The Civilian Conservation Corps at Abilene State Park
Marker No: 12511
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 32° 14.318′ N, 99° 52.844′ W
Location: 150 Park Road 32, Tuscola
Marker Text: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 to provide jobs on public lands for unemployed workers, specifically young men and World War I veterans. Quick to recognize the benefits of this program, the city of Abilene donated land in 1933 for the CCC's use in building a state park near Lake Abilene.
Company No. 1823, one of the companies comprised entirely of World War I veterans, was assigned to the Taylor County site. Using the design of Abilene architect David Castle, the men constructed a refectory in addition to roads, picnic areas and a swimming pool with native sandstone as the primary building material. Abilene mayor C. L. Johnson declared it "a beautiful spot of great recreational benefit" at the opening ceremony on May 10, 1934, during which state parks board chairman D. E. Colp formally dedicated the new state park.
In 1935 a reactivated CCC Company No. 1823, comprised of African American veterans, returned to Abilene State Park for additional work. They built culverts, a water tower and latrines, and undertook some road and stonework repairs before moving on to Kerrville.
The work of the Civilian Conservation Corps is still visible at Abilene State Park, one of more than 50 public parks in Texas that benefited from labor and craftsmanship of the men of the CCC. (2001)