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Community Living

July 25, 2012

Grady County Historical Society

Spotlight of the Week

From 1933 to 1942 the United States Government operated public work relief programs.  These programs were designed to provide employment for unemployed, unmarried men from families with need.  The young men were usually from age 18 to 25.  Other stipulations required that each be a citizen and physically fit because of the hard physical labor necessary to complete the jobs.   Enlistment was for six months and many reenlisted for a second time.  One of these programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps, was to provide jobs for young men with a need and at the same time implement a parks, forestry, or conservation program.  

Because of the efforts of the Rush Springs Lion’s Club, one of these projects was located on the east side of Rush Springs, OK.  Do to the nature of the soil in that part of the State; the young men worked in soil conservation efforts.  They learned to construct terraces and ponds and to restore vegetation by replanting trees.   This camp was opened June 18, 1933 and closed July 20, 1942 and was one of 500 camps of this type in the country.

The young men received a monthly salary of $30 per month.  Of this amount, a mandatory allotment of $25 was sent home to their families.  Each of the young people received food, shelter, and work clothes.  In addition, medical, dental and educational programs were provided for each of the participants.  

On display in the outside east area at the Grady County Museum are two artifacts from the camp.  A copy of a panorama photograph of the camp site taken in 1935 and a pennant are on view.  The pennant is purple and gold felt with the CCC seal for Company 884 on one end and C.C.C. on the other.  In honor of the Watermelon Festival, held on the second Saturday of August each year in Rush Springs, large photographs showing truckloads of melons headed to market are also in the display.  

The Grady County Museum is located at 415 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, OK and is open M-F from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  To schedule a group tour or for additional information contact 405-224-6480 or gchistorical@att.net.  The Museum website, www.gradycountyhistorical.org,  also provides information on exhibits and other historical sites in the County.  

 

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