From 1933 to 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a part of the New Deal program of President Franklin Roosevelt. Originally referred to as the Emergency Conservation Work, the CCC was created by Congress for the conservation of natural resources and provide training and employment for unemployed young men.
In an effort to "put Americans back to work" during the Great Depression, the CCC enrolled over 25,000 Montana men to perform a variety of conservation and reforestation projects. The buildings now occupied by the RMMMH at Fort Missoula served as the training, supply and Administration building for those men as they were sent to individual camps around the state. Each year, an average of 24 different camps were operated within the Fort Missoula district. Each one of these camps were issued food, clothing, and equipment through Fort Missoula.
The Montana CCC planted trees, fought forest fires and constructed miles of trails, bridges, campgrounds and buildings. Their accomplishments also revitalized the state park system, and completed extensive work at Glacier National Park. The Daily Missoulian quoted one CCC recruit from Brooklyn NY back in 1933 of his experience: "We found a glorious country peopled with some of the most hospitable people in the World. It took a little time to become accustomed to trees instead of people. The sighing of the wind in the great trees was a sound of mystery and at first terrifying after the roar of the densely populated cities we came from... Coming out here was a great break for me. My muscles are as hard as iron and I have gained fifteen pounds in weight... we were given plenty of hard work, which, with regular meals, and rest, as a part of camp discipline, we became stronger" (Ober, 1976)
Discover the story of the CCC in Montana by exploring the exhibit of photos and memorabilia at the RMMMH.