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University of Oregon speech professor John L. Casteel made this entry into his diary on Feb. 18, 1935. Casteel’s diary spans the entire time he worked at the university, from 1931 to 1941. He recorded many of his thoughts about life in Eugene and Oregon during the Depression.
In this entry, Casteel discusses a transient camp in barracks near Skinner’s Butte Park in Eugene. Workers built the barracks a few years earlier as a headquarters for Southern Oregon’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program provided economic relief for unemployed and transient men through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). The program gave money to state agencies, requiring them to offer transients food, shelter, training, and education.
Walters, Bettly Lawson. “The Lean Years: John L. Casteel’s Diaries, 1931-1942.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 89, 1988: 229-301.
Shinn, Paul L. “Eugene in the Depression, 1929-1935.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 86, 1985: 341-69.
Written by Kathy Tucker, © Oregon Historical Society, 2002.