The Bulloch Herald reported in the July 4, 1940, issue that "forty white boys and eight negro boys" from Bulloch County had left for the new Millen Civilian Conservation Camp.
Mrs. Sara Hall, Bulloch’s welfare director, said the young men, all between the ages of 18 and 25, had enrolled in the camp for a six-month stint. She stated they were eligible to re-enroll for another 18 months if they wanted.
In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established many new programs as part of his New Deal effort to restart America's economy. The programs included the Emergency Conservation Work Act, better known as the Civilian Conservation Corps.
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 Aug. 7 that the district would employ two technical workers trained as conservationists to oversee the conservation camp projects.
The reforestation projects accounted for more than half of all such efforts performed in the nation's history. On Feb. 6, 1941, final approval was given for the camp projects in the Ogeechee River Soil Conservation district.
Eligibility requirements for the camp varied: Congress required U.S. citizenship, while the Emergency Conservation Work Act required that participants be physically fit because of the hard physical labor required.
Every camp 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 six months, although many enlisted again.
Inman Foy, chairman of the Bulloch County Welfare Board, oversaw the camp’s 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’s 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 camp, which was set up in Millen.
The man responsible for the conservation camp efforts in the state, H.B. Meldrin, inspected the Millen facility's education program, living quarters, kitchen, 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. He provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.