Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at places and events of interest in Bulloch County history.
The Bulloch Herald reported in the July 4, 1940 edition of the Bulloch Herald reported that 48 boys from Bulloch County had left for the new Millen Civilian Conservation Camp.
Sara Hall, Bulloch County Welfare director, said these young men, all between the ages of 18 and 25 had enrolled in the CCC for a 6-month stint. She said that they were eligible to re-enroll for another 18 months if they so desired.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had set to establish many new programs as part of his "New Deal" effort to restart America's economy. These programs included the Emergency Conservation Work Act (ECW), better known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
On June 26, Georgia's Ogeechee River Soil Conservation district approved work to begin on the area's projects as early as July 1, and then announced on August 7 that the district would employ two technical workers trained as conservationists to oversee the CCC projects.
The CCC's reforestation's projects accounted for more than half of all such efforts performed in the nation's entire history. On Feb. 6, 1941, final approval was given for the CCC projects in the Ogeechee River Soil Conservation district.
Eligibility requirements for the CCC varied: Congress required U.S. citizenship, while the Emergency Conservation Work Act required that participants be physically fit because of the physical labor required.
Every CCC candidate had to be unemployed, unmarried, and between the ages of 18 and 26, although the rules were relaxed for war veterans in the program. The original enlistment period was for a duration of 6 months, although many reenlisted again.
Inman Foy, chairman of the Bulloch County Welfare Board, oversaw the CCC efforts in Bulloch County. Other board members included Rufus Brannen, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Smith, Olin Griner; Sara Hall, the county welfare director; and Dr. O.F. Whitman, Statesboro's health commissioner.
They were joined by Byron Dyer, Bulloch County Agricultural agent; Leodel Coleman, editor of the Bulloch Herald; and J.E. McCroan, Bulloch County ordinary. The men who worked in the Bulloch County area stayed in the region's CCC camp, which was set up in Millen.
The man responsible for the CCC efforts in the state of Georgia, H.B. Meldrin, inspected the Millen facility's education program, living quarters, kitchen and dining hall, and officer's headquarters, as well as the aims and objects of the corps, and gave the camp his approval.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.