Paul Nelson and David Foot
Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia celebrates 75th Anniversary with CCC Boys
On Saturday, May 13, 2006 Vogel State Park was the scene of media frenzy. The reporters and photographers were in town to cover Vogel State Park 's 75th Anniversary and the annual Georgia Civilian Conservation Corps annual reunion. The event was especially exciting due to the recent opening of the park's new John B. Derden CCC Museum.
Members of the media crowded into the museum building. Bob Busby, former photographer for the Division of Georgia Tourism, was present to get photos for the Department of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. Georgia Public Broadcasting's film crew captured it all for an hour long documentary to be aired this summer on GPB television. Historians interviewed all the CCC boys and their family members. Reporters from all over the United States covered the event for the nightly news.
People came from all over the country to join in the celebration. Representatives from Natural Resources in Washington , DC and Atlanta were present. CCC boys (now in their 80's and 90's) came from as far away as Oregon to participate in the event. It was a historical occasion.
CCC enrollee Edward H. Smith attended the reunion and celebration. He served at a CCC camp in Gilmer County during 1936. Mr. Smith said, "I served in the CCC for 5 years. It was a good experience."
Paul Nelson, Assistant Director of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in Atlanta , was on hand to greet visitors. He was excited about the interest in the park. "Along with Indian Springs, Vogel is the oldest state park in Georgia and the CCC boys built most of it." Park Manager David Foot also provided information on Vogel State Park and the new museum. He shared all kinds of interesting facts. "The 233 acre park includes a 20 acre lake. There are lots of activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, miniature golf, pedal boats, and now a museum."
Guests were treated to tours. The CCC Museum has many exciting displays and unique exhibits. It is an interesting addition to Vogel State Park and should attract many visitors to the North Georgia area.
The whole day was filled with interesting stories and good food. The Vintage Vocals provided appropriate music. Old men talked about good times and lots of hard work. Families gathered together to share memories and make new ones. It was a great day to be at Vogel State Park in Union County.