JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWQC) — It is a jewel. One of Jackson County’s stellar attractions! Almost a century ago, a government program put young men to work during the throngs of the Great Depression.
The Civilian Conservation Corps helped to develop the trails, worked on flood protection, and planted trees at Maquoketa Caves State Park. The men ranged in age from seventeen to twenty three. Going to work during Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidency.
Many of the men left the family farm to work at places throughout the state. Calling the CCC camps home for months at a time. They went to work in order to prevent their families from going hungry. The men received thirty dollars a month. Twenty five of the thirty went to their families.
The CCC planted one hundred twenty three thousand trees in one year at Maquoketa Caves Much of their manual labor involved flood protection,
and preventing soil erosion.
Iowa author Linda McCann wrote a book about these young men who left the family farm and made their mark throughout Iowa. She recently took an up close look at the Caves Park, wowed by the workmanship and ingenuitywhich is still quite evident, almost a century later. A difference maker!