north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Established during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Hundred Days,” the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was designed to provide work relief to men ages eighteen to twenty-five. The agency was established on March 31, 1933, and the first camp opened in April in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. In time three million men were hired by the CCC at an average salary of thirty dollars per month.

     Directed by Army officers and foresters, they worked under semi-military discipline and, according to one writer, “provided the most direct analogue of war in the whole New Deal.” Dismissed by some as “Roosevelt’s tree army,” the CCC initiated site development and improvements in 2,082 national, state, and private forest and parks across the United States.

     In North Carolina the CCC had sixty-six camps, employing 13,600 men, in forty-seven counties. One of the earliest (the first by some accounts) was Camp Pisgah Forest, assigned the number F-1 and occupied on May 18, 1933. In early 1934 the named was changed to Camp John Rock for a nearby rock formation.

     Plans were laid for the installation as early as April 20, 1933 and men began arriving from Fort Bragg on May 5 to construct barracks and other buildings. Eventually, 220 workers were assigned to the unit. Their major projects included fish and fawn rearing, road building and maintenance, trail improvement, reforestation, and forest conservation. Their work is evident today throughout Pisgah National Forest. The camp closed in 1936 and the program was abolished by Congress in 1942.

Harley E. Jolley, "That Magnificent Army of Youth and Peace": The Civilian Conservation Corps in North Carolina, 1933-1942 (2007)
Donald C. Wheeler and Mack Franks, “Camp John Rock,” in Memories of District B (1934)
Emergency Relief in North Carolina: A Record of the Development and Activities of the North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration, 1932-1935 (1936)
John A. Salmond, The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942 (1967)
Alfred C. Oliver Jr. and Harold M. Dudley, This New America: The Spirit of the CCC (1937)
Asheville Citizen-Times, April 5, 1936
Transylvania Times, various issues, 1933
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources