For the second year in a row, I’ve tracked the sales of all CCC tokens on eBay. What follows is summary information for those token sales in 2020. See last year’s numbers here.
Every 5.4 days
The least expensive token sold for $18. It was a 5 cent piece from Company 1754, McGregor, Iowa. The most expensive one sold for $567. It was a 5 cent piece from Company 4471, Bishopville, South Carolina.
A total of 37 different denominations and companies were sold last year. The reference catalog says there are 288 different pieces in the series, so only 13 percent were available for sale this year on eBay.
This table shows the number of tokens sold from some of the most common tokens:
Number of Sales
Mt Nebo, Arkansas
There were 16 sales with a sales price of $200 or more.
This brass token was used by members of the CCC stationed at Camp Hedges in Stone County, Arkansas. The coins reads:
CAMP HEDGES / 743 / CCC GOOD FOR / 5 ¢ / IN TRADE
No other denominations are known from Company 743. These tokens are scarce. According to my records, only one example was sold on eBay in 2019 or 2020.
Hedges is an historic community in the Ozark National Forest. The camp was built during the Great Depression as part of the New Deal. The Civilian Conservation Corp program provided jobs for young men.
Camp Hedges built roads, bridges, dams, trails, and campgrounds. Some of that infrastructure still stands today, including Gunner Pool dam. Camp members also fought forest fires and did conservation work in the Sylamore District of the national forest.
I saw this paper chit on eBay. It looks to me like an original medium of exchange used during the CCC period from Arizona. I bid on it, but did not win. It sold on August 2, 2020, for $24 US.
Jerome is a small town in central Arizona between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The CCC Legacy website does not list a camp from Jerome, but there were camps in nearby Clarkdale, Prescott and Flagstaff.
I did a little reading and found that chits are official notes showing an amount of money that is owed or has been paid. This piece represented credit for two shows at a theater in Jerome, and the chit was only valid for CCC workers.
I am a member of the Willamette Coin Club in Portland, Oregon and gave a presentation on CCC tokens this week. The club missed its March meeting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders in Oregon. In April, we held an online meeting, and it went pretty well. My presentation is linked below if you want to see it.
I just finished reading Nature’s New Deal by Neil Maher. Maher examines the history of the New Deal and Civilian Conservation Corps. He shows how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies implemented during the CCC contributed to today’s environmental movement and helped pull America out of the depression. It has clear writing and is well researched. Unfortunately, there are is no mention of CCC tokens.
This paper booklet served as another form of currency for workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Scrip like this allowed workers to borrow money against their salary and then use the scrip tokens at the company store.
The following photos show what the inside scrip tickets look like. There are 20 of the 5-cent pieces.
I recently acquired this 10 cent token from Company 3747 in Paris, Missouri. It has a few spots of environmental damage and some crud on it. I decided it needed conservation. The environmental damage could not be reversed, but the rest of the piece looks much nicer.
This is what the piece originally looked like:
Here is the token after conservation:
I soaked the token in Acetone and, under a stereo microscope, used blackberry thorns to dislodge the dirt and crud.
Thorns are great tools for this type of coin conservation. They have very fine points and are soft enough not to scratch the coin (if you’re careful). A friend suggested rose thorns work better, but I have more blackberry bushes in my neighborhood than roses.
This token belonged to veterans CCC company 1680 of Wisconsin. The Manderscheid reference for CCC tokens says this piece was likely used by the camp near the town of Phelps.
One side of the token reads, “V-1680TH CO. / C.C.C.” with four stars.
The other side of the token reads, “GOOD FOR 5¢ IN TRADE.” There are 5 cent and 10 cent tokens from this camp.
The token reference and the CCC Legacy website indicate this company was located at four places in Wisconsin: Bloomington, Phelps, Blackwell, and Evansville. Archives of the company’s “Warvet” newspaper indicate it was a veteran’s company with work projects across the region.