QUIET DELL, W.Va. — The West Virginia Civilian Conservation Corps Museum in Quiet Dell will receive national recognition during the annual gathering, which is being held in Greenville, South Carolina, from Sept. 14-16.
“We didn’t solicit the award, but we were given the award in recognition that we are the best Civilian Conservation Corps museum in the country in terms of excellence and education,” Dr. Bob Anderson said. He’s a professor emeritus at West Virginia University and a member of the West Virginia State CCC Museum Association.
“They have cited us for providing unique information throughout the state of West Virginia and elsewhere to expand the heritage, legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps,” he said.
Located along Quiet Dell School Road in Mount Clare, the museum opened in June 2002 to honor the three million volunteers across the country and in Hawaii and Alaska (not yet states) who volunteered for six months or more.
“The CCC Boys called themselves ‘the forgotten generation.’ Not many people gave them any credit for what they did, and there is a lot of relevance to what they did in today’s world. All the state parks and lodges they built are still standing and being used today,” Anderson said. “In more than nine years, there were 67 camps in West Virginia.”
Anderson, who was notified by phone a few months ago about the award, founded the museum and was a former board president. He was grateful for community assistance, as well as help from government agencies, and wanted others to have input in the museum’s creation.
Unfortunately, he will not be able to accept the award in person in September.
“I’ve had an awful lot of wonderful help and assistance from many different people during the past 15 years,” Anderson said. “We’ve had a lot of help from the (Harrison) County Commission and appreciate all of the support to make the museum as viable as it is.”
President Reggie Rogers, who only lives a few miles from the museum, is a lifetime member of the museum association. He’s been with the association at least five years and has met people from around the world at the former Quiet Dell schoolhouse, including from France, the state of Alaska and across West Virginia.
“My dad (Richard) was in the CCC. That’s why I joined (the association),” Rogers said. “They built 90 percent of all the state parks, got $5 per month, plus room, board and clothes and then sent $25 home to their families so they could have money to live off. It’s a shame they don’t have something like that now for young boys. I’d love to see them bring it back.”
Richard was inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame during the 2013 annual Fall Jubilee.
“When we’d be out trout fishing or in the mountains, my dad would show me things the boys had built that are still there today,” Rogers said. “I like being in it. I want to make my dad proud that I had something to do with it.”
A truck driver who travels statewide, Rogers isn’t sure yet who will accept the award during the CCC’s annual gathering.
More than 500 items have been donated to the museum and annex from families across the country, including uniforms, tools and photographs from newspapers. Camp Harrison was actually located on the school grounds.
“We have thousands of people who have complimented us for having the museum,” Anderson said. “They know that is an active place where they can leave their memorabilia for others to enjoy.”
A replica museum barracks on site is planned to open as early as next year to display other CCC memorabilia.
The museum, which also houses the West Virginia Heritage Crafts Co-op, is open daily, except for major holidays.
Information from: The Exponent Telegram, http://www.theet.com