Photo Story: The Great Depression, Dad, and the CCCs

Henry Shenette (age 18) Left, Unidentified Friend Right, 1934
(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) My mom's family managed to get by during the Great Depression with my grandfather working three jobs and my grandmother taking in sewing to help support the family.  My mom said they never went hungry, because my great-grandfather Antoni Bulak had moved from Worcester to a farm in Oxford, MA.  My mom's family always had food from the farm.  Life was harder for my dad.  He left school as soon as he was legally able and found work to help support his family.

Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, Campton, NH
Dad joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in April of 1934.  He enrolled at Fort Devens, MA and was sent to work on a dam project in Campton, NH. These photos are from my dad's scrapbook from his time in the CCCs. The scrapbook contains quite a few photos, many of them probably taken to give to the young men as a remembrance of their time in the CCCs.  I was rather surprised to discover very few photos of this particular CCC camp online.  I've decided to devote some time, probably in January, to posting photos from my dad's scrapbook for other researchers interested in the camp.

Breaking and Gathering Rocks for the Dam
According to my dad's Certificate of Discharge he served as a laborer with the CCCs from April 17, 1934 until June 25, 1935, and as a cook from June 25, 1935 until September 30, 1935.  He was honorably discharged at the end of September in 1935.  He didn't have much time off after his discharge.  He joined the United States Army in January of 1936.

Construction of the Campton Dam by the Civilian Conservation Corps
Campton Dam, Campton, NH

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Michelle Goodrum said...

Wow. You really put a reality check on some of the CCC projects that are now part of our everyday lives and we don't even stop to think about.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Thanks for your comment, Michelle! Doing some quick research for this post was a reality check for me as well! The Campton Dam was one of the dams that recently overflowed during Hurricane Irene. You are right. These projects have become part of our lives, and we don't even realize it.

Kristin said...

Wow! That is some photo with the rocks and the men breaking them for the dam.

Barbara Poole said...

If I ever go by the Compton Dam, I'll think of and thank your dad. I'm still enjoying your series, and learning along the way.