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 The Civilian Conservation Corps

Researched,  written and contributed by Richard LaBrosse

Photo contributed by:
Bill Fonferek

Camp Mountain


Please click on the photo below for a full view

Richard LaBrosse
                        2619 Co.
1st Lt. William Jurek DE V (G) U.S.N.C.
2nd Lt. Wm. J. McGrongan Inf. Res.
Sidney E. Wasserman Med. Res.
           Camp Boot Lake, Townsend Wis.                         3642 Co.
Capt. Robert W.Fisher  Cav. Res.
2nd Lt. John E. Asp  F. A. Res.

My Dad, Anthony (Tony) La Brosse is the 6th person from the right in the back row.  He didn't remember too much except that one of his good friends was Robert Schuessler and that one of the cooks was Klatawicz (spelling probably wrong). 

 Boot Lake really had two companies in that camp. The photo was taken in either 1934 or 35. 
Richard LaBrosse

The Civilian Conservation Corps,
Better Known as the CCC camps.

In March of 1933, the great depression was at its peak. There were thirteen and a half million people out of work with no end in sight. Two days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt held a meeting with some of the nations top officials. Something had to be done fast. President Roosevelt called the 73rd Congress into Emergency Session on March 9, 1933. They heard about his proposed Civilian Conservation Corps and authorized his program. The nation was in such need of this new program that it was only 37 days from the inauguration date of March 4, 1933 to the induction of the first enrollee on April 7th. The Civilian Conservation Corps. lasted until 1941.

The CCC camps were to be run by the Army with the Departments of Interior and Agriculture responsible for the actual work projects.

The men that joined had to be between the ages of 17 and 25 and unmarried. They also had to come from families that were on local forms of relief. The men could enroll for as little as 6 months or could stay for two years. Each person was paid $30.00 a month with $25.00 deducted and sent back home to their families. They also received their room and board. History has shown that these men ate well as the average man weighed 20 pounds more when leaving. In addition to the 40 hour work week of normal duties, the men were taught a new skill and could attend classes to better their education.

 The projects of the CCC, during it's time, included the building of 3,470 fire towers, 97,000 miles of fire roads and 4,235,000 man hours fighting forest fires. The men were all trained fire fighters and many were trained for all kinds of emergency situations. More than 3 million trees were planted across the nation with many of them right here in Wisconsin. Over twenty million acres of land had erosion  stopped  and this created more productive farm land. All the national and state parks were cleaned up with many camp grounds built. Camping had begun as the country started climbing out of the depression.

Even with so much accomplished, there was time for the men to have a little fun. There was one building in every camp that was a PX or recreation center. There were poker games, ping pong and an occasional beer.

There were many CCC camps in Wisconsin. Most of the time it averaged around 50 operating at any one time with 94 being the largest amount. The camps were located near large cities and also scattered in the northern par of Wisconsin. Where there was a lot of forestry work to do, the camps would make an effort to take only enlistees from that county. Camp size was set at 200.

The following is a listing of camps in Wisconsin:

Project: The number given by the state to the project and camp

Company: The number given by the federal government to each company. Some company numbers had a letter following the number. "C" stands for color, meaning the company was made up of African Americans. "V" stands for veterans meaning the company was made up of veterans of World War One.

Date:  The date that company occupied that particular camp.

Railroad: The closest town to the camp that had a railroad stop.

Post Office: The closest town to the camp that had a post office.

Photo contributed by Richard La Brosse

Now, for a little closer to home. My dad, Anthony A. La Brosse, enlisted in the CCC late in 1934 at the age of seventeen. He went to company 2619 at Boot Lake in northern Oconto County. The nearest post office was Townsend. He told me that the camp was anew one and that the people coming were the first to use it. His commanding officers were, 1st Lt. William Jurek, DE-V(G) U.N.Sr., 2nd Lt. William J. McGrogan, Inf. Res. and Sidney E. Wasserman, Med. Res.

At the same time my dad's company 2619 was there, another company 3642 was also there. Research does not show that this company existed, however, the commanding officers were Capt. Robert W. Fisher CAV.RES. and 2nd Lt. John E.Asp, F.A. RES.

My dad made many friends while he was there. H told me that Marlin Hickock was the company bugler, Robert Schuesller, a friend and Joe Klatkiewicz was one of the company cooks. There were many duties they had. The put in a five day week, eight hours per day. Most of the time they planted trees and cleaned up the forests in the area. Old dead trees were cut down and trimmed, ones laying on the ground were put on the fire wood cutting crew. Then, when somebody got caught doing something wrong, they were put on the fire wood cutting crew. Each barracks were heated with wood fires in old 55 gallon steel drums. There were three to a barracks. Then pay day would come. He got five dollars out of his weekly check and the army sent the other twenty five back home to help support the family.

The CCC was a strong program until 1942. I was developed to provide jobs for the unemployed nd to provide funds to their families. The country was climbing out of the great depression and there were more jobs available in the public sector. Enlistments dripped. The Pearl Harbor shook the country and all efforts turned to the war machine. All government programs were screened and the ones that were not essential to the war effort, were closed down. The CCC was no exception and in June of 1942, it lost its funding, and the nation's greatest social relief program became history.

Walter Neustifter

CCC Wisconsin 1935

  At the CCC camp at Boot Lake near Townsend, Wis.  Written on the back, was, "on the right-Volk"
Richard LaBrosse

Barracks In Oconto County

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