Monday, December 9, 2013

Help Preserve a Piece of CCC History

Will we understand the value of our history only after we have lost it?

In addition to helping folks find information about the Civilian Conservation Corps, another critical component to this thing we call CCC “resources” is the preservation of endangered items and bits of information.  Clearly a resource is of no use if it’s wasted, lost, destroyed or hidden away so deep in an archive vault that the average person cannot access it.
I was recently contacted by the folks at Appalshop Archive in Whitesburg, Kentucky.  It seems there is silent film footage shot at Camp SP-10-K near Pineville, Kentucky in 1938 that is in need of preservation.  For the sake of getting the word out quickly, I’ve pulled a quote directly from their fundraising site:
“In 2008 the Appalshop Archive received the donation of a 1938 16mm silent b/w film documenting the CCC camp in Pine Mountain State Park near the coal mining community of Pineville, KY.  It was made by Park superintendent and CCC supervisor Carl Zody.  Camp SP-10 men are seen constructing roads and bridges, operating vehicles, and cutting native sandstone for the Laurel Cove amphitheater (which is still a local landmark central to the town’s annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival).  The at-risk film is the most extensive known moving image materials of CCC activity in Pineville.  It is also unique in that it was made by a Park employee rather than by the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose films were intended to promote the program to the public.”
I think the critical thing to consider in this case is that the effort is to raise funds in order to preserve and exhibit this rare piece of film history.  Preservation of CCC history will insure that items are kept safe but possibly never seen.  Exhibition of CCC history brings the CCC story to thousands but risks damage to the items being exhibited.  The folks at Appalshop Archive are working to do both and they need the public’s help to make that happen.
Again, because Appalshop is working to meet a fundraising deadline, I’ve chosen to pull the contact information directly from their website in order to get this piece posted as soon as possible.  Here is how you can help:
“To donate by credit card go to the Contribute Now button at the top right of this page (  If you would prefer to make your tax-deductible contribution by check, just make it payable to APPALSHOP, INC. and mail to: Appalshop Archive, 91 Madison Ave, Whitesburg, KY, 41858.”  
There are premiums offered based on the level of contribution you make – call it a “perk” or an incentive – but there is also a deadline for the current fundraising effort.  To view the fundraising web page and to see the range of incentives being offered, visit the website here (scroll down the page to view the section on the Pineville CCC film):
Think of it this way:  Somewhere, there are people searching for information about a family member or a loved one who worked in a CCC camp in Kentucky.  Wouldn’t you feel great if you knew that you’d helped make it easier for those folks to perhaps catch a glimpse of their CCC boy on film?  That should be incentive enough.
For a history of the CCC in Kentucky, see Connie M. Huddleston’s book Kentucky’s Civilian Conservation Corps, 2009, The History Press.
For the CCC Resource Page State-by-State article about the CCC in Kentucky, click HERE.
For previous Forest Army blog posts related to the CCC in Kentucky, click HERE.
(Header illustration:  Edited detail from the CCC Company photo, Camden, Maine.  Courtesy of John McLeod.)