Visiting the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum within the park was a pleasant surprise. The exhibits within the one building museum is of high quality, more like the exhibits one would see in fine science or history museums rather than tucked away in a Florida State Park.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was formed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the New Deal during the Depression, operating from 1933 to 1942. “It was created for young men between the ages of 17 and 25. The enrollees earned $30 a month, of which $25 was sent home to their families. Enrollees had a military-like lifestyle in camps managed by the Army. Their clothing consisted of surplus World War I uniforms.” (Museum brochure) The 49,000 Floridians employed by the CCC planted millions of trees, built thousands of miles of roads and trails, constructed over 2,000 bridges, and fought forest fires. The “CCC Boys” not only gained on-the-job skills, but also had the opportunity to receive academic and vocational training. The CCC built 8 Florida Parks which was the beginning of the state park system.
The exhibits have many artifacts and pictures of the CCC with other artifacts of the era. Many exhibits contain more audio visual materials where you can hear recollections of those enrollees and even an FDR fireside chat. You will see a recreated bunkhouse to further get the feeling of how the boys lived.
If you want to learn more about United States and Florida history then a visit here is a must and well worth the visit to the Highland Hammocks State Park.