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The Civilian Conservation Corps in Boundary County

September 11, 2018
Compiled by Howard Kent

The CCC was a public relief program, part of the New Deal years of 1933-1942. The most active years in Boundary County were 1934 and 1935, however the Bonners Ferry Herald noted that the Twenty Mile and Smith Creek Camps had been reopened in 1937, following no activity in 1936.

Most of the information came by way of a weekly article entitled “CCC Camp News” written by Joseph Doboze, one of the CCC workers. He was stationed at Twenty Mile Camp.

The three main camps were the Twenty Mile, Smith and Deer Creek Camps. Temporary camps were also established radiating out from the main camps for purposes of specific short-term projects. These camps were referred to as “spike camps.”

Main camps usually had a library, vocational and high school classes, with some college classes available. The CCC boys also formed baseball teams, and one of these played against the Naples school team, losing to Naples 5-0 in their opening game.

During the CCC days, Dr. E.E. Fry, well-known doctor in Boundary County, received a great deal of satisfaction in helping the young physicians who were employed in the camps. He made the hospital facilities available to them and trained them in his knowledge of surgery.

Leonard Kucera, Sr., one of Boundary County’s local CCC boys, is quoted as saying, “I was stationed in Heyburn, Idaho, in 1938-39. I got $5 a month with room and board. The other $15 in wages was sent home to my family. I was a waiter for the officers at meal times, and broke large slate rocks into bricks for building.”

The men in the CCC camps worked on road construction, fire fighting, building and manning look-out towers, planting trees, cutting burnt trees into telephone poles and other projects needing to be done.

The Boundary County Museum will be hosting a program titled “The CCC in Idaho: Building Our State While Supporting People in Hard Times.”

Guest speakers are Patricia Hart, a social and cultural historian with the University of Idaho, and Ivar Nelson, former director of the University of Idaho Press and author of books and magazine publications.

Their program is funded in part by the Idaho Humanities Council, a nonprofit organization that serves as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Museum is proud to welcome these noted members of the Speakers Bureau to Bonners Ferry at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 22, in the Portrait Hall. The program is free of charge and all are welcome.

© Kootenai Valley Times
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806
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