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Olsen, Vic and Mae, Civilian Conservation Corps Collection, 1930-2001

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Olsen, Victor T.; Olsen, Mae C.
Title
Olsen, Vic and Mae, Civilian Conservation Corps Collection
Dates
1930-2001 (inclusive)
Quantity
4 linear ft
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0003olsen (collection)
Summary
The collection includes photographs, newsletters, scrapbooks, oral history transcripts, publications, clippings, artifacts, and correspondence documenting the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Washington State. Much of this material was gathered by Vic and Mae Olsen, who were active in the CCC Alumni Association and in establishing a CCC interpretative center at Deception Pass State Park in Washington. Records span the period 1930 – 2001, and include some original material generated by CCC employees and pertaining to individual camps across the state. The collection also documents the activities of the CCC Alumni Association (notably the formation and work of Everett Chapter 78), and the creation of the CCC interpretive center at Deception Pass.
Repository
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
98225
Telephone: 360-650-7534
cpnws@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Established by the Emergency Conservation Work Act of 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) comprised one of the popular and far-reaching public works operations established under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Implemented during Roosevelt’s first “Hundred Days” of office, the administration envisioned the CCC as a means to tackle the growing problems of poverty and unemployment in the United States. During the 1930s and 1940s, under the directorships of Robert Fechner and James McEntee, the program engaged over three million unemployed male volunteers in public works projects designed to conserve natural resources and improve recreational and communication infrastructure.

Roosevelt’s program required unprecedented peacetime mobilization of men and labor. The scope and scale of the CCC program was such that its Advisory Council included representatives from the Departments of War, Labor, Agriculture and Interior. The CCC worked in conjunction with government bodies such as the Bureau of Animal Industry, the National and State Forest Services, National and State Parks, and the Soil Conservation Service. Although CCC camps and projects were established across the United States, many enrollees served in locations far removed from their place or state of origin. The program sent large numbers of unemployed men from depressed areas on the east coast, for example, to training and work camps in the western United States, including Washington State. The government directed the U.S. military to mobilize and train CCC members, appointing officials from the Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and most frequently the Army as commanders of CCC companies, induction and work camps.

Vic Olsen and his wife Mae Olsen were instrumental in preserving the history of the CCC and their achievements in Washington State. In Washington, host to over 200 CCC camps, Roosevelt’s “tree army” was involved in forest and soil conservation, construction of roads, bridges, telephone lines, and park and recreational facilities. CCC members built some 21,788 miles of public trails, and planted 51,057 acres of trees and seedlings.* Camps included those based at Rosario on Fidalgo Island and at Coronet Bay on Whidbey Island (the latter camp was for CCC enrollees from the East Coast of the US). Vic Olsen himself enrolled in the CCC in Everett, Washington, in April 1933, attending training at Fort Worden and Fort Casey before transfer to Camp Easton (F-32), near Cle Elum. In November 1933, Vic was relocated with his company to Camp Louella (F-60) near Sequim, Washington, in the Olympic National Forest, until his later injury and honorable discharge. During his work with the CCC, he assisted with the construction of several facilities at Deception Pass, Washington.

Vic and Mae Olsen retained an active interest in the history of the CCC, founding the Everett Chapter (Chapter #78) of the CCC Alumni Association in March 1983. The Olsens worked as campground hosts at Deception Pass State Park in Bowman Bay for many years. During their tenure at Deception Pass State Park, they were instrumental in establishing an interpretive center devoted to the history of the CCC in the region. The interpretive center was created in 1987 through CCC alumni members’ renovation of an old park bathhouse. The center was dedicated on July 16, 1988, and remains open for visitors to Deception Pass State Park.

*cited in Williams, Gerald W.Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Pacific Northwest 1933-1942 (U.S. Forest Service), Vic and Mae Olsen CCC Collection, CPNWS.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Vic and Mae Olsen Civilian Conservation Corps Collection documents the history and legacy of the CCC in Washington State. The collection comprises 3 linear feet of material spanning the period 1930-2001. CCC materials include a small number of general administrative records relating to regional CCC activities, and also records pertaining to individual camps throughout Washington State. Camp records include photographs, scrapbooks and publications such as yearbooks and newsletters generated during the 1930s, as well as discharge certificates and memoirs of CCC members who worked at the various locations. Photographic materials include images of one unidentified camp in Idaho.

The collection also contains records pertaining to the CCC Alumni Association between 1978 and 2001. While a small number of records reflect the Alumni Association’s existence and interests on a national level, the bulk of materials document the formation and activities of the Everett regional chapter (chapter 78), founded in 1983 by Vic and Mae Olsen. This collection contains membership records, correspondence, clippings, publications and photographs generated by the Everett chapter, reflecting its reunions and other activities.

Correspondence, programs and exhibit material, reference and photographic records dated 1980-2000 further document the construction and dedication of the CCC Interpretive Center at Deception Pass State Park and subsequent programs and events at this site. Reference materials include articles, papers and clippings relating to the history of the CCC both in the Pacific Northwest and on a national level, and also contain biographical information about Vic and Mae Olsen.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Original copy of the Works Project Map/Rosario Pumphouse Plan is restricted due to fragility – a preservation copy is available to researchers

Preferred Citation

Olsen Civilian Conservation Corps Collection, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Subgroup 1:   CCC Materials , 1930 -2000Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Series 1: General Administration
1935-1939
Box/Folder
1/1
Camp Locations and Certificates
circa 1939-1940
1/2
Correspondence
1935 ; 1995
1/3
Memoirs
undated
Oversize Folder
1
Publications
1935-1936
Box/Folder
1/4
Publications
1937; undated
Box/Folder
1/5
Yearbook
1939
Series 2: CCC Camps
Researchers should note that the Camp Deception Pass Scrapbook also contains some images of the CCC Camp at Rosario Beach
1930-1946 (bulk 1980-1999)
Box/Folder
1/6
Camp Cape George A-7
1937
Camp Darrington F-15
Box/Folder
1/7
Certificates and Memoirs.
circa 1930s; ; 1980s.
Oversize Folder
1
Photographs
undated.
Camp Deception Pass SP-3
Box/Folder
1/8
Publications
1934-1936
1/9
Photographs and scrapbooks
circa 1930s
Oversize Folder
2
Photograph Scrapbook
circa 1930s
Personal Papers
Box/Folder
1/10
Castiglia, Frank
1933-1934; ; undated
1/11
Falkowski, Anthony
1930s
1/12
Figurski, Alfred./ Hannagan, Joe. / Rennar, George
circa 1930s ; 1980s
1/13
Signor, Alfred
circa 1930s ; 1990s
Box/Folder
1/14
Camp Elwha F-17
circa 1930s
1/15
Camp Glacier F-12
circa 1930s ; undated
1/16
Camp Icicle F-29
1936 ; undated
1/17
Camp Louella
1930s ; circa 1981
1/18
Camp Lower Cispus F-34
undated
1/19
Camp Moran, SP-1
circa 1930s ; 1998
1/20
Camp Naches F-70
1933-1935
1/21
Camp North Bend F-85
circa 1930s ; undated
1/22
Camp Quinault
undated
1/23
Camp Rainier P-219
1930s ; 1990s
1/24
Camp Roosevelt
1940
Camp Rosario Beach
Box/Folder
1/25
Publications
1934
Oversize Folder
1
Photograph
1934
Camp Roy
Box/Folder
1/26
Administration
1935 -1946
1/27
Publications
1935-1938 ; 1993
1/28
Correspondence
1990s
1/29
Memoirs
2000,; undated
1/30
Photographs
circa 1930s
Oversize Folder
1
Photographs
circa 1930s
Box/Folder
1/31
Photograph Scrapbooks
circa 1930s
1/32
Yearbook
undated
Box/Folder
1/33
Camp Salt Water SP-11
1934 ; undated
1/34
Camp Skagit
circa 1930s
1/35
Camp Snider
undated ; 1935
1/36
Camp Soda Springs SCS-6
1930s ; 1990s
1/37
Camp Twin
undated
1/38
Camp White River NP-5
1930s
Oversize Folder
1
Unidentified Idaho camp (photographs)
undated
Series 3: Maps
circa 1930s
Oversize Folder
1
Fort Lewis District Route Map
undated
Box/Folder
1/39
Works Project Map/Rosario Pumphouse Plan
Preservation copy: original (rolled document 1) extremely fragile
undated
Rolled Document
2
Canyon Lake Project Map
1937

Subgroup 2:   Alumni Association , 1978 - 2001Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Series 1: National
1978-2001
Box/Folder
2/1
Administration
1978-1983, ; undated
2/2
Correspondence
2001 ; undated
2/3
Newspaper Clippings/Publications
circa 1979-1999
2/4
Calendars
1987-1991
2/5
Calendars
1992-1998
Series 2: Regional
circa 1981-1999
Box/Folder
2/6
Administration
1981-1985
2/7
Alumni Activities
1985, ; undated
2/8
Correspondence
circa 1988-1999
Membership
Box/Folder
2/9
Evergreen Chapter #78 Directories
1983-1988
2/10
General (meeting attendance and membership lists)
Box/Folder
2/11
Newspaper Clippings
circa 1983-1997
2/12
Publications
1982, ; 1994-1995
2/13-2/14
Photographs, CCC Alumni Gatherings and Reunions

Subgroup 3:   Deception Pass , circa 1980-2000Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Series 1: Correspondence
circa 1980-1991
Box/Folder
2/15
General Correspondence
circa 1986-1991
2/16
Doris Cavender
circa 1980s
Series 2: Events and Activities
circa 1985-1989
Box/Folder
2/17
Interpretive Center Dedication
undated
Folder
1
Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration
1985
Box/Folder
2/18
Programs and Events
undated
2/19
Awards
1988-1989
Series 3: Reference
1933-2000
Box/Folder
2/20
Articles and Publications
circa 1970s-2000
2/21
Articles and Publications
circa 1970s-2000
2/22
Bibliographic Materials
1980 ; 2000 ; undated
2/23
Notes and Writings
1933 ; 1987 ; undated
Newspapers
Box/Folder
2/24
Newspaper Clippings
undated
2/25
Newspaper Clippings
1981-1989
2/26
Newspaper Clippings
1990-2000
Series 4: Photographs
undated
Box/Folder
2/27
Interpretive Center Dedication
1988
2/28
Bowman Bay/Interpretive Center
circa 1980s - 1990
2/29
People and Places
undated