John Shepard, now a resident of the Lake Viking Health Care Center, still remembers working in the C.C.C. camps during the Great Depression. These workers played a large part in putting food on the family’s table in that era. In the next few short paragraphs, I’d like to share what John shared with me about his C.C.C. camp.
"If the parents had a job, the boys could still work, but only one boy could work at one time. For example, my brother Fred was also a C.C.C. worker, but he could not be a member at the same time that I was."
"I spent some time in Minnesota in one of the camps. We had to sleep in a small, wooden barracks which would hold approximately seven to 10 boys. The meals were good. We were paid $38 dollars per month plus our room and board. We couldn’t be married, nor could we have a car. If we were caught with one, we were "booted" out of the camp."
"A few of the things we did were to build dams across ditches, cut wood for school houses, and plant locust trees."
These C.C.C. camps played a large part in supporting their families in these hard and difficult times. Let’s not forget people like John Shepard when we see him in the nursing home and let’s give him a smile and a thank you.
Researched by Wilbur Bush