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CCC Museum Marks Organization's 80th Anniversary

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QUIET DELL -

80 years ago Sunday, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill creating a program whose results can still be seen today.

People gathered at the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum in Quiet Dell to mark that anniversary.

On March 31, 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps. The organization and others like it provided much needed employment to American men in midst of the Great Depression. Museum board members said having the opportunity to work for their own country was a great help to many American families, especially veterans from World War I.

"It was truly a blessing for those that needed it and a blessing to our soldiers that came home, unable to find employment," said Dorothy Gunno, board member.

The Corps focused on conservation efforts across the country, and played a big role in the creation of many of the national and state parks still in operation today. Gunno's father worked in Cacapon State Park and like many, his contributions are remembered by the staff at the museum.

"If you ask a park ranger, if you ask the superintendents of parks, you ask some teachers who the CCCs were, they'll tell you they were the men of the tree army that fought back in the great days of the depression," said Robert Anderson.

But memories aren't the only thing that remain of the CCC. The work those men did is still visible in many state parks throughout West Virginia and the rest of the country.

"It's a real inspiration to go out and look at the work they did, the roads that they built are still there as trails and so forth, and the impoundments they built for fishing and so on, and they also helped farmers back in those days too with soil erosion control," Anderson said.