Skis, Trees and the Triple Cs

Hardy Margaretville enrollees set off on a CCC work mission.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era program that put millions of young men to work repairing environmental damage and building parks and trails, will be discussed Saturday, June 9 at 10 a.m. at the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM), 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville.
“Trees, Skis and the Triple Cs” is a program by Diane Galusha, author of Another Day, Another Dollar: The Civilian Conservation Corps in the Catskills. A Headwaters History Days offering, the illustrated presentation is free. It will be followed by a short walk in a nearby CCC-planted forest.
The CCC was created in 1933 by an Executive Order signed by newly-elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A federally-sponsored program for unemployed men from 17 to 25 years of age, its aim was to assist Depression-stricken families and at the same time conduct conservation projects to reverse decades of environmental degradation, improve public lands and develop parks and campgrounds for public enjoyment.
CCC camps in the Catskill region were established in Boiceville, Tannersville, and Margaretville, as well as in Sullivan, Otsego and Schoharie Counties. The Margaretville camp, located just west of the village, housed some 200 men and operated from 1935 to 1938.
Projects ranged from ski trail building and tree planting to erosion control and insect eradication. North Lake, Devil’s Tombstone, Woodland Valley and Beaverkill State Campgrounds were developed with Corps labor. Margaretville enrollees established a regional headquarters for NYS Conservation Department Rangers at a former fish hatchery which will be visited after the talk on June 9.
Galusha, president of HSM, is the author of several books of local history, including Liquid Assets, A History of New York City’s Water System; As the River Runs, A History of Halcottville, NY; and When Cauliflower Was King, a chronicle of the hey-day of cauliflower production in the Catskills.
For information on Headwaters History Days events and programs, visit headwatershistorydays.org.
HSM’s 2018 schedule may be found at mtownhistory.org.