This stone monument beside the day use area entrance road was dedicated in memory of Robert Fechner, first Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1933-1939). Mr. Fechner worked beyond the call to make the CCC a big success. The program is remembered as one of the brightest spots in the bleak drabness of the 1930’s depression. Mr. Fechner died while still in office in 1939.
This monument was dedicated in 1940 not long after Fechner’s death near the time Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks were being completed by the CCC.
The development of the Fechner Monument was promoted by both State Forester Fred Besley and District Forester H.C. Buckingham who gratefully admired and appreciated Robert Fechner’s cooperative efforts on all fifteen Maryland’s State Forests and Parks CCC projects.
Robert Fechner was a good friend of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who admired his successful efforts with managing social programs in New York State when Roosevelt was Governor.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, often called “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” was the “world’s greatest experiment in conserving young manhood and the natural resources” during the time of the Great Depression.
Mr. Fechner said this about the value of the C.C.C. to youth and our natural resources:
“The strengthening of forest and park defenses against the destructive inroads of forest fires, insects and disease and tree-attacking diseases represented one of the most important types of work undertaken by C.C.C. men.
Not the least value to the boy has been his opportunity to learn how to live with a large group of other boys where a community of interests was essential to the happiness of all. It is believed that this phase of camp life will be of lasting benefit to all who participated in it. The value of learning how to do constructive work is also an important feature.
The boys learned quickly the value of regular earning and they take a proper pride in knowing they are contributing to the support of their families. The families in turn are happy knowing that their boys are living healthy, useful lives, learning regular habits and becoming better prepared to take their places in industry when opportunity offers.
A great many of the young men have become proficient in work which offers a means of earning their future livelihood. Others have received a start in life that will undoubtedly be of great benefit to them in future years in which they may not have ever received had they not been fortunate enough to spend some months in the camps."
GPS Wayside Point:
N 39 27 18.4
W 79 27 02.4
Photographs (top to bottom):
- Photograph of the Robert Fechner CCC monument: The Robert Fechner The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) monument is located on the right side of the road inside the park not far from the entrance of Herrington Manor State Park in Garrett County. This CCC monument was dedicated in 1940 not long after Fechner’s death.
- Photograph of Robert Fechner: Working directly under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert Fechner was the first Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 until his death in 1939.
- The CCC Logo: This CCC Logo was printed in the Civilian Conservation Corps Official Annual 1936 yearbook, District No.2, Third Corps Area. Maryland State Forester Fred W. Besley (1906-1942) was responsible for overseeing forestry work in the CCC Third Corps area, a region that included Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Maryland State Forests and State Parks
Significant Monuments and Landmarks In Garrett County, Maryland
By Offutt Johnson and Champ Zumbrun
July 11, 2013
Source: Civilian Conservation Corps, District No.2, Third Corps Area, Official Annual – 1936.pp. 7, 18-19, 207- 208.
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