Rural Rehabilitation in Maine 1934

Maine ERA Monthly Volume 1 Number 1

Rural Rehabilitation in Maine

By Richmond H. Sargent

Rural Rehabilitation in Maine started in June, 1934. The purpose of this program, as in other states, was to restore or establish a standard of living for our rural people.

During this economic depression, many of our Maine farmers had been forced to deplete their capital goods so as to create an income as well as suffer from the effects of marketing conditions. This naturally lowered their standard of living. It is the function of the Rural Rehabilitation Division to remedy this condition.

The real purpose therefore of the Rural Rehabilitation Division is to replenish those rural people with such rehabilitation goods as necessary to establish this standard of living and regulate and supervise their farm operation.

This replenishing had to be in the form of a loan, repayable from the farm and family cash income received over a period of from one to three years. As every rural families problem was different, it was necessary to deal with each case individually. In getting at the status of the individual it was necessary to create some method of gaining this information. A farm management plan was drawn up, which when properly filled out by the rehabilitation worker in the the field, gave a complete inventory of the individual both physical and financial, his prospective farm operating expense, cash living expense, anticipated farm and family income for the year and his crop and livestock products. This latter had to correspond with the other items in relation to how much was to be used on the farm and how much was to be sold.

This, when compete, tell us the feasibility of this particular farm operation. In performing this operation according to the principles set forth by the Extension Service and United States Department of Agriculture, it is found that there are some items such as capital goods, operating expense and subsistence goods that will have to be advanced to the client.

The Farm Rehabilitation Corporation of Maine is a State Corporation set up for the purpose of financing these advances. This Corporation consists of seven directors representing the State Emergency Relief Administration, Extension Service, Federal Agencies, State Department of Agriculture and one business man. This Corporation applies on a regular form, for funds from the Federal Government for carrying on this rehabilitation. This application must contain information such as the items on which advances are to be made, the number of families to receive assistance, the administrative costs and the financial status of the corporation. This application is made monthly.

Before the Corporation approves or accepts a client, the client must agree to follow out the plan outlined by the Rehabilitation Worker, the Worker must prove that the client has no other source to obtain this assistance, the Worker signs plan only when he thinks client is morally sound, and will attempt to work out a plan signed by local advisory committee which is a character reference, approved by the farm management specialist and agent of the Corporation and finally approved by the Loan Committee of the Corporation and written into the minutes of said Corporation.

The Majority of our rehabilitation work is centered in Aroostook County. This County has suffered the last five years due to the potato market, remoteness from market, high freight rates, and improper farm operations. By the latter we mean that they have laid too much stress on the potato crop and neglected the basic principles of agriculture.

The problem in the southern part of the state does not localize but is one of correcting farm practices and replenishing their capital goods. We have also in the southern part of the state the problem of supplemental income and we are in hopes that means may be derived to assist stranded rural industries so as to provide employment.

We have approximately 600 accepted clients involving advances have been made, it is the job of the rehabilitation workers to follow up by seeing that those plans are carried out and render certain agricultural information that will benefit the client.

We are now in the process of being transferred from the Emergency Relief Administration to the Rural Resettlement Administration. This will give us closer coordination with the Extension Service and prevent any duplication of Agencies.

In brief, Rehabilitation is making progress in Maine and our object is to make the rural population of Maine self-supporting from the income derived from the farm.


Winter Sports


Mariposa Gazette April 16, 1936

Winter Sports Benefitted By CCC Enrollies in Yosemite Nat. Park

The astonishing growth in interest in winter sports in Yosemite during the past few years is apparent to all who live in this locality, but few realize to what extent the CCC program has assisted in making winter sports possible.

Last year approximately 10,000 persons visited the ski fields of Badger Pass up to the last of February. With little in the way of developments, no ski house, no definitely marked ski runs, meager parking facilities — many visitors came for their first taste of skiing last year.

Late last summer work was started on a ski house and the National Park Service rushed to completion a 200 car parking area and approach road. By the time the first heavy snows came the house was usable and visitors could park their cars. CCC crews worked hard to clear new and better ski runs, clearly marking the long runs with brightly-painted metal signs. Except for the availability of the availability of the CCC, much of this work would never have been done. Now that it is accomplished, thousands are enthusiastic as to the value of adequate provision for winter sports.

This past winter a total of over 25,000 persons have visited the Badger Pass area up to the last of February — two and a half times as many as last year, and the spring skiing season had scarcely started. The revenue derived by Mariposa county from the influx of 25,000 winter sports enthusiasts cannot be estimated. Just as Swiss summer resorts were converted into ear round resorts by the development of winter sports in Europe, so will winter sports in California supply year-round business to resorts, gas stations, etc. and be felt by everyone doing any kind of business in this locality.

Bootjack CCC Camp CO. 1912 Opening

Nov1933Fresno Bee, November 18, 1933. Mariposa CA.


Residents of Stanislaus and Mariposa Counties Take Part in Celebration

Mariposa (Mariposa Co.) Nov. 18 — Citizens of Modesto and Mariposa and enrollies of Company 1912 of the Civilian Conservation Corps joined to-day in a big housewarming at the new camp at Bootjack.

Members of the district administrative office in Fresno were participating. The excercises included a flag-raising ceremony, a barbecue at 4:30 P.M. and a dance in the evening.

The program was as follows: National Emblem March, band: invocation, Captain James C. Crowson, district chaplain; welcome to Mariposa County supervisors; welcome to Camp Bootjack, First Lieutenant Edgar T. Noyes, commanding officer; The Red Man, band; greetings from Stanislaus County board of supervisors; response for Company 1912, Daniel Rhieman; address, Major Paul E. Peabody, district commander; Bolero, band; presentation on behalf of Stanislaus County, William J. Silva, received by Ira Terry and Lieutenant Noyes; response for mothers of enrollies; Down South, band; flag raising, Star Spanvled [sic] Banner, band; address, M. B. Pratt, state To The Colors, sounded by Frank Tweed.

Meat for the barbecue was donated by the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce. A flag with the company’s distinctive insignia was donated by Modesto.

CWA / Red Cross Cooperation


As you can see in the article that appeared in the February 15, 1934 issue of the Clovis Independent, the New Deal put a heavy emphasis on a safe work environment. A far cry from the attitude of the bosses that workers were just disposable labor to be used and discarded.

A New Deal For Native Americans

New Indian Deal

As you can see in this editorial in the Clovis Independent (reprinting an editorial in the Fresno Bee) February 22, 1934, changes were underway in the reverse of the governmental policy of benign neglect for native Americans as it was for other minority groups. The use of native American code talkers in World War 2 in particular emphasizes the stupidity of supressing any culture.

Come Visit A Lost Civilization


My name is Andrew and you are invited to investigate the legacy of the most interesting period in modern history in the remains of stone walls, roads, golf courses, bridges, and other physical remains of the work programs that kept Americans alive during the terrible period of the 1930’s economic depression. In Griffith Park in Los Angeles, 4,300 acres of the largest urban park in the United States represents a showcase of president Franklin Roosevelts commitment to “put people to work!” as the newspaper headline shows. It is pretty doubtful that the 3 million people that visit the park every year have an inkling about how the area was transformed from an a barren wilderness to the family mecca it is today.

In showcasing the New Deal, I wish to give tours that comprise two different means depending on the persons ability and time available, areas that are accessible by car and areas that are only accessible by bike or by foot. The golf courses, the Greek theater, Griffith Observatory, the CCC memorial statue, & the tennis courts, are examples of Federal projects that are easily reached by car. Other aspects such as numerous check dams, certain roads, hiking trails, & elaborate rubble wall water channels can only be reached by bike or by hiking on both graded trails and non graded foot paths. In any case, come and let me give you a glimpse historically into a section of the metropolis of LA and the example of what happens when proper leadership creates something beautiful and lasting.

Wall Street is not the economy

One of the biggest problems one faces when talking about economics or the economy is the equation of it with the stock market and the assumption that the Dow Jones or the S&P 500 is the yardstick by which to measure how well the country is doing. The other is the half a century + old lie that government intervention into any aspect of the economy violates 1. economic equilibrium, 2. the delicate balance of nature, 3. or just upsets the gods of the market. All of these things have their roots in the ancient civilizations that used to reside in the area of todays Iraq. In president Franklin Roosevelts 1st inaugural address, he referred to the money changers in the temple which was the two references in the Bible (Mathew 21,12) (II Kings 18,16) that talk about monetary practices that originally came out of Assyria and Babylon.