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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Valley in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Robert Fechner Memorial Forest

 
 
Robert Fechner Memorial Forest Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
1. Robert Fechner Memorial Forest Marker
Inscription. "By virtue of the authority vested in me as president of the United States...the Massanutten Unit of George Washington National Forest is hereby designated as the Robert Fechner Memorial Forest in honor of Robert Fechner, the first director of the Civilian Conservation Corps."

In March 1933, newly elected, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced national unemployment of 25%. Working quickly, Congress passed the Emergency Conservation Work legislation on March 31, 1933. One of the programs created from his legislation would later be called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This organization would work "to preserve our precious natural resources and, even more important, as a moral and spiritual boon to needy young Americans..." (FDR, 1933)

President Roosevelt chose Robert Fechner, an experienced and respected labor leader to organize and run this first new Deal Agency. Though Mr. Fechner knew little about conservation, his work in labor and industrial management provided him the administrative skills needed for his new position. His reputation for fairness, tact and patience greatly impressed President Roosevelt.

Under Robert Fechner's guidance, almost 2.4 million youths worked in the CCC to rehabilitate our nation's natural resources and learn much needed job skills. Fechner remained as director
Robert Fechner Memorial Forest Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
2. Robert Fechner Memorial Forest Marker
next to the "Birthplace of the CCC" marker
until his untimely death in 1939.

In 1940, the Forest Service proposed that the Massanuttan Unit including Camp Roosevelt, be established as a monument to honor the work of Robert Fechner.

The Secretary of Agriculture agreed and recommended that the Massanutten Unit be designated as the Robert Fechner Memorial Forest.

On February 5, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed this by Executive order No. 86731.
 
Erected by US Forest Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
 
Location. 38° 43.807′ N, 78° 31.042′ W. Marker is in Fort Valley, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker can be reached from Camp Roosevelt Road (Virginia Route 675) south of Chrisman Hollow Road (Virginia Route 211), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Located in Camp Roosevelt Recreation Area in the George Washington National Forest. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Valley VA 22652, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Barracks (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace of the CCC (within shouting distance of this marker); Mess Hall
Robert Fechner image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
3. Robert Fechner
Director, CCC 1933-1939
Close-up of photo on marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Blacksmith Shop (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mauck Meeting House (approx. 5 miles away); Calendine (approx. 5 miles away); Fort Philip Long (approx. 5.1 miles away); Fisher’s Hill and Yager’s Mill (approx. 5.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Valley.
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkIndustry & CommerceLabor UnionsMan-Made Features
 
Inspection image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
4. Inspection
CCC Director Robert Fechner, standing right, joined Camp Roosevelt, NF-1 Camp Commander, Captain Henry B. Wilkinson in an inspection of America's first CCC camp on May 16, 1933,
Close-up of photo on marker
(Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy)
The Spade is Mightier Than the Sword image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
5. The Spade is Mightier Than the Sword

"The spade is mightier than the sword and a better weapon." Robert Fechner, Director,Civilian Conservation Corps February 6, 1939, Time Magazine.
Close-up of map on marker
US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 12, 2013
6. US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture
Close-up of seal on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 418 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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