Conservation Corps work in nine southern states, Captain G. Lake Imes, a former CCC chaplain, and for years an official of Tuskegee Institute stated: “There are 6,500 colored boys in the CCC camps in the Fourth Corps Area. One has to know their backgrounds to know just what the camps mean to them in the way of opportunity. Boys who never had anything but a hoe in their hands have become expert in handling tractors, trucks and road machinery. “The meager fare found in log cabins has given place to regular meals, nourishing food and good table manners. Then, there is a shy pride in these boys who have learned to write their names. “A shower bath with plenty of soap and hot water will work wonders and almost any boy’s personal appearance. Give him a change of top clothes as well as underclothes, along with socks and a necktie and it is no wonder his own family doesn’t recognize him when he gets back home. “But it is not in appearance alone that those boys have changed. They have a new attitude toward life, a new sense of capability, a new sense of responsibility, and more than all, perhaps, a new sense of belonging. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees learning to repair a tractor. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
“The CCC camps have changed the attitude of the youth who have felt its uplift and inspiration. Here are leaders urging them to make something of themselves; to learn the how and why and the what of things they are doing. From that time on the colored boy has a new incentive to live; he is walking up a street, not the blind alley. “It is surprising what latent talents and abilities opportunity sometimes brings out. In one Alabama camp there is a boy who has built a radio receiving set, cabinet and all, during his spare time. At an Army post there is one boy in camp who can fashion anything you want out of iron.” James J. McEntee, Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps, on the seventh anniversary of the CCC, made public excerpts from a score of letters received at his office from distinguished colored educators, religious leaders, Y.M.C.A. directors and businessman throughout the country. These letters praised the general youth program and specific benefits derived by the Negro race from the CCC movement initiated by the Federal Government in 1933. Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama stated in his letter, “I am absolutely sure that the CCC movement is filling a distinct gap in American life. I am sure that thousands of Negro youth have been salvaged through the very excellent program of education in all phases of living administered in this work. In addition to this I am not unmindful of the many worthwhile projects that have been completed throughout the nation which have been a source of profit and pleasure to countless other thousands. So well has the CCC program established itself that there seems to be every reason for its continuance for a long time to come.” Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees standing in a barracks doorway and talking. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
Hon. F.B. Ranson, a member of the Y.M.C.A. International Board and manager of the Mme. C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the largest Negro businesses in the United States, made the following comment: “Of all the splendid projects launched by our great President to relieve human suffering and restore confidence in our American life and institutions, and as a matter fact in the our democratic form of government, none to my mind, was quite so timely and far reaching in effectiveness as was the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Mr. Eugene Kinckle Jones, for twenty-six years, executive secretary of the National Urban League, New York, writes: “The work that has been done through the CCC is unparalleled by any emergency service set up by the government during the period of the depression. It has not only furnished relief to the families of youths whose parents and guardians have been unable to provide themselves with necessities of life, but it has afforded training and recreational opportunities to our youth which will stand them in good stead for the years to come. “I particularly wish to commend those in authority especially President Roosevelt, for the liberal manner in which the Negro enrollees have been recruited and provided with the facilities of this Service. The beginning that has been made in the realization of the day democratic handling of this particular phase of the CCC activities is worthy of highest commendation and should prompt those in authority to make every effort to expand this ideal further.” Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees picking seeds from pine cones. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
Mr. C.A. Scott, general manager of the Scott Newspaper Syndicate of twenty-five weekly newspaper and newspapers and publisher of the Atlanta Daily World, says: “The money spent and being spent by the Federal Government in the Civilian Conservation Corps represents the best investment the government has ever made. There is no doubt that had no such program been undertaken, many thousands of youths, who are to be leaders of tomorrow would now be leading a life of crime. Besides being exposed to a definite wholesome environment, the boys in the Camps are receiving training and educational advantages that otherwise would have been denied them.” Mr. R.J. Reynolds, attorney and director of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s National Guide Right Commission for Colored Youth, made the following comment: “Many fine movements have been inaugurated under President Roosevelt, but none have been of greater service than the CCC movement. It came at a time when the youth of America needed guidance away from idleness, away from despondency, away from crime, and in meeting such an emergency it has done much to save the future of our country. Character, constructive thinking, and a spirit of good will in favor of democracy have been promoted in the youth it has served. The fact that Negro you have shared proportionately in the program means that they shared equally in the good which it has accomplished. “I wish to congratulate you on the part you played in seeing to it that Negro youth got full recognition in the movement.” Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees picking seeds from pine cones. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
Dr. C. B. Powell, director of the Victory Life Insurance Company and publisher of the New York Amsterdam News writes: “The Civilian Conservation Corps is one of the greatest movements on the road to recovery. It has been most effective in solving the great economic problem of unemployment among our youth, who, in their adolescence have tendencies toward restiveness. It has been a means of teaching youth to work, and, at the same time, to acquire skill, knowledge and training and technical positions, thereby fitting themselves for work in private industry.” Mr. R. B. DeFrantz, official of the National Council of the Young Men’s Christian Association, says: “The impressions I have gained relative to the CCC, in part through information from our local secretaries, are highly favorable. The work experience, out-door activities, educational programs and thoughtful discipline have done much to prepare the young men for the exacting duties of citizenship.” Bishop R. R. Wright, Jr. of the African Methodist Episcopal Church praised the work of the CCC in a recent speech, he said: “I wish to pay tribute to the great constructive service the Civilian Conservation Corps has rendered our country in the recent economically depressed years. I am conversant with the benefits which have come to our people as a whole, and especially to the colored people both professionally and personally. In my travels I have seen CCC boys of both races reacting cheerfully to the new opportunities the corps opened to them; and I have seen our own colored boys rise from the depths of idleness and despair … Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees attending Protestant church services at a camp chapel. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
… to the more invigorating heights of self-respect and optimistic outlook; and I have seen families of these boys given new hope and new encouragement, as well as a new start, by the returns from the work of the enrollees. “I believe this phase of the New Deal has been worth many times more than it has cost; and I count it a stroke of Providence that are President made such provision for our young men of both races in his program of saving the Nation, at a time when all seemed utterly lost. Mr. P. B. Young, leader of Norfolk Journal and Guide, says: “The Civilian Conservation Corps has been a godsend to American youth. Hundreds of thousands who were simply aimlessly drifting a few years ago have been afforded an opportunity to avail themselves of physical and vocational training necessary for adaptation to the shifting social and economic currents in American Life. “Especially beneficial has this government aid been to the 200,000 colored youths included in the corps. More than ordinarily disadvantaged by race and color they have been helped over a period when their exposure to these disadvantages threatened to subject them to complete social disintegration. “The CCC is serving a highly constructive purpose. It is one of the soundest investments our government has made for the stabilization of American youth. Movements subversive of good American citizenship cannot take root among youth who have been schooled in the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs of African American Enrollees
Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph of African American enrollees watering strip planted trees to keep the young trees alive during severe drought conditions. Photo provided by the National Archives (Record Group 35).
Civilian Conservation Corps and Colored Youth pamphlet
TYPES OF JOBS AND COURSES TAUGHT AT THE CCC CAMPS. Approximately 5,000 different courses in 116 different subjects are being given in Forest Service camps each month. In all camps, including National Park Service camps, probably 11,500 courses in 150 different subjects are being taught. Jobs and subjects in which enrollees receive training under supervision of the CCC technical agencies: Abney Hand Level, Accounting, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Auto Mechanics, Bit And Tool Grinding, Blacksmithing, Blueprint Reading, Bridge Construction, Building Construction, Bulldozer Operation, Care of Tools, Carpentry, Clearing – Roadside & Trail, Clerking – office, Compressor Operation, Concrete Construction, Conservation – general, Cooking and Baking, Creosoting, Crusher Operation, Culvert Construction, Dam Construction (Small dams), Diesel Engines, Disease Control (Plant and Tree), Drafting, Drainage, Dragline Operation, Drilling – hand, Driving Laws, Electrical Wiring, Engineering, Equipment Maintenance, Erosion Control, Explosives, Farm Woodlot Management, Farm Management, Fence Construction, Fire Break Construction, Fire Prevention, Fish Planting and Culture, Foreman and Leader Training, Forestry – general, Game Census, Gardening, Gas Engines, Grader Operation, Guide Service, Guard Training, Gully Control, Horticulture, Insect Control, Irrigation, Jack Hammer Operation, Landscaping, Logging, Log Scaling, Mapping or Map Making, Masonry, Mathmatics, Metalwork, Mill Operation, Mining, Mosquito Control, Nursery Work, Office Management, Painting – general, Park Administration, Photography, Pipe Line Construction, Plane Table Work, Plant Eradication, Plumbing, Pond Development, Poultry Production, Pump Operation, Quarrying, Range Improvement, Razing Buildings, Recreational Development, Reforestation, Riprapping, Roadside Cleanup, Roadside Erosion Control, Rodent Control, Saw Filing, Seeding, Seed Collection, Sign Making, Sign Painting, Slide Rule, Sodding, Soil Conservation, Spring Development, Steel Structure, Stock Driveway, Stone Cutting, Stream Improvement, Surveying Telephone Line Construction, Telephone Lineman, Telephone Maintenance, Terracing, Timber Cruising, Timber Stand Improvement, Tool Storage, Tower Construction, Tractor Operation, Traffic Census, Trail Maintenance, Tree Felling, Tree Identification, Tree Planting, Tree Surgery, Truck Driving, Truck Trail Construction, Typing, Use of Tools, Warehouse Keeping, Water Hold Construction, Welding, Well Drilling & Improvement, Wildlife Management, Woodlot Management, Wood Working, Woodcraft. Photo provided by digitalarchives.broward.org
Transfer of funds to the War Department for Civilian Conservation Corps Memo
Memorandum for Mr. Robert Fechner, director of emergency conservation work, Room 5139, Interior Department Building, Washington, D.C., Subject: Transfer of funds to the War Department for Civilian Conservation Corps. Pursuant to the direction of the President the following estimate of funds needed to buy the War Department to receive, transport to camps, enroll, shelter, clothe, ration, equipment and transport to their work a total of 25,000 men on the assumption that they will remain only 14 days under Army control, is here submitted as the basis of the original requisition of funds to cover the current expenses involved. Photo provided by archives.gov
F.D. Roosevelt memorandum transferring funds
President Franklin Roosevelt’s letter to Robert Fechner regarding African American enrollees of the Civilian Conservation Corps being assigned as foremen in technical work. Photo provided by archives.gov
Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, letter to Robert Fechner regarding Negroes serving in supervisory capacities
Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, letter to Robert Fechner expressing his certainty that Negroes can serve in supervisory capacities equally efficiently, should not be discriminated against, and just and proper recognition to members of the Negro race. Photo provided by archives.gov

Lake Placid, A Recreational Center for Colored People in the Missouri Ozarks
In Morgan County, Missouri, there is a recreation area where blacks could build cottages and enjoy outdoor activities usually unavailable to them in a segregated society. Over sixty years later, as the cover photograph depicts, the area still serves as a idyllic retreat for many families seeking an escape from urban life.

More interesting reading is the Missouri Historical Review’s “Lake Placid: ‘A Recreational Center for Colored People in the Missouri Ozarks’” (page 68) by Gary R. Kremer and Evan P. Orr.

Diamond Discovery Center in Murfreesboro, Arkansas

In 1906, diamonds were found at the county seat of Pike County, Arkansas, United States, on a local farm, in the city of Murfreesboro. A diamond-bearing volcanic formation, now belonging to the state of Arkansas, Crater of Diamonds State Park, was eventually opened to the public, in 1972, when the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism purchased the site. Diamonds are continuously being discovered in this state park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. If you’re making plans to visit this state park, you can rent or purchase your equipment and receive a helpful introduction to diamond searching at the Diamond Discovery Center. You will also enjoy the exhibit hall and the gift shop, while you are there. An admission fee is charged for gem-hunting. This state park has campsites for recreational vehicles with a dump station, and for tents with and without hook-ups, a bathhouse with restrooms, hot showers, cafe, wildlife observation blind, an enclosed pavilion with air-conditioning, playground, interpretive programs, hiking trails, laundry, and an amphitheater.

Location Map of Crater of Diamonds Start Park, in Murfreesboro, at county seat of Pike County, Arkansas, United States

Things To Do In Branson, Missouri

  • Historic Mills
  • Canoeing
  • Antiques & Flea Markets
  • Geocaching
  • Golf Courses
  • Miniature Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • Bull Shoals Dam & Visitor Center
  • Top O’ the Ozarks Tower
  • Bull Shoals Caverns & Mountain Village 1890
  • Trout Farms & Hatcheries
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder House
  • Branson
  • Theme Parks
  • Blanchard Springs Caverns
  • Outlet Malls
  • A-list Fine Dining Restaurants
  • Live Entertainment
  • 18- Hole Championship Golf
  • Springfield
  • Bass Pro Shop
  • A-list Dining Restaurants
  • Boutiques for inexpensive gifts for men
  • First Friday Art Walk, Downtown
  • Minor League Baseball
  • Wonders of Wildlife Museum, Springfield MO
  • Bass Pro Shop
  • Shepherd of the Hills
  • Blanchard Springs Caverns
  • Antique Stores & Shopping Malls
  • James A. Gaston Center
  • Scuba Diving
  • Show Boat Dinner Tours
  • White Water (Water Park)
  • Silver Dollar City (a theme park)
  • Dickerson Park Zoo
  • Country Music Shows
  • Fish Hatchery at the base of Table Rock Dam
  • Top O’ the Ozarks Tower
  • Marvel Cave
  • IMAX Theater
  • Horseback Riding

The True Ozarks

Ozark Mountains

It’s hard to appreciate just how vast the Ozark Mountains are because, unlike the Rockies, they have flat horizon lines instead of jagged, towering peaks. As you drive through our area you will encounter many open vistas like this one. We are in the actual Ozark Mountains, not in the foothills. There are many paved, well maintained roads that make excellent driving tours.

Dogwoods & Red Buds

Many people are not aware that Ozark foliage displays are almost as spectacular as northern foliage. With over 200 tree species growing in the Ozarks the chances for a colorful fall display are very good. Most years the foliage display peeks the last few days of October or the first week of November. This time of year is also when several species of wildflowers also bloom, which is not the case in more northern regions. The first blossoms appearing each spring are those of the red bud tree. About two weeks later the dogwoods bloom. When conditions are right both trees can bloom at the same time. Dogwoods usually blossom around the last week of April to the first week of May. Drive down any back road and you’ll find the dogwood blooms. When you are planning your vacation to Branson, Missouri for yourself and your family, remember to consider care for your pets while you are away.

Wildflowers

Blooming from March through November, white, blue, red, orange, purple, and many shades in between, wildflowers can be found everywhere. Beside the road, beside the lake and rivers, in the fields, and in the forest, there’s no shortage of native color. In addition the bloom colors change about every three weeks as different species blossom. All the blooms attract an incredible number of colorful butterflies.

Birds

Like the mammal populations, the bird life is also very diverse in the Ozarks. Birds of prey include several owl and hawk species, and bald eagles winter in the area. Humming birds are very common; so are a multitude of song and water birds. You’ll spot birds of all kinds while driving down the road, canoeing, or watching the shoreline. Hawks can be spotted sitting in trees and power lines along the roads. Owls show up right at dusk just minutes before it’s too dark to see. Song birds are most visible at first daylight through sunrise. Water birds are active in the evenings as well as early morning.

Wildlife

The Ozark Mountains support one of the most diverse and well-populated mammal populations in America. From the black bear down to the tiny shrew, many different animal species make their home in our area; foxes, coyotes, bobcats, mink, otter, rabbits, ferrets, several squirrel species, and many more can be seen on a regular basis with a little planning. Deer, squirrels, wild turkey, and many other animals frequent resort yards. Still others can be seen along the lake shores and along back roads in the dawn and dusk periods of each day.

Kids & Critters

There are several species of turtles living in the Ozarks and you’ll see them in the water as well as on land. The box turtles live by consuming plants and vegetables. In addition to turtle-catching, children spend hours chasing the harmless little lizards living around rocks and logs. The fast-running lizards present a considerable challenge to children trying to catch them. It’s not unusual for the kids to spend hours attempting to corral one. The numerous butterflies in the area also make great chasing and we’ve seen children collect whole sets while vacationing.

Water Sports

boating-1A maze of coves, creek arms, and peninsulas make up the Bull Shoals Lake shoreline. There can be hundreds of boats on the water but you see only a few of them because of the broken shorelines. Lake maps are sold in several area facilities that will help you find just the right spot to beach a houseboat, fish, hunt, and more. Water skiing, wave boarding, tubing, fishing, scuba diving, swimming, wave running, exploring, are all popular water sports. Marinas and resort rent boats and other water sport equipment. The water is warm from about the middle of May through the middlecanoe (1) of September. You can always find smooth water in the coves even on windy days. There are few large boats making uncomfortable wakes in this area of Bull Shoals. All the land surrounding Bull Shoals Lake is public property owned by the Federal government. You can hike, fish, hunt, and otherwise enjoy the
lake shore. With almost 1,000 miles of shore line, there are plenty of places to go. Many people find a private spot by boat then anchor or beach to swim, fish, camp, and hike.

Scuba Diving

Bull Shoals Lake is a great place to go scuba diving, the water is very clear (visibility is usually more than 10 feet which is very uncommon for a lake). There are several dive shops on the lake and many different artifacts have been sunk on the lake for scuba divers and skin divers to enjoy including a school bus, and an old WWII boat.

Bald Eagle Viewing In Missouri And Arkansas

Bald Eagle Viewing

Many people are unaware that Missouri has one of the largest bald eagle migrations in America. The many lakes and wetland areas in Missouri, along with the large rivers, offers enough plentiful food and fresh water for thousands of eagles take up residence during their annual migration southward. The great birds leave their nesting ranges in the Great Lakes region and Canada. During the winter, Missouri’s lakes and rivers offer ideal hunting conditions for the magnificent bird.

To view the flying and feeding eagles, come early in the morning and look for the bald eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. The following areas are hot spots for viewing:

  • Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, off Route K, southwest of Columbia
  • Lake of the Ozarks, Bagnell Dam Access, east of Bagnell
  • Lock and Dam 24 in Clarksville
  • Lock and Dam 25, east of Winfield
  • Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, northwest of Puxico
  • Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area, West Alton
  • Schell-Osage Conservation Area, north of El Dorado Springs
  • Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, south of Mound City
  • Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, south of Sumner
  • Table Rock Lake, southwest of Branson
  • Truman Reservoir, west of Warsaw
Bald Eagle in Symbolism

One of the three symbols connected with the astrological sign Scorpio; the scorpion, the eagle and the phoenix; the eagle has probing eyes that give the predator the ability to strike at a moment’s notice. But unlike the scorpion, the eagle is free to soar above the earth to see what others may not see.bald-eagle-in-flight

The bald eagle is the official emblem of the USA. It is used on coins, money, buildings, and much more. It serves many different purposes in America, but it has also served throughout history as well. In a range of unique cultures, the bald eagle may be the link between the gods and man.

Bald Eagle Facts
  1. Name: The term “bald” is a bit confusing. It refers to the Old English word “balde”—meaning white—rather than without feathers. The scientific name, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, means white-headed sea eagle.
  2. Eyesight: Eagle vision is five to six times sharper than a human’s. The prominent brow shades the eye for keener vision.
  3. Beak: The eagle’s hooked beak is used for tearing flesh.
  4. Size: One of the largest birds of prey in the world, bald eagles have a 6 1/2- to 8-foot wingspan and are 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall, weighing 8 to 15 pounds. In many birds of prey, the female is larger than the male. However, unless birds are perched next to each other, sexes cannot be told apart.
  5. Foods: Fish compose 60 to 90 percent of the bald eagle diet, most of which is scavenged. Eagles usually locate prey by soaring or watching from a high perch. Piracy is another way eagles get food. If one bird makes a prize catch, others often will try to take the food away. Prey animals weigh from 3 to 5 pounds, at most. An eagle would have difficulty carrying anything even one-half its own weight, making the myth of eagles carrying off human babies or calves sound absurd.
    Young: Two, and sometimes three, white eggs are laid each year in March or April. Both parents incubate the eggs for 34 to 40 days. By 10 to 11 weeks of age, eagles are feathered, nearly full grown and able to fly from the nest.
  6. Speed: Eagles fly 20 to 40 miles per hour and can reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour while diving.
  7. Talons: Powerful feet with razor-sharp, 2-inch talons are used to take prey.
    Age: Bald eagles have lived up to 50 years in captivity. Their life expectancy in the wild may be 15 to 25 years.
  8. Nests: Nests usually are built in the top of a large tree. Each year in January and February, the pair adds to the nest. A bald eagle nest can become the largest of any North American bird. The national record is 20 feet deep and 10 feet wide, weighing 2 tons! In Missouri, however, nests average about 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep.
    Mortality rate: On average, biologists estimate that there is a 40 to 50 percent mortality rate for bald eagles during their first year after leaving the nest, a 10 percent mortality rate the second year and 5 percent per year from the third year on.
  9. Color: The distinctive white head and tail mark an adult—a sexually mature bird that is at least 4 to 5 years old. Younger birds’ plumage varies from solid, dark brown to mottled brown and white. Males and females are colored alike.
  10. Range: Bald eagles historically occurred throughout North America. The largest natural area breeding populations are in Alaska and Canada, but there are significant bald eagle populations in the Great Lakes states, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, the Greater Yellowstone area, and the Chesapeake Bay region.