Today’s post is written by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives at Denver.
In his first 100 days in office, President Franklin Roosevelt worked furiously to tamp down the widespread unemployment and economic unrest that gripped the United States back in 1932. Arguably the most famous legislation passed that spring was the Emergency Conservation Work (EWC) Act, creating the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that ultimately put over 2,000,000 men to work during its nine years of existence.
The CCC projects were accomplished through a host of existing federal agencies as well as state and local municipalities. Records regarding CCC work done through federal agencies can be found in National Archives holdings nationwide. At the National Archives at Denver this includes the series “Narrative Reports of Individual CCC Camps, 1936-1938, (NAID 292847)” which details the work done in Department of Grazing camps in the west.
Found in Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, these narrative reports were compiled per period, the six month span of time that CCC enrollments were broken into, and chronicle the work, as well as sometimes the educational and recreational activities, of the enrollees through both text and photographs. Typically these photographs are black and white, but in 1937 Camp DG-32, out of Dalton Wells, Utah, had Arrow Photo Service of Minneapolis, Minnesota hand color select photographs, giving their narrative reports a distinctive feature not seen in others.
WHERE THEY WORKED
Dalton Wells Camp DG-32 was located about 15 miles northwest of Moab, Utah, due west of Arches National Park today. During World War II, the shuttered camp was turned into the Moab Relocation Center, housing Japanese internees deemed “troublemakers” from other internment camps. Today the site, off U.S. Highway 191, is marked with a plaque and all that remains of the camp are two stone pylons that once held the entrance sign.
View of Camp DG-32, with sheep grazing in foreground.