Civilian Conservation Corps a Salve for a Depression-Stricken City

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Celebrate 2000 Sept. 13, 1933 A daily look at events in First Coast history

A day in the life of The Great Depression.

Getting by was about the best anyone could do, and getting by included stretching thin soup one more day, stuffing cardboard in shoes when the soles wore through to the concrete, standing in line hoping for a couple of hours of day labor.

Needs were basic. Food. Work. Money.

One way to meet those needs was to join the CCC -- the Civilian Conservation Corps, a national economic recovery program for young men who, in exchange for room and board in military-style camps, and a few dollars, built things that needed building.

At Camp Duncan U. Fletcher, named for Florida's U.S. senator, 67 campers from Jacksonville worked constructing fire breaks at the rate of more than a mile per day. They built fire towers, ran telephone lines, graded roads, put up fences and bridges.

A special report on the camp and campers, written for the Times-Union by E.W. Lane Jr., and Francis Shakelford, described day-to-day life at the camp and in the corps.

The men were hard-working and hungry -- and well-fed.

"In the course of a normal week, it is roughly estimated that 210 dozen eggs, 100 loaves of bread, 250 pounds of ham, four hinds and two rounds of beef are consumed by the camp personnel. …