Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps

By Cynthia Brandimarte; Angela Reed | Go to book overview

The CCC Legacy’s First Half Century

By the early 1940s, many CCC enrollees had completed their time in camps and left their CCC work experiences behind. But on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the United States declared war against Japan and Germany within the next few days. During the months that followed, former CCC enrollees found themselves wearing new uniforms as members of the US armed forces, into which they quickly enlisted or were soon drafted.

As early as summer 1940, the State Parks Board told the War Department in Washington that park buildings and facilities in Texas would be made available for military use. Governor W. Lee (“Pappy”) O’Daniel welcomed the board’s offer and turned several parks over to the military for use as training camps.1 The military soon requested permission to use still other parks for temporary troop staging areas and for troop rest and recreation.

Balmorhea State Park was a popular swimming hole for
the military even before the 1940s, as seen here. Drawing
from El Paso’s Fort Bliss to the west and from Marfa’s
Fort D. A. Russell, the park accommodated the cavalry,
which frequently held maneuvers near Balmorhea
.
Here, in 1938, Fort Bliss Cavalry Training Camp takes
advantage of the pool the CCC built around San
Solomon Springs. (TPWD)

-59-

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Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Fore Word ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • The CCC Creates a Texas State Parks System 3
  • Building CCC Parks in Texas 29
  • The CCC Legacy’s First Half Century 59
  • Preserving the Legacy 87
  • Epilogue - Inferno at Bastrop on Labor Day Weekend~° ˛˛ 109
  • Park Profiles 121
  • Notes 153
  • Bibliogr Aphy 157
  • Index 161
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