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Among the original Chapter 7 alumni, we are now down to a precious few, three remaining widows of the CCC boys who were members. Thelma Armstrong, long-time secretary of the organization, passed away May 8. Her sister, Eva Burnham, and Irene O’Donoghue, long-time chaplain of the group, are still doing well, as is Katy Cruz. We are fortunate in the remarkable longevity many members of this generation have displayed!
Once I thought that watching our CCC friends leave us would be a constant grief. For the most part, it has been gradual, and often we don’t get news of the loss until long after. But we think often of the brighter days and good times at the Morrison Camp, where they gathered monthly in the spring and summer to celebrate the camaraderie they developed by being part of the Greatest Generation. They never forgot to thank their days in the Civilian Conservation Corps for giving them a start in life.
Those of us who had the opportunity to know them and work with them were privileged, and we will always remember these incredible individuals. That’s why we’re continually inspired to share their stories here.
Forgive the late notice. The Aurora History Museum exhibit on the Civilian Conservation Corps continues through October 5th. Worth checking out, the exhibit includes many excellent, rarely seen photos from Colorado State Archives, as well as some from Denver Mountain Parks and Mile High Chapter 7 collections.
Last week, we went to the museum to present a talk on the CCC’s role in developing parks in the Front Range, called “From Poverty to Parks.” For this brown bag session, the room filled to capacity and those present seemed to appreciate the information provided. We even met a former CCC enrollee who shared his story! I hope to have excerpts from the presentation online here within a couple of weeks.
Contributions from the Loveland Historical Society, the University of Colorado Boulder Visual Resource Center, and other online sources enabled us to present a reasonably coherent view of park development from Fort Collins to Trinidad, Colorado. Of course, the MHC7 collections complemented the effort. I expect to be taking the presentation to Loveland next spring, and we’re available to share it elsewhere in the Front Range region as well. Email us at milehighchapter7 AT gmail DOT com to plan a presentation.
What’s next? How about a project to capture our own photos of CCC-built features in the Front Range? Please send us photos you capture of historic CCC sites in Colorado to help us create a complete story of the CCC in Colorado. (We know this is a long-term project!)
p.s. The “Wolves and Wild Lands” exhibit next to the CCC one is well worth visiting too!
Every now and then, we run across material in our research that helps us latter-day Americans understand what it was like to serve in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, we created a new “Perspective” page to share quotes and writings from the 1930s that help us empathize with those who served and gain a better idea of their lives in the CCC.
We hope you like it!
Thanks to extensive research and other efforts by Sharon Danhauer, of the Loveland Historical Society, we have now posted a camp profile for Namaqua Camp, SP-9-C. Although the camp itself is gone, Sharon did a great job documenting the buildings in Loveland Mountain Park that were built by the men of Namaqua Camp in 1935.
We’re moving here to expand what we have to offer as resources on CCC camps, companies, and projects in Colorado. Please bear with us as we get this new site up and running, or visit our original blog at Colorado CCC (V 1.0 on blogger), where a record of our previous activities is archived.
With more than 100 camps across the state, Colorado benefitted directly and diversely from efforts of the CCC. We’ve posted a couple stories already, but have many more to come!
Thanks for stopping by; please come again and help us honor the men who created a great CCC legacy here in Colorado.