TISHOMINGO, Miss. (WCBI) – People searching for work have built a lasting legacy at a north Mississippi state park.
A statue was unveiled to honor their hard work, during the Great Depression that came with a new deal.
The unveiling of the statue at Tishomingo State Park carried a personal connection for the crowd.
“I had a brother who served here in the CC Camp, it was hard times back then and what they did meant a lot to the families, there was no other jobs,” said State Senator JP Wilemon.
His older brother, Euel, worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC. That federal agency was one of the New Deal’s first programs. It put a lot of people to work during the Great Depression.
Hank Leonard’s grandfather, Clifford Worsham, was a project engineer at Tishomingo State Park.
His grandfather told him many stories about those tough days.
Workers were paid $30 a month, with most of it going back to their family.
“Gave them a way to make money and they were doing actual physical labor, learning responsibilities and leadership, taught them more than just the work they were doing here, taught them skills that would go on through their lives,” said Leonard.
By far the most popular attraction at the park is the swinging bridge. Built by hand by hundreds of men in the Civilian Conservation Corps.
That’s why Friends of the Park and others said it’s important to honor them and let people know about the rich history of Tishomingo State Park.
“The CCC built it and we tried and put on statue a little history, so people will get an idea of it, it’s been a long time but they built these parks all over the country and good for future generations to enjoy,” said Don Thompson, a member of “Friends of the Park.”
Friends of Tishomingo State Park raised the money for the statue.
There are only eight states without a memorial honoring the CCC workers who built parks across the nation during the Great Depression.