Remembering The Great Depression: Indian Gardens


Reminders of the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal are tucked away in the Rim Country -- the Civilian Conservation Corps worker campsites near Kohl's Ranch.

A reunion and celebration honoring alumni and family members who are part of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni is open to the public in the multipurpose room of Julia Randall Elementary School, 902 W. Main St. 10 a.m. -- 4 p.m. Saturday, April 15.


The Civilian Conservation Corps -- with campsites near Kohl's Ranch -- created many of the public works projects in Gila County.

Roosevelt implemented the CCC in 1933 as part of his New Deal -- a program of relief, recovery and reform from the Great Depression of the 1930s.

For nearly a decade, the agency created jobs for young, single men 18 to 25 years old.

They earned $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

The program peaked August 1935 with 505,000 enrollees in 2,600 camps.

Three camps were set up in this area: two in Globe and the facility near Kohl's Ranch -- located at Indian Gardens -- so called because the Apache grew crops there.

"We are celebrating the work that these men did to conserve the forest and streambeds of Arizona," said Gail Hearne, member of the Northern Gila County Historical Society.

"These men fought forest fires when the need arose, planted trees, created fire control roads, built fences and kept our watershed from eroding away."

Members from the NACCCA's Phoenix-based chapter 44 will be on site to answer questions and share their memories -- don't miss out on the CCC exhibits, 1930s music and films from the archives of the U.S. Forest Service.

The CCC disbanded during World War II in 1942.

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