“St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Lighthouse”
Between 1934 and 1940, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (then called the St. Marks Migratory Bird Refuge) located about twenty-five miles away from Tallahassee FL. Overseen by the U.S. Biological Survey, the work was done by enrollees at Camp BF-1 – one of the first African American CCC camps in Florida.
CCC teams constructed roads, cut fire lines, built structures, and facilitated the establishment of the refuge as it stands today. According to the Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, “[a]lmost everything [at the refuge] was fabricated by the CCC men. Poles that carried the power and telephone lines, fence posts, and cypress for siding and roofing were cut on the refuge and trimmed by hand. Among their accomplishments are the earthen levees surrounding the pools, miles of ditches, 30 acres cleared for a reservoir, and Lighthouse Road. They built dwellings and other buildings, a diversion dam, and two lookout towers.”
While most of the structures built by the CCC no longer exist, the CCC’s legacy lives on in Lighthouse Road and the ponds providing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. The work of the CCC continues to bear fruit today at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
“Swift Waters and Portages,” Parks & Recreation. (folder marked 1934)
Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, “St. Marks and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)” https://www.stmarksrefuge.org/ccc.
Project originally submitted by Gray Brechin on June 2, 2022.
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