This Month in Edmonds History: Civilian Conservation Corps in Snohomish County

My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of March, we’ll revisit 1933.

The 1930s represented a time of depression and disparity across America. Many programs were created during this time with hopes of invigorating the economy and creating jobs for the 16 million people unemployed. One of the “New Deal” programs designed to do this was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was approved by Congress on March 30, 1933, and signed by President Roosevelt the very next day. This program, along with others, had a major effect on Snohomish County.

Work began almost immediately.  CCC workers were typically unemployed and unmarried males assigned to outdoor work camps for state or federal land agencies such as the United States Forest Service. The work relief program was intended to give men employment and basic skills and training for future civilian jobs while at the same time conserve forests and parks nationwide. Shortly after the law was passed, the government announced it would open 42 such camps in Washington State.  Four of these camps were to be located in the Mount Baker National Forest within Snohomish County. Other early camps were established in Index, Sultan and Darrington.

Nationwide, CCC volunteers constructed numerous buildings, picnic areas and campgrounds, built thousands of miles of public roadways, planted nearly 3 billion trees, and constructed more than 800 parks over the years. Some Washington State parks were built entirely by CCC crews. In Snohomish County and other counties across the country, workers’ efforts helped conserve and reforest valuable public land. Many Snohomish County workers went on to become prominent businessmen and professionals in their own communities and beyond.

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