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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Speculator, NY ,

CCC workers enjoy a meal outside a CCC camp in the Adirondacks. The young men lived in tents until permanent buildings were erected. (Photo/Courtesy of Joanne Petty Manning)

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Podskoch will talk about the CCC

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Updated: 11:00 AM

INDIAN LAKE -- Indian Lake Theater will host a presentation on the history, memories and legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps Wednesday, Aug. 13, starting at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the founding of the CCC.

The CCC began March 31, 1933 under President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" to relieve the poverty and unemployment of the Great Depression. Camps were set up in many New York towns, state parks, and forests.

Workers built trails, roads, campsites, and dams; stocked fish; built and maintained fire tower observers' cabins and telephone lines; fought fires; and planted millions of trees. The CCC disbanded in 1942 due to the need for men in World War II.

The U.S. Army supervised the camps, which had 200 men each. The earliest were set up in these Adirondack towns and counties: Arietta and Speculator (Hamilton); Bolton Landing (Warren); Tahawus, Newcomb, Schroon River, and Port Henry (Essex); Wanakena and Benson Mines (St. Lawrence); and Paul Smiths, Goldsmiths, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, and Fish Creek Pond (Franklin).

There were eventually 26 camps in the Adirondacks.

Enrollees signed up for six months and worked a 40-hour week for $30 a month. The government sent $25 to the enrollee's family and the enrollee received $5.

The young men received good food, uniforms, and medical care. At first they lived in tents; later they lived in wooden buildings.

Clarence Petty, wilderness guide, pilot, district ranger, and conservationist, was one of the people Marty Podskoch interviewed for his book, "Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: Its History, Memories and Legacy."

Petty first worked in 1933 as a forester at the Tupper Lake camp. He then advanced to camp superintendent at many other CCC camps until the CCC ended in 1942.

Petty said, "Marty Podskoch records the accomplishments of the CCC camps throughout New York state, many in the Adirondacks. His interviews with CCC enrollees and their families and the marvelous photos of camp life capture the vitality of the young men who worked so hard to improve our forests, which had been ravaged by fires and lumbering.

"We must not forget their labors in the woodlands and state parks that continue to be enjoyed by millions today."

Author and historian Marty Podskoch will give the presentation. CCC alumni, family and friends will have time to share memories of their of their days in CCC camps both in New York and other states.

Podskoch will also sign his book. The 352-page book contains over 500 pictures and illustrations, 185 interviews, 26 maps, and 25 charts.

Podskoch is the author of five other books: "Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore," "Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts," "Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Northern Districts," "Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches" and "Adirondack Stories II: 101 More Historical Sketches," which are from his weekly-illustrated newspaper column.

For more information on the presentation contact Linda Hutchins at (518) 618-5950.

Anyone with information or pictures of relatives or friends who worked at one of the CCC camps is encouraged to come to the presentation.

For more information about the CCC contact Marty Podskoch at 43 O'Neill Lane, East Hampton CT 06424; (860) 267-2442; or podskoch@comcast.net.

     

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