A New Deal for Fort Ridgely State Park

A New Deal for Fort Ridgely State Park (HM1D49)

Location: Fairfax, MN 55332 Nicollet County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 27.165', W 94° 43.889'

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The New Deal and Fort Ridgely State Park

— United States Civilian Conservation Corps —

President Franklin D. Roosevelt Creates the CCC
During the early 1930s close to 40% of America's youth (16 to 24 years old) were unemployed and not in school. Twenty-five percent of adult men were unemployed. Out of this great economic depression came President Franklin D. Roosevelt's national assistance program called the New Deal. One of those programs was the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC).

Creating the CCC was one of the first things President Franklin D. Roosevelt recommended to Congress when he took office in March 1933. The CCC was established to put young men to work and to assist them in developing job skills and work ethic.

Four US government departments cooperated in the operation of the CCC: The Department of Labor recruited, screened, and selected the enrollees; the Department of War trained, housed, fed, clothed, educated, and provided medical care for the enrollees while in the camps; the department of Agriculture and Interior selected the work sites, designed the work projects and supervised the men.

Fort Ridgely State Park was one of 30 Minnesota state parks to be started or developed during the New Deal period. The CCC was in Fort Ridgely from July 31, 1934 to November 1, 1935. The Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC) was here from October 1936 to July 1939.

The CCC Enrollees
According to the CCC enrollee handbook, enrollment was for "physically fit, unemployed, unmarried men between the ages of 17 and 23 years, who are citizens of the United States, and in need of employment, who have dependents and who wish to allot to these dependents a substantial portion of the $30 monthly cash allowance." Selections were to be made on a basis of "fitness of the applicant and the greatest possible good to the community." Young men were enrolled for periods of six months, with the privilege of re-enrolling for another six months.

Wages were $30 per month; $25 was sent to their home and $5 paid directly to the enrollee. Other benefits included free medical and dental care while in the camp, food and lodging, work clothing, educational and recreational opportunities, and time off for holidays. While the monthly pay was considered below average, when the other benefits were included it was in line with typical wages for that time.

About 10% of the enrollees were World War I Veterans. These men could be of any age and either married or single, so long as they were in need of a job and were willing to allot part of their pay to dependents.

"The intangible benefits of the CCC/VCC to its members and society are greater than its material accomplishments."
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? Lee Evans, Assistant Education Advisor, VCC Company 2713

"Our location upon the level top of a bluff offered absolutely no protection, and during a high wind, dirt was readily blown about, through the tents, into food and it made life miserable. Just across the road was a large pig pen, the birth place for millions of flies."
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? A CCC enrollee

"I propose to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work...this type of work is of definite, practical value, not only through the prevention of great financial loss, but also as a means of creating future national wealth."

"More important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work. It is not a panacea for all the unemployed but it is an essential step in this emergency."

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fort Ridgely
State Park and
Historic Site
HM NumberHM1D49
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 12:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 362239 N 4923618
Decimal Degrees44.45275000, -94.73148333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 27.165', W 94° 43.889'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 27' 9.90" N, 94° 43' 53.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)507
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 808 Co Hwy 30, Fairfax MN 55332, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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