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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages  - 92 & 93

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Page 94 - 95 

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.The CCC's came into a devastated land. They built roads and the fire towers, and with their manpower, within a few years the fires no longer burned with abandon. The CCC's, the W.P.A., and the N.I.R.A. built our dams, created parks, and replanted the forests.
There were those who railed at the government for 'wasting1 money on these activities, but time has shown the wisdom of the Federal Governments action.
Along with the arrival of the CCC Camps came employment for many of the local men who had barely found the means for the wherewithal of their families. For these men hired to teach, supervise, and direct the raw recruits, the pay was $36 plus their keep, and they were called L.E.M.'s. The N.I.R.A. hired local men for various jobs and paid $60 for 80 hours of work per month. Within a year the Works Progress Administration replaced the N.I.R.A. and greatly expand-ded the work: force.
I recall when these men got their first paychecks, some of them had been without gainful employment for 2 years or better. They bought shoes, clothing, and good food, notexpensive foodr but the foods that had been denied them. They made payments on debts, purchased second hand cars, and were now in a position to address.
C.C. Camp Mountain, photo courtesy of Lois Trever, was among the Camps to turn these cut-over lands into the scenic beauty of our National Nicolet Forest.
Growing Up in Mountain
Recalling the 20rs and the Depression years of the 30's is so different than today that is is hard for the young people of Mountain to believe there ever was a world before T.V. and rock music!
T remember the first radio in our area was owned by a man named Bower who lived on County W East near the rock outcropping just past the present residence of Bill Lazansky's.  People would go out there on a Sunday afternoon to listen to his radio. He had a headset which he then adjusted over your head so as you could hear it while he turned the dials on the radio. A loud squawking noise with now and then a few intelligible words was the sum total of what I heard when I first listened to his radio.
Marinus Jensen had the first radio in town. I remember being present when he had the Tunney-Dempsey boxing match tuned in. He listened to it and then relayed the action to the crowd gathered for the event. We all thought it pretty exciting !
Kids went barefoot from May until school started, by July our feet were pretty tough. The main roads were gravelled so we would walk on the shoulder of the road, as it was easier on our feet. We learned to slide our feet along when walking through stubble fields after the hay and grain was cut.
We usually walked wherever we wished to go, thinking nothing of walking 5 or 6 miles one way and back. We used to walk down to Green Lake to swim, or if we had no suit, then we walked up the tracks to the high bridge north of town to swim in the Oconto River.
Summer evenings Green Lake would find 50 or more people enjoying the water. We could usually get a ride back to town as 3 or 4 of the young men with cars were down for a swim. Those cars went back to Mountain with kids filling both running boards, some standing on the rear bumper, and a boy lying on either side between the hood and the fender !
All the boys from 8 to 12 had a discarded tire which he rolled ahead of him wherever he ran, you had to run to keep the tire from falling over. This was the automobile of our imagination. Most boys also had a hoop and hoop stick. The hoop stick was a lath about 30 inches long with a short piece of lath 8 inches long