John E. Croom to discuss New Deal era’s Civilian Conservation Corp

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2021

WEST POINT — The Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society (CVHS) is extending an invitation to the general public to attend its quarterly presentation to be held at 3 p.m. EDT (2 Central) inside Point University’s Lanier Academic Center in downtown West Point.

John E. Croom will be discussing the New Deal era’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was designed to provide employment to unmarried young men during the Great Depression. They built many of the structures still in use today at state and national parks in Alabama and Georgia. Their legacy of workmanship can be seen in many places visited by Valley area residents, such as the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park near Pine Mountain and the Chewacla State Park near Auburn. The well-known Bunker Tower on top of Mount Cheaha is a well-known example of their work.

Croom will focus on the work done by the CCC at Roosevelt State Park.

Croom has been affiliated with the park itself and has given many presentations on its history and with the contributions made by the men of the CCC. He has also made presentations on the Little White House Museum in Warm Springs. He’s a noted expert on the FDR connection to west central Georgia. His Sunday presentation will focus on four major areas: the Depression’s impact on Georgia prior to 1933, the creation of the CCC, its local impact in the state (primarily through FDR State Park) and the legacy created by the CCC.

Croom is a native of Columbus, Georgia and a 1973 graduate of Columbus High School. He graduated from Columbus College (now Columbus State University) in 1977 with a B.A. degree in fine art. He later earned a teaching certificate at the University of Montevallo and taught history in Oak Mountain. During his teaching career, he received “teacher of the year” awards at both Oak Mountain Middle School and Oak Mountain High School.

He has been married to Sally McCamy Croom since 1981 and served on the Volunteer Boy Scouts of America Birmingham Council from 1992 to 2014. He is currently writing a book on the history of the CCC in the Pine Mountain area from 1933 to 1942. He will be discussing his research on that book during his presentation.

Visitors to the presentation are encouraged to park in Point University’s west parking lot and to enter the Lanier Academic Center on the west side.

The 3 p.m. presentation will last approximately one hour and will be followed by a question and answer session. For further information, contact program chairman Charlie Powers at ccpowers02@gmail.com.