By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
CASSVILLE, Mo. —
Raising funds has been slow going, but as the 80th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps approaches next year, progress is being made on erecting a bronze statue to honor the young men who helped build Roaring River State Park.
CCC Company 1713 began work at the park in June 1933, part of a national program to provide young, unmarried men employment, lodging and meals during the Great Depression.
The men built cabins, the lodge, trails and roads, the raceway and hatchery, and more at Roaring River.
Superintendent Dusty Reid has said previously that ongoing restoration and maintenance work in the park tries to honor and preserve the work of the CCC.
“If there is a drop of sweat from a CCC worker inside that wood frame and inside that window, it’s still there. It just makes the buildings in the park and what we’re preserving that much more special,” Reid said recently.
Strafford resident Naomi Shaw, daughter of a former CCC worker at Camp Rusk in Wisconsin and Camp ZigZag in Oregon, has been spearheading a campaign to ensure that the program’s contributions to Missouri are memorialized with a life-size bronze statue at Roaring River State Park.
On Monday, she said a ceremony has been slated for the morning of May 4, 2013, to dedicate the statue.
Dozens of similar statues have been erected in other state parks across the United States, and although last year it was estimated it would take $18,000, costs have risen and the total is now closer to $21,000.
So far, Shaw has raised $7,000 in contributions and pledges.
“We have gotten some funds, but it’s gone slower than I had hoped — although I guess I’m not totally surprised with the economy,” Shaw said. “But we’ve been down to Roaring River and we have a commitment.”
Her father, Richard Chrisinger, has committed to paying the $10,500 down payment for the statue, by the deadline in January.
“Dad just had his 90th birthday, and he really wants to see this done to generate more interest in the CCC and the legacy,” Shaw said.