Region 7The Eastern Region
Region 9The North-Central Region
The current Eastern Region, Region 9, was originally divided into two USDA Forest Service regions, Eastern Region 7 and North Central Region 9. At the time of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the regions were separate, and they are discussed separately here.
From 1933 until 1942, Region 7 contained the following States: Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The District of Columbia was also included in this region. Of these States, only seven had national forest lands:
It is estimated that Region 7 had 16 percent of the country's forested area and 1 percent of its national forest area. Three percent of the region's forested area was under Federal ownership. State and privately owned forests were more prevalent here than in the West. 
States with national forests in Region 7 were under the jurisdiction of the Army I, II, III, and V Corps Areas. On April 22, 1933, Acting Adjutant General James McKinley announced the enrollment quota for the entire Eastern Region as 66,850 men. Quotas covering all technical services in the seven States with national forests were: Kentucky, 4,450; Maine, 1,100; New Hampshire, 800; Pennsylvania, 19,500; Vermont, 650; Virginia, 1,600; and West Virginia, 1,700. 
When the enrollment quotas were compared with proposed work projects in each State, it became necessary to redistribute men. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont had too few recruits to accomplish the work in their States; Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia had too many enrollees. Pennsylvania was the only State that theoretically had the right number of men to carry out its planned work.  As project demands changed seasonally, enrollees were shifted to meet each State's needs. Extra enrollees were redistributed within the region or sent to work in western corps areas.
Training and distribution centers for CCC recruits were scattered throughout Region 7. Among the various Army installations used were Harbor Defenses, Portland, ME; Fort Devens, MA; Fort Ethan Allen, VT; Forts Slocum and Plattsburgh, NY; Fort Hancock and Camp Dix, NJ; Fort H.G. Wright, CT; Fort Adams, RI; and Fort Knox, KY. Virginia enrollees were sent to a number of Army facilities in southern Virginia or in the Washington, DC, area.
In the first enrollment period, 43 camps began operating in the region's national forests. One camp opened in Kentucky, 2 in Maine, 7 each in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, 3 in Vermont, 13 in Virginia, and 10 in West Virginia. Forty-four camps operated during the second period, and 38 during the third period of spring and summer 1934. By the winter of 1935-36, the number of camps had nearly doubled, with 67 operating. Significant increases occurred in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. By 1941, only 32 camps were operating. 
Kenneth Hendrickson, Jr., has effectively described CCC operations in Pennsylvania, particularly the interactions of key people and agencies in the program. For example, a report of the strained relations between selection officer J. Fred Kurtz and Army personnel forms a large part of Hendrickson's discussion. Administration problems, internal differences of philosophy, enrollee complaints, racial inequalities, safety hazards, and enrollment difficulties are presented, revealing an infrequently discussed, yet undoubtedly typical, side of the CCC program. However, Hendrickson indicates that despite its problems the CCC was greatly successful in contributing to Pennsylvania's forestry work progress. 
The first CCC camp in the country, Camp Roosevelt, F-1, operated in Virginia's George Washington National Forest from April 17, 1933, until May 25, 1942. It averaged 200 enrollees, drawn primarily from Virginia and the Washington, DC, area. Work projects included a variety of achievements: road building and maintenance, fish and wildlife management, forest culture and improvement, fire hazard reduction, and recreational improvements. 
In 1937, R. Shields, acting for Regional Forester R.M. Evans, estimated the CCC had potentially saved Region 7's national forests $12 million in timber conserved by fire protection. The true value, he said, could not be calculated for another 50 years.  Timber conservation was not the only benefit of the region's use of the CCC. According to Forest Service figures, the greatest amount of CCC effort was spent making transportation improvements on the national forests. Next in importance were forest culture, recreation, and structural improvements. 
Approximately 20 percent of the CCC's work in the region was performed on its national forests. About 7 percent of the country's CCC work on national forests was done in Region 7. 
CCC camps in the Eastern Region were often confronted with insect and disease problems in their forestry work. Dutch elm disease, white pine blister rust, and gypsy moths required immediate treatment. Spread by European beetles, the Dutch elm fungus could be controlled only by cutting and burning infested trees. By 1935, the CCC had eliminated 60,000 diseased trees.  White pines in the Appalachian Mountains were examined by CCC crews who attempted to save the timber and end the blister rust spread. Gypsy moths were equally difficult to conquer. A three-pronged attack kept enrollees busily removing infested trees, hunting moth larvae, and clearing tree and plant species that were particularly attractive to hungry larvae. 
Emergency work in Region 7 included flood and hurricane cleanup and forest fire alerts. After a September 1938 hurricane destroyed large areas of New England forest, CCC camps were assigned to salvage usable timber and clear away flammable materials. Although done predominantly on State forest and private land camps, the work was supervised by the USDA Forest Service. Increased fire risk meant extra hours of fire training for all enrollees and clearing private lands adjacent to the national forests, reducing fire risk on both sides. The CCC also repaired destroyed communications systems for the benefit of forest and public safety. 
As a result of repeated flooding, the CCC was put to work cleaning up damaged areas and constructing control devices to prevent future destruction. Heavy flooding occurred in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC, in 1936; and in Vermont and New York in 1938.  Writing to President Roosevelt after the 1936 floods, ECW Director Fechner said:
Four dams were built by the CCC under the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control purposes in Vermont's Winooski Valley. It took 3,000 enrollees 3 years to build the dams. Forestry camps helped clear the wooded sites before construction started. 
Because of their proximity to the Nation's Capitol and large urban populations, national forests in Virginia received more public attention than forests elsewhere in the region. Roads and recreation areas needed to be adequately designed to handle large numbers of people and yet preserve the forests' integrity for other uses. As one camp superintendent described the situation, the work program in his area of the George Washington Forest changed over a 15-month period. At first it involved the "usual" construction of telephone lines, roads, trails, and fire tool boxes, along with boundary renewal and survey work. Later, recreation development became increasingly more important. 
From 1933 to 1938, ECW funds were used to purchase additional national forest lands in Virginia. Executive order 7466 on October 7, 1936, put aside $60,000 to buy 673 acres of land for the Jefferson National Forest for conservation work.  Virginia gained nearly 700,000 acres of new national forest lands during the CCC period. 
In the Jefferson Forest, district rangers arranged a cooperative project with the Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries. Enrollees cleared brushy areas to enhance natural feeding habitats and to attract wildlife. Leftover brush was piled as shelter for game birds.  Enrollees in both Jefferson and George Washington National Forests helped trap white-tailed deer and release them in protected areas that had no deer population. Feeding stations were constructed and maintained to keep the animals in the nearby country side. 
Structural improvements in Region 7 were similar to those made by national forest camps throughout the country. Bridges, lookouts, and Forest Service administrative and service buildings were among the structures built. Proximity to urban centers meant ranger districts were often located in towns and did not require compounds of their own, as was the case in western areas. Camps in nearly all of the States helped clear trails and build bridges and shelters for hikers and forest maintenance work (fig. 15). Most notable was the work done on the Appalachian Trail, which passed through national forests in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Enrollees in Vermont did similar work on the Long Trail, which runs the length of that State. 
Northern sections of the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont were not officially annexed until 1937.  Most CCC camps in Vermont were thus located on what is now the southern part of the forest. The Danby Camp, actually situated in Mt. Tabor, did some trail work as well as other projects typical of the CCC's contributions to the Eastern Region's national forests. In building the Mt. Tabor Road from Danby to Weston, enrollees constructed intricately laid stone culverts and retaining walls. Buildings from the Danby Camp now serve as the central supply depot for the Green Mountain Forest (figs. 16-19). 
Relatively close to the Danby Camp were the West River Camp and Peru Camp. These camps also did road and trail work, as well as surveying and mapping forest lands. As in the Danby Camp, enrollees worked through the winters, relying on wool clothes and snowshoes.  They were responsible for laying out ski trails on Bromley Mountain and for building recreation areas at White Rocks, Texas Falls, Greendale, and Hapgood Pond.  At Hapgood, the CCC cleared away remnants of Marshall J. Hapgood's 19th-century lumbering village and replaced it with a manmade pond, bathhouse, and picnic facilities. Many of the original CCC buildings are still in use, although the stone and cement dam was replaced in 1980, and a larger bathhouse was built to accommodate more people (figs. 20, 21). 
Percy Moffitt, who worked in the CCC as a Local Experienced Man (LEM) and a barracks leader, remembers working at Hapgood and "running shovel" on road construction. Digging a 65-foot well at the Hapgood site was rough work in the winter, he says, but once the digging went below the ground's surface, it got much warmer and was actually a preferred job.
Moffitt says that most of the enrollees stayed and did well in the CCC, but there were some who could not handle the hard work and left after a short time. 
Region 9 was originally composed of eight States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin (table 7). Only Iowa had no national forest lands. Forest and purchase unit boundaries fluctuated considerably during the 9-year period of the CCC.  A 1937 estimate shows Region 9 with 14 per cent of the total forest area in the United States and 2 percent of the national forests. Three percent of the region's forested land was national forest land or administered as national forests. 
Table 7North Central Region national forests and purchase units, 1933-42
As of April 22, 1933, the total enrollment quota for Region 9 was about 55,200 men. Quotas for the individual States were: Illinois, 14,900; Indiana, 5,900; Iowa, 4,600; Michigan, 6,750; Minnesota, 850; Missouri, 6,500; Ohio, 12,300; and Wisconsin, 3,400. During the initial enrollment period it was determined that Minnesota was the only State in the region without enough enrollees to work on proposed CCC projects. The rest of the States had quotas larger than needed to accomplish their work. 
Nearly all the States provided recruits to the West. By 1937, Region 9 was operating with 24 percent of the country's CCC work load and 28 percent of the work force on all national forests. Sixty-four percent of the enrollees in the region were working on national forest lands. 
In the summer of 1933, 59 camps opened in 3 States of the North Central Region: 24 in Minnesota, 21 in Wisconsin, and 14 in Michigan. By January 1934, 81 camps were operating, including 6 in Illinois and 4 in Missouri. Camp numbers continued to increase, reaching 167 in the winter of 1935-36. Camps were distributed as follows: Illinois, 11; Indiana, 4; Michigan, 49; Minnesota, 37; Missouri, 15; Ohio, 9; and Wisconsin, 42. Five years later there were only 67 camps operating as the CCC slowly began to reduce its programs. 
Camps in Region 9 were administered by the V, VI, and VII Corps Areas. Primary training and distribution centers for enrollees were Fort Sheridan, IL; Camp Custer, MI; Fort Snelling, MN; Fort Des Moines, IA; and Jefferson Barracks, MO. 
In 1935, 22 national forest camps in Region 9 were reported to be racially integrated. Only two were predominantly black, one in Illinois and one in Michigan. The remaining camps had small numbers of black enrollees, averaging about 3 in each 200-man camp. The men were recruited primarily within their home States or from within the region. 
Regional Forester E. W. Tinker informed Chief Forester Stuart in July 1933 that he had established seven side camps in an attempt to learn more about their effectiveness. The side camps were detached from 7 base camps and ranged in size from 4 to 48 men. Their work varied from truck trail location and road construction to tree pruning and lookout tower building. Tinker listed numerous advantages to using side camps. Work could be accomplished in areas otherwise inaccessible to crews, and more hours could be worked because of decreased transportation time. Tinker said enrollees appeared to like life in side camp better than life in the main camps. 
Given full authority by CCC officials to continue operating the side camp system, the regional forester projected the use of 55 to 60 camps. Under those conditions, he would also expand the work program to include tree planting, ribes eradication, campground improvement, and portage construction. Different forests required varying amounts of side camp activity. The Chippewa could use side camps for about 5 percent of its work, while the Superior Forest would require side camps for 20 percent of its projects. 
In November 1937, CCC Director Fechner granted Region 9 special permission to go beyond regular side camp use and to establish side camps for nursery work at 10 Forest Service nurseries. This was an unusual deviation from the established policy and was limited to Region 9. 
Forest culture, transportation improvements, forest fire protection, and recreation were the four primary areas of work in the North Central Region. The major emergency work was flood cleanup in Illinois and Ohio in 1936, and in Ohio in 1938. In the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, all available men were employed in rescue and relief work under the supervision of the American Red Cross.  Tornado and other storm damage in 1940 necessitated use of CCC crews in the Chippewa Forest in Minnesota. Crews were put to work salvaging timber and clearing debris-strewn areas. 
Reforestation and timber stand improvement occupied much of the CCC's efforts. H. Basil Wales, chief of the region's timber management division in 1949, recalled the type of work done by the CCC in the Chippewa Forest. In addition to timber stand improvements, one CCC crew helped build the Lydick Nursery in 1934, so that adequate seedlings would be available for reforestation. After the addition of two purchase units to the Chippewa in 1935, the CCC had even more work to do. The newly acquired land was in poor condition and required all aspects of forest improvement. 
In 1937, CCC Director Robert Fechner was encouraged to write about successful reforestation work in Michigan. Fechner described how the lumber industry and fires had destroyed much of western Michigan's forests in the late 1800's. Since the establishment of the CCC, large areas had been reforested and restored to productivity. In the Manistee National Forest tree planting occurred at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 trees per day.  By 1941, foresters in the region calculated that tree planting had been moved ahead 50 years by the CCC. 
Civilian Conservation Corps crews also worked to help control harmful forest insects. Spruce budworm and grasshoppers were two of the insects requiring control. Spruce budworms were discovered infesting overmature jack pines in Minnesota during the summer of 1940.  Grasshoppers were a threat to young seedlings in Michigan. Enrollees reduced their numbers in controlled areas by as much as 90 percent. 
Region 9 Forester Tinker commented on the value of the CCC:
Fish and wildlife projects were a part of the overall CCC program in the North Central Region. Plans were made in 1937 to raise deer and wild turkeys on a special tract of land in Missouri. After successful breeding programs, enrollees dispersed the animals in national forests whose populations were low.  The Cut Foot Sioux CCC Camp in the Chippewa National Forest constructed two earthen dams to flood marshlands and provide a breeding and feeding habitat for waterfowl and animals. Enrollees took soundings on lakes to determine the fish populations. Where numbers were small, the lakes were stocked. Wildlife census and winter feeding projects were undertaken as well. 
Among the notable structural achievements in Region 9 was the building of the Chippewa National Forest headquarters in 1935. Supervised by Ike Boekenoogen, CCC and WPA men helped Finnish craftsmen construct the Finnish style notch-and-groove log building (figs. 22-24). Considered to be among the largest log buildings of its kind, it was made of native red pine and finished with other local materials. The 50-foot stone fireplace was constructed with glacial boulders collected from the nearby area. The building has been occupied since 1936 by the Forest Service, and on June 16, 1976, was entered on the National Register of Historic Places. 
The CCC camp that assisted in constructing the headquarters building was the Rabideau Camp, F-50. Company 708 was among the first organized at Fort Snelling in 1933 and then sent to the Chippewa. For 2-1/2 years the men lived in a "temporary" tent camp near Bena, MN, before moving into permanent barracks south of Blackduck on January 5, 1936. The new 25-building camp remained occupied until July 1, 1941. 
Since 1941, the camp has been used by the University of Illinois for educational purposes and by former Camp Rabideau enrollees as a reunion spot.  According to Chippewa Forest Historian Stanley Johnson, Rabideau is the only camp in Minnesota with most of its original buildings intact (figs. 25, 26). The camp was also placed on the National Register of Historical Places on June 16, 1976. 
3. ECW relation of work in prospect to State enrollment quotas (map). April 22, 1933. Located at: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde Park, NY; Official File 268, 1. Also: James F. McKinley. Letter to Corps Area I-IX announcing State quotas for CCC. April 18, 1933: p. 2. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-6, 907, vol. 1, item 41. Quotas vary considerably according to source. Figures used are primarily (all except Pennsylvania) from the April 22, 1933, map, which adds up to the first enrollment total of 250,000 men.
7. Camp Roosevelt, F-11, Virginia. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-6, 908, no. 786. Also: Camp Roosevelt inspection reports, 1935-40. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-115, 1157.
13. Federal Security Agency. Memorandum for the press concerning the CCC and the New England forest emergency project. October 26, 1940: p. 5. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 95-144, 5. Also: James J. McEntee, Annual report of the director of the CCC. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1941) pp. 34-35. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-3, 899. Also: Harold K. Steen, The U.S. Forest Service: A history (Seattle: University of Washington Press; 1976) p. 220.
18. "Civilian Conservation Corps activities in Virginia under U.S. Department of Agriculture since April 1933." April 26, 1940. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-64, 8.
19. "CCC aiding wildlife program in Jefferson National Forest," Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch. November 14, 1938. Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 95-144, 5.
23. Alison Otis. Personal reconnaissance, plus information supplied by Frederick Rieben, of the Manchester District, Green Mountain National Forest, VT. September 1982. Located at: Pacific Crest Research and Services Corporation, Corvallis, OR.
27. Percy Moffitt, CCC enrollee. Interviewed by Alison Otis at Peru, VT, for Pacific Crest Research and Services Corporation, Corvallis, OR. September 16, 1982. Located at: History Section, USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC.
38. Robert Fechner, Annual report of the director of the CCC (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1937). Located at: National Archives and Record Service, Washington, DC; Record Group 35-3, 899. Also: See reference note 14.
51. Stanley A. Johnson, historian, Chippewa National Forest. Personal communication with the authors. September 8, 1982. Located at: Pacific Crest Research and Services Corporation, Corvallis, OR. Special events in 1983 at the Chippewa headquarters building and Camp Rabideau commemorated the 50th anniversary of the CCC and the 75th anniversary of the forest.
Last Updated: 07-Jan-2008