AFTER FIVE YEARS OF CCC research, it is apparent that the largest problem in telling the CCC story is the fact that they did an extraordinary amount of work. To get one’s hands around their accomplishments is a great challenge. Their work went from the pedestrian to the magnificent. Not a part of Arizona was unaffected.
Once I made the decision to take on the rest of northern Arizona beyond the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, it was evident that there was a lot to understand and that the evidence available varied from company to company, from locale to locale. It was an immense disappointment that the records of the CCC–Indian Division housed in the National Archives represent only a small part of what was accomplished. So I made the decision not to include work of the Indian Division in the hopes that another researcher will find enough to tell its story. With the exception of Petrified Forest, the area of this monograph is the counties of Coconino, Mohave, Yavapai, and Prescott. For the CCC work at Grand Canyon National Park, readers are directed to my earlier monograph, Shaping the Park and Saving the Boys: The Civilian Conservation Corps at Grand Canyon, 1933–1942 (Dog Ear Publishing, 2011). For the CCC work along the Mogollon Rim, readers are directed to Robert J. Moore’s The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona’s Rim Country: Working in the Woods (University of Nevada Press, 2006). With the exceptions of the Indian Division and work in Arizona done by Nevada CCC companies, I believe I have presented a comprehensive view of CCC work in these counties. 1 In just one instance in this region, Montezuma Castle National Monument, other New Deal programs such as the CWA and PWA were sufficient for the labor needs of the local agency, and the CCC was not used.2
The CCC story is many faceted. The effect of the program on the boys and their families and the participation of the military in the CCC program are areas for future studies. For me, the most tantalizing area is documenting the work that was accomplished. However, before I could do that I had to establish the baseline data—specifying as exactly as possible when and where each company was located as well as when they completed their tenure. So this monograph focuses greatly on the work projects. Yet, when possible, I have added some of the human element and the names of the main actors if those were in the records. And, I hope I have given a true flavor of what the enrollees were communicating in their camp newspapers.
Sifting through the records in archives is but one part of the research process. Once I got into the field with competent guides such as St. George Utah BLM archeologist John M. Herron, I began to see that a great deal of the CCC work is still in use today and that the CCC work was made to last. The Civilian Conservation Corps, along with other New Deal agencies, was responsible for unprecedented federal land agency infrastructure growth in northern Arizona. At Petrified Forest, we often use the road alignments and trails the CCC first built. In the Prescott and Kaibab National Forests, Petrified Forest, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki, we still use the buildings the CCC (often with other New Deal agencies) built. In the Kingman area and the Arizona Strip, we frequently use CCC-built roads, trails, fences, and stock tanks. The first reliable roads from St. George, Utah, to Wolf Hole, Arizona, and from Fredonia to Mount Trumbull were CCC constructed. Indeed, the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, the first law for the “orderly use of the range,” was not meaningful until CCC labor was introduced. In the case of Petrified Forest, the CCC and other New Deal agencies transformed it from a backwater to a real national park. Throughout the Prescott, Kaibab, and Coconino National Forests, many of the road alignments we use today were first built by CCC boys. Hualapai Mountain Park’s buildings and trails surely would not exist today if not for the CCC. These forty-four CCC companies completed an astounding number of projects, accomplishing as much as fifty years’ work in less than ten years. However, this study is not a detailed road map. It is a sign post. I hope other researchers and scholars will use my work as a springboard to dig deeper into the CCC story.
A note about terminology and names: from time to time the historical records use terms that are confusing today—for example, the use of early term “ECW” for the latter-day term “CCC.” Newspapers as well as official reports often used variant spellings of Hualapai, Schultz, Abineau, Schnebly, and the like. So I have taken the liberty of substituting the current terms in order to lessen confusion. Whenever possible when a personal name was not complete in the records and first names or initials were available, they have been supplied.
1. For a capsule view of the CCC archeological work at Rampart Cave, Mohave County, see Roman Malach’s Home on the Range, 33–39. For a look at the CCC work at Lake Mead, see McBride, Hard Work and Far from Home and Kolvet, Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada.
2. See Protas, Past Preserved in Stone, 100–104.