Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Inspirational Story of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington State: Redmond Historical Society Speaker Series

During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide jobs for millions of out-of-work men. Thousands of desperate young men from the East Coast came to Washington State to work in the woods alongside local boys to build bridges, roads and park buildings.  Historian Janet Oakley will explore their legacy in her presentation, Tree Army: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington State 1933-41, on Saturday, January 11th at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center in Redmond.  She is speaking as part of the Redmond Historical Society Saturday Speaker Series.

The Civilian Conservation Corps helped to shape parks, forests and infrastructure from forty eight camps throughout the state with the largest activity occurring at Mount Rainier National Park.  Oakley will address how the CCC was developed nationally, its impact our on state and its impact the men who did the work.  In the process of conducting her research at Western Washington University, Oakley met seven men who had been CCC boys.  According to Oakley, ”From their stories I began to appreciate their legacy here.   Projects were all over the state and all left this impression with the men I spoke to: They fed us, they gave us education, and they gave us hope for our families.”  Read More >>

Janet Oakley is a writer, historian and former educator at the Skagit County Historical Museum. She grew up listening to her mother's stories about the Civilian Conservation Corps boys from "New Joisey," who occupied a rugged side camp up the creek from her uncle's ranch. Oakley writes social studies and history curricula for schools, national parks and museums. She has published in historical journals, including an upcoming article on the ship Ann Parry for the Sea Chest maritime journal, and wrote the award-winning novel Tree Soldier. Oakley currently lives in Bellingham and is speaking courtesy of Humanities WA.

The Saturday Speaker Series is a monthly program presented by the Redmond Historical Society on every second Saturday (with the exception of December) at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, located at 16600 NE 80th Street.  Topics range from local, state and Pacific Northwest historical interest. There is a suggested $5 donation for non-members.

The Redmond Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives support from the City of Redmond, 4 Culture, Nintendo, the Bellevue Collection, and Humanities Washington as well as from other donors and members.




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