In 1933, the United States was struggling to survive the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised a "New Deal" to put the nation back to work. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was launched in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where the first camp, Camp Roosevelt, was built. The CCC was widely acclaimed as the most popular of Roosevelt's programs. In Virginia, CCC workers built Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the first six state parks, and more. Despite the program's success, senators from Virginia led the Congressional efforts to kill the CCC in 1942.
Authors Joe and Patty Elton have called Virginia home for most of their lives. Joe retired after serving for 20 years as Virginia's state parks director. He also served as president of the National Association of State Park Directors and was a founder of the Virginia Association for Parks and America's State Parks Foundation. Patty, a master naturalist and avid birder, was the founding president of the Friends of Bear Creek Lake State Park. She has been an outdoor writer and authored Ghostly Tales of Selected Virginia State Parks. Images presented within this work were sourced from the Library of Congress, CCC Legacy, the CCC Museum at Pocahontas State Park, individuals, and local historical societies.