A Civilian Conservation Corps member's footlocker was his home-away-from-home. This footlocker belonged to Johnny Buskowiak. Open it and explore!
Explore the Lid
Johnny Buskowiak got this blue felt pennant at the camp's canteen store while stationed with CCC Company 713 at Lake City, Minnesota, in 1940.
Mail was an important link to friends and family for the young men in the CCCs. Johnny Buskowiak received this postcard, from Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1940 while stationed with CCC Company 713 at Lake City, Minnesota.
Snapshot of John Buskowiak
Johnny Buskowiak posed for the camera during his time with CCC Company 713, Lake City, Minnesota in 1940. Johnny enjoyed working outside in the summer sun.
Orientation Training Certificate
CCC enrollees received certificates for passing different levels of training. This certificate reads: “This document certifies that Rafael Buskowiak completed orientation training for CCC Company 713 in April 1940.” “Rafael” is Johnny’s first name.
Snapshot of John Buskowiak and Leonard Johnson
Johnny Buskowiak (left) and Leonard Johnson pose in front of Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River during their service in the CCC at Lake City in 1940.
Studio Portrait of Deanna Durbin
Singer and actress Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular young entertainers of the 1930s. Johnny remembered obtaining this portrait of his favorite starlet at the movie theater in Lake City.
Explore the Drawer
CCC Uniform Belt
Johnny Buskowiak wore this belt at CCC camps near Plainview and Lake City, Minnesota. The brass buckle is stamped "U.S. J.Q.M.D. 1938," and came from the U.S. Army's massive Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot in Indiana. Many CCCers were outfitted with surplus military clothing.
Richard Loida wore this wool-lined canvas cap while stationed with CCC Company 712 near Grand Marais, Minnesota. The hat provided welcomed warmth at a camp where winter temperatures seldom broke 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Richard Loida wore this cap while serving in Company 712 of the CCC near Grand Marais, Minnesota. The hat is in the style of the "overseas" or "garrison" caps worn by U.S. soldiers in World War I. It is a clear example of the military's influence on the CCC.
This set of chevrons indicated Richard Loida's rank as an assistant leader of the CCC Company 712 camp near Grand Marais, Minnesota. Chevrons have long been used in the U.S. armed forces to indicate ranks for enlisted soldiers. Their use in the CCC suggests the military's strong influence on the program.
Clarence Lundquist used these copper plated steel buttons with CCC Company 1721 at a camp near Isabella, Minnesota.
CCC Uniform Tie
Richard Loida wore this tie as an assistant leader of the CCC Gunflint District, Company 712, camp near Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Living in a CCC barracks with other young men meant little personal privacy. These keys for Johnny Buskowiak's footlocker allowed him to lock up his belongings when away from camp.
Explore the Base
The Army heavily influenced the CCC. Members awoke, ate and fell asleep to bugle calls. Johnny Buskowiak remembered playing “Taps” each night and hearing it echo across the Lake City camp. This 1898 bugle is of a standard design adopted by the Army in 1892 and still in use today.
Snacks and other items could be purchased at the camp canteen using coupons from books, like those pictured. John Buskowiak (1922-2008) used these coupon books while serving in the CCC in Plainview and Lake City.
Joseph Spitznagle wore this heavy wool overcoat with the CCC between 1933 and 1942. The CCC's work continued year-round. In fact, winter cold and snow provided ideal conditions for controlled forest burns. These burns eliminated flammable brush and reduced the risk of summer forest fires.