The Saratoga Sun -

Let's all give Thanks


Compiled by Dick Perue

Dear Lord: We thank you for our many gifts and talents, great life, good friends and family, and, most of all, a bountiful harvest by both hunter and gatherer. Plus, THANKS, for our savior Jesus Christ.—Amen.

Years ago during the great depression folks had little to be thankful for, yet found a way to praise the Lord for what they did have.

An article by “A Civilian Conservation Corps Alumnus” best describes conditions at a CCC camp in Wyoming.The paper was presented to this writer in the early 1990’s.



We are the young men of the 1930s who made up the Civilian Conservation Corps—1933 to 1942.

We are the men who mended the scarred land; the eroded fields; the muddied waters of our creeks and rivers, and the depleted woodlands of our country.

We replanted our forests from Maine to California, we built the fire trails to protect the old and new forests, cleaned out the diseased deadwood to protect the healthy and new trees, we fought forest fires and floods.

We built lodges in our National Parks and Campsites—a place for our people to enjoy our beautiful country; (we) also built the roads and trails in the Parks, many of them are in existence today.

We worked the quarries to produce the building stone needed to build the dams in our State and National Parks; the same dams that stand today creating the lakes that have given recreation to campers, fisherman and family groups over the last 50 years.

We worked in quarries getting the rock to crush for limestone to be spread on the farmlands to sweeten the overworked soil to help restore productivity. From other quarries came the building stone need for masonry dams and flumes which controlled the rapidly eroding soil.

We were educated and given Job Opportunities, Honor, Respect and a Purpose in life.

All over this country the work we did with our hands, our minds and our bodies still stand today as a monument to the youth of the 1930s and what we accomplished; bearing in mind that 90 percent of what we did was done by hand, pick, hoe, shovel, mauls, drills and wheelbarrows.

We put our mark on this land and that mark will still be seen for many more years to come.

As a generation we have much to be proud of, we have earned a place in history and speaking as an individual I am grateful for having had a chance to be there.

—Signed: “A Civilian Conservation Corps Alumnus.”

No author was listed as the writer wanted it be from all those who participated in the CCC program.

A 1936 Thanksgiving celebration at the Saratoga CCC camp featured a program as well as the following menu: Celery Hearts, Sweet Pickles, Olives, Beef Bouillon, Roast Young Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Oyster Dressing, Giblet Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Fruit Salad with Lettuce Leaves, Devils Food Cake, Raisin Pie a la Mode, French Rolls, Poppy Seed Rolls, Assorted Fresh Fruits, Assorted Nuts and Candy, Coffee, Cigars and Cigarettes. The company roster listed 135 members—CCC boys—with a staff of 44 including seven mess officers and cooks.

—Cover of printed program from Bob Martin/Dick Perue collection. Courtesy of Historical Reproductions by Perue, Saratoga, Wyo.


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