Remembering the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Camp Colvin

As the calendar turns to 2022 it is natural to look forward with eagerness to the promises of the year ahead with hope that the next 365 days have better fortune in store for us than the last. Resolutions, pledges and promises are made to ourselves and others, most of which never are fulfilled.

It is also a time of reflection when we look back at the past year remembering the good and bad times that were enjoyed and endured. Looking even further back recalls a time when there wasn’t much hope abound and residents of Jackson Parish could not afford to make plans or look any further than the next day hoping to just have enough to feed their family.

The time was 1933. All over the nation people were struggling to just make ends meet as America was trying to recover from the Great Depression of 1929. The next several years were plagued with high unemployment, deflation, bank failures, loss of income and even property.

The economy hit rock bottom in 1932 leading to Franklin D. Roosevelt being elected President on the strength of a recovery plan he proposed that he called the New Deal. The primary tool of the unprecedented relief program was the founding of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that would help provide the hundreds of thousands of needy Americans shelter, clothing, food and most of all work.

Over the nine year of operation, three million young men took part in the program with the largest single enrollment at one time being 300,000. Each participant received shelter (tent), clothing and food along with a wage of $30.00 per month. If a young man was married, $25.00 of this was required to be sent back to the family.

The main work done by the men was related to federal, state and local government projects and the care of natural resources. Examples were the building and maintaining of bridges, roads and railways as well as assisting with the care of public forests, land and waterways.

In 1935 the CCC established the first camp in Jackson Parish, on a piece of property owned by the Tremont Lumber Company. The location was where the LA National Guard Armory, old Fairgrounds, Post Office and VFW Hall in Jonesboro is today. It was designated as CCC Co. 4413 but known locally as Camp Colvin.

This was in honor of local resident A.H. Colvin Sr. who was instrumental in getting the camp established at the location through negotiating with Tremont officials. Colvin had been promised the land by Tremont Corp. so that he could have an airfield built on the site but he felt that it would better serve the residents of Jackson Parish is a camp was built on the site instead.

Camp Colvin became home to hundreds of local men who otherwise would have no place to go. Over the years many even moved their wives into the “tent community”, who would provide cook and clean clothes for the workers. Most worked as laborers on soil conservation and water projects for the state and for individual landowners, with a few being technical and supervisory administrators.

In 1938, Camp Colvin was moved to the New Hope Community near Dodson where it remained in operation until 1941 when it was disbanded because of manpower pressures brought on by World War II.

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4 thoughts on “Remembering the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Camp Colvin

  1. I was told there was a CCC camp in Danville back then between the railroad tracks. Do you have any info about that?

  2. THanks for this nice article about the camp that many people didn’t know or no longer remembered. A. H. Colvin, Sr. was my grandfather who operated the local newspaper, The Jackson independent, for the first half of the century.

  3. Thanks for including this article about something many people did not know or don’t remember . A. H. Colvin, Sr., was my grandfather who operated the local weekly newspaper, The Jackson Independent, for many years.

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