Payson To Honor 75th Anniversary Of The Ccc

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The Northern Gila County Historical Society will host free events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29 at the Payson Public Library.

A $10 fee is required for the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. luncheon honoring CCC alumni. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

Optional activities from 3 to 5:30 p.m. include a tour the Zane Grey Cabin and Rim Country Museum at a discounted price and a car caravan to tour the remnants of the East Verde CCC Camp led by Tonto National Forest archaeologist Scott Wood (moderate to strenuous one-half mile hike to the camp site). Those joining the CCC camp tour will gather in the parking lot south of the library near the Rumsey Park baseball field at 3 p.m.

The East Verde CCC Camp caravan and tour will be repeated at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 30, the gathering point being the parking lot located at the northwest corner of Manzanita and Highway 260.

Created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the Great Depression era, the CCC played a major role in the conservation and development of local, state and national parks, forests, streams and monuments. During its nine-year history (1933-1942), more than 3 million young men were put to work for room and board plus $1 a day.

The men kept $5 of their monthly pay. The other $25 was automatically sent home to help their families endure hard economic times. The CCCs lived in camps set up and operated in military fashion in all of the United States. Numerous CCC camps were located in Gila County and along the Mogollon Rim.

Featured speakers include CCC alumni from the Valley, CCC historian and author Robert J. Moore of Minnesota, Grand Canyon historian Robert W. Audretsch of Flagstaff, Jeffrey Davis of the Coconino Rural Environment Corps in Flagstaff, Attila Boros of the Southwest Conservation Corps in Tucson, and J.J. Lamb of Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Vail, Ariz.

For more information and lunch reservations, call (928) 472-7132 or send an e-mail to patgail@npgcable.com.

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