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KULCHUR - Vol. 2 No. 5 - Spring 1962
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[Personal Photo Albums of a Civilian Conservation Corps Member, ca. 1937-1939]

[Civilian Conservation Corps] McDONALD, Edward

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Price: $1,500.00

South Lee, MA: (1937-1939). Two matching green oblong 4to. string-tied commercial photo albums, each measuring 10.25" x 7" approx. Comprising 145 snapshot photographs, mounted almost entirely recto only, both tape and corner, to 22 and 32 leaves respectively, with remainder of both albums blank. Standard black album pages with each image clearly captioned in white. A handful of images loose, with several more nearly so, and a few pictures apparently perished. Else easily very good or better. (Item ID: 14197)

Two finely-assembled and well-annotated photo albums belonging to Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee Edward McDonald, during his 1937-39 stint in the 108th Company of the CCC at Beartown State Forest Camp, No. 2153, Project S-66, Massachusetts. Starting in 1935, the work of the 108th was to create a ski area through the thick woods of Beartown. It would eventually become one of the more popular ski destinations in the Northeast throughout the 1940s and 50s, boasting an 820' vertical drop and convenient access from NYC. The album here offered contains numerous images of McDonald's fellow CCC buddies, both individually and in groups, at work and play. Also includes photos of dynamite, earthmoving equipment, heavy application trucks, and tools of the era. Other images of clearing and ancillary construction also on display, as well as many pictures of camp life, with all images notated in McDonald's hand. During The Depression, the CCC offered non-skilled labor opportunities to young, unmarried men, between the ages of 18-25. The paid time was served in six month stints, with a maximum enrollment period of two years. McDonald took full advantage, beginning his service in October of 1937 and ending it on 30 September 1939. The Beartown area today is largely overgrown and little evidence remains of the ski area and work of the 108th. But the work of The CCC is credited with creating the modern ski industry in The Northeast, with many of their projects now among the finest resorts in New England. A revealing document from this influential New Deal program, one that helped launch similar conservation programs in the postwar era, as well as inspire the modern environmental movement.

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