Furnace Creek sign - Death Valley National Park CA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was present in Death Valley National Monument from 1933 to 1942. The main CCC camp was at Cow Creek, just north of the park headquarters and visitors center at Furnace Creek.
CCC ‘boys’ built the basic infrastructure of the new monument, such as grading roads, erecting buildings for park staff and operations, and building campgrounds – activities so large that they are treated on separate pages. In addition, the CCC worked to develop wells and springs, install water pipes, and string electric and telephone lines to make the park habitable. Other improvements were an airplane landing strip and a plant nursery (now gone) for landscaping the various developed sites around the valley.
Death Valley was proclaimed a national monument by President Herbert Hoover on February 11, 1933, just before he left office. Hoover set aside almost two million acres (8,000 km2) of southeastern California and small parts of southwestern Nevada. Death Valley is both the lowest and hottest place in the Americas.
Death Valley became a National Park in 1994, in part due to the massive scarring of the landscape produced by continued surface mining allowed by Congress in national monuments. Public outcry led to greater protection for all national park and monument areas in the country at the end of the 20th century.
Since it is difficult to photograph or find historic photographs of things like water and telephone lines, we include here only the airstrip.
Smith, Linda Greene and Judy Palmer, 2011. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Death Valley (1933-1942): A Brief CCC History and Visitor Guide. Amargosa Conservancy.
Our Mark on This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in America's Parks by Ren & Helen Davis (McDonald & Woodward Publishing, Granville, OH, 2011)
Project originally submitted by Alberto Vasquez on January 27, 2019.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker, Joan Greer.
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