History and Cultural Signs
Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
|Florida Pocket Maps|
1 1 2 2 3 3 GPS Coordinates: 84°8.710' W ~ 30° 7.797' N Initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and authorized on March 31, 1933, the CCC put thousands of young men to work across the United States. 30° 30° 9.099' 9.099' N N 30° 30° 6.316' 6.316' N N 84°8.892' 84°8.892' W W 30° 30° 7.797' 7.797' N N 84°15.703' 84°15.703' W W 84°8.710' 84°8.710' W W 5 5 4 4 Mounds Mounds Station: Station: site site of of Paleo Shell Mounds and Naval Indians and Naval StoresStores 6 6 St. St. Marks Marks Lighthouse: Lighthouse: site site of of Lighthouse, Williams, and Lighthouse, Ft. Spanish Hole/ Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Shipwreck, Ft. Williams Mandalay: Mandalay: site site of of Aucilla Aucilla River River St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail East East River: River: site site of of CCC CCC and and Salt Salt Works Works Wakulla Wakulla Beach: Beach: site site of of Wakulla Wakulla Beach Hotel Beach Hotel and Westand Goose West Goose Creek Seineyard Creek Seineyards Plum Plum Orchard: Orchard: site site of of Port Port Leon Leon GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 84° 84° 9.869' 9.869' W W 84° 83° 10.955' 58.769' W W 83° 83° 58.769' 58.769' W W Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files 30° 30° 6.985' 6.985' N N 30° 30° 4.658' 4.658' N N 30° 30° 5.282' 5.282' N N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) Maple lumber from trees harvested from refuge swamps was used to construct desks and other furniture used in refuge offices and residences. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) When road conditions prevented a truck from operating, the bulldozer provided the horsepower. (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) The U.S. Army oversaw housing, healthcare, education, feeding, and moving men and materials. Each man received $30 a month, but $25 was sent home to his family. Thirty-three camps were located in Florida. Camp BF-1, BF stood for Bird Refuge, was assigned to the St. Marks Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, as it was called at the time. It was one of the few African-American camps in the CCC. Between 1934 and the early 1940s, men from this camp built the refuge. Heavy equipment used to construct roads and impoundments included dump trucks, draglines, a bulldozer, and a rock crusher, but most of the work depended on the muscles and skills of the men. Almost everything was fabricated by the CCC men. Poles that carried the power and telephone lines, fence posts, and cypress for siding and roofing were cut on the refuge and trimmed by hand. Among their accomplishments are the earthen levees surrounding the pools, miles of Dragline mat material being taken from the East River Swamp (Courtesy St. Marks Refuge files) ditches, 30 acres cleared for a reservoir, and Lighthouse Road. They built dwellings and other buildings, a diversion dam, and two lookout towers. They strung 30.8 miles of telephone line and 4.5 miles of power line, cleared a 24-mile truck trail, 21.5 miles of firebreaks, ran surveys, installed cattle guards, and devoted 416 man-days to fighting forest fires. Smaller projects included building toolboxes and desks, and landscaping. With little heavy equipment available at the time, their main tools were shovels and muscles. Their work was deeply appreciated by the staff. Most of the structures they built no longer exist. Their legacy lives on in Lighthouse Road and the pools that provide habitat for migratory and resident wildlife. When the U.S. entered World War II, the CCC program ended. Most of the CCC men went to war. Their training and experience had prepared them well for serving their country. The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., with a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs and brochures for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational, environmental, and biological programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more information. 9/2010