This is part two in the series about the 3C Boys and their connection to Big Pine National Forest.
In part one of this story, the GAZETTE reported that the locked box found at the Ranger Bill Jefferson residence belonged to the brother of Knotty Pine resident Maggie Murphy, John "Jack" Flanigan. Mrs. Murphy opened the box with a key belonging to her late brother. Inside the box were some letters from the Flanigan family to Jack during his time in Knotty Pine with the CCCs, The Civilian Conservation Corps, also Jack's diary and some photos of 3C Boys.
Ranger Bill commented that the story of Jack Flanigan and the 3C Boys found in Jack Flanigan's diary shows "God working all things together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).
Maggie told the GAZETTE that her family lived in Ohio in the town of The Falls in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Maggie's father Ian had a factory job in Cleveland. He used to take a trolley called the Dootle Bug to work every day. As the Depression deepened, Ian's company lost business and he was laid off. Maggie was just a baby at the time. The Flanigans had little to eat. The kids were getting sick from malnutrition. Thousands were out of work all across the country. Charities ran out of food and money to help the poor and unemployed. Newly elected President Roosevelt created the CCCs as one way to help folks.
Maggie's oldest brother Jack had some struggles of his own. He stopped going to church. He began to hang around with a bad gang. He told his family that he stopped trusting God. But then a ray of hope came to the Flanigans. Jack was old enough for the CCCs and signed up. He was accepted in the corps and left for a little unknown town near the Rockies called Knotty Pine. His family couldn't even find Knotty Pine on the map, but Jack went there anyway. Jack worked hard in Knotty Pine, but he was well fed and had warm clothed. He grew strong and healthy. And he told his family all about this lovely little farm town and the friends he made in the 3Cs. And each month the Flanigans got a $25 check from the government for Jack's work in the 3Cs.
Jack had two friends in the corp, Paul and Bruce. The CCC leaders made sure that any boy who wanted could go to church. Paul and Bruce went every week. They kept telling Jack about God's love in Jesus until the seeds they planted began to grow. Jack started to go to Knotty Pine Church from time to time. Then it was every week. Jack had found his faith once more.
Jack learned carpentry and cabinet making along with Paul and Bruce. They built the big table at Ranger Headquarters, also Bill's desk, Jack's box and one just like it for Maggie . They also built the cabinets at the CCC leaders' house, which is now the Jefferson residence. Jack was allowed to keep his box there in the attic for safe keeping.
Jack forgot his memories box in all the excitement and confusion when the Camp Shady was closed and everyone was sent home. Jack joined the Army during World War II. When he left for the service he gave little Maggie her own memories box and a necklace with the key to both boxes on the end of the chain. Jack died in the war. He never told Maggie where his box was.
The Flanigans had fallen in love with Knotty Pine during Jack's time there. They finally did find the Shady Mountains were located and moved there. Maggie's dad got a good job on the Johansen farm. Maggie eventually grew up and became Mrs. Maggie Murphy. Jack's box was eventually forgotten about until Henry Scott found it in the Jefferson attic.
In the next installment of this story, you will find out about another CCC camp at Big Pine Forest and other Depression era New Deal work at Knotty Pine.