Mineral School and Roxy Theater host Janet Oakley

Janet Oakley visit pays homage to local CCC logging history

Morton, WashingtonFire Mountain Arts Council and Mineral School, with support from Humanities Washington, will on November 5 present multiple events devoted to celebrating the region’s rich logging history at the Roxy Theater. There, Civilian Conservation Corps. (CCC) expert Janet Oakley will present a free 7:00 p.m. talk on the creation and culture of the CCC logging camps of the Pacific Northwest. Following the lecture, local thespians will offer a short play, an adaptation by Ms. Oakley of her novel Tree Soldier, also about the CCC era. 

Tree Soldier

During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian     Conservation Corps to provide jobs for millions of out-of-work men. But in doing so, he also saved an environment damaged by World War I activities and gave the country new trees, beautiful parks and recreational areas. Thousands of desperate young men from the East Coast came to Washington to work in the woods alongside locals to build bridges, roads and park buildings. There were multiple CCC encampments in eastern  Lewis County as well as in Pierce County and within Mt. Rainier National Park, where many trails resulted from CCC workers’ efforts.

A writer, historian, and former educator at the Skagit County Historical Museum, Ms. Oakley’s evening talk is titled “Tree Army: The Civilian Conservations Corps in Washington State, 1933-1941.” Also on November 5, Ms. Oakley will present a 12pm talk to students and interested members of the public as part of Centralia College East‘s Lyceum lecture series at the Roxy Theater. While in the area, she will also visit a new exhibit depicting logging camp housing at the Mineral museum operated by Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, a co-sponsor of her visit.

“One of the joys of traveling the state to talk about the Civilian Conservation Corps is the chance I get to visit wonderful communities,” Ms. Oakley stated. “I can’t wait to come to East Lewis County and explore places like Morton and Mineral.”

Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. Its Speakers Bureau is one of its oldest and most popular programs, in which 28 cultural experts and scholars such as Ms. Oakley provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations, encouraging audiences to think, learn and engage in conversation.