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Bunkroom of Civilian Conservation Corps in Lewes

February 18, 2020

This photograph from the early 1930s shows the bunkroom in one of the Civilian Conservation Corps buildings in Lewes. The buildings were on land fronting on Savannah Road where the Huling Cove senior citizen apartments are now located.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed creation of the CCC in 1933 as a means of employing young men during tough economic times, and to halt the destruction and erosion of the nation’s natural resources. There were eight CCC camps in Delaware employing 5,382 men over several years. They were from Delaware and other states.

Delaware was the last state to have CCC camps. Many of the men here were employed to dig drainage ditches in the state’s extensive shoreline marshes as a means of combating mosquito infestations in the warm months. Col. Wilbur S. Corkran, who laid out the plans for and developed Henlopen Acres, was in charge of the Delaware camps. In all, according to CCC records, the men working in Delaware dug ditches that helped drain 52,874 acres.

Across all the states of the country, CCC workers improved millions of acres of land, helped prevent flooding, created outdoor recreational opportunities, and planted an estimated 3 billion trees between 1933 and 1942. Nationwide, more than 600,000 people were employed during one of the nation’s toughest economic times.

Delaware’s first CCC workers were employed to help lay out roads and also dig drainage ditches in the first 1,000 acres acquired for Redden State Forest north of Georgetown, in October of 1933.

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